It’s been a long time since I’ve had an art find to report; however, on my birthday in September, Robert and I popped into Uptown Thrift in Oklahoma City. We dug through stacks of paintings and found an entire collection of Jewish and Israeli art. It was a great art find, and made for a great birthday.
This has to be one of my favorite art finds ever. The signature says Riga (Рига) ’91. I’ve tried to make out the name of this artist, but to no avail. I can’t tell if it’s in Yiddish, Latvian or Russian.
Riga is the largest city in Latvia. In World War II, the Nazis forced Jews from Latvia, and later from Germany, to live in the Riga Ghetto. I’m so glad I get to be the caretaker of this beautiful painting.
My house is done in all neutral colors and my artwork is pretty colorful, so this is going to look awesome once I get it framed. I love the bright colors and subject matter: Jerusalem! Again, no clue who painted this. I imagine it was sold to a tourist on the streets of Israel, but I could be wrong.
This isn’t exactly pricey artwork, but I love it just the same. It almost looks like a sharpie was used to draw the picture and then the images were filled out with watercolors.
I’ve had amazing luck finding art treasures at garage sales, thrift stores and auction sites over the years. In March 2009, I found a stunning painting of a Joss House by artist Louise Sheppa Lovett (1894-1974). This event ironically occurred at the very time Lovett’s granddaughter, artist Ellen Chong, was restoring and re-publishing Sheppa’s amazing book, A Happy Day. (A great Christmas gift, by the way.)
A couple years ago I rescued from a garage sale a painting by the beloved Paseo artist Claude Anderson (more details below) who died in 2000. I paid $5 for it. In 2005, I found a painting on eBay by the Transylvanian-born artist Robert Lamell.
Also, on my birthday, I found a framed print by Marc Chagall valued at $75; a painting by a popular Australian artist, Sarah Zhu, and a framed pieced by John Christopher Brobbel. It looks like a print and I haven’t been in any hurry to take it out of the frame to see for sure. At any rate I am very happy with my latest art finds, especially the painting of Riga. Have you ever discovered a great art find?
Claude Anderson, Paseo Artist
Claude Anderson was very active in the Paseo Arts District (http://www.thepaseo.com/), one of the most vibrant art districts in Oklahoma.