My son is 6 years old. He’s smart and articulate, and no Mom could be prouder. One day not too long ago I tried to explain my job at a major Boston auction house to him, and told him, “My job is to look at art all day long.” He considered this and then replied, “Mama, your job must be really boring.” In spite of my certainty in his brilliance, my son couldn’t (in this one instance) be more wrong, and here’s why.
Every day is a surprise, like Christmas or Hanukkah or a birthday. You never know what you’re going to get in painting appraisals. I’m a New Englander born and bred – a crusty old yankee who is always skeptical. So when someone calls up and says they have an undiscovered Picasso painting, I’m always happy to investigate, but I never expect the painting to be as it was billed. Sometimes it’s a page from a calendar, but other times it’s a Picasso etching from, say, 1905.
Earlier this week a gentleman came in with a yard sale find for an auction evaluation. Yard sale finds can be nothing, or (as was the case this time!) a view from the area around Giverny by the American Impressionist Frederick Frieseke. Why wasn’t I at that yard sale?!
Sometimes the Victor Eeckhout Orientalist painting that you fear (based on the jpegs) is just a poster, turns out to be a great painting that’s been hidden away for 60 years or more. The couple who brought it in were so thrilled that the husband gave me a hug. And I was so thrilled that I hugged him right back.
Every email and letter, every appointment in the lobby in Marlborough or Boston, MA, every house call and art appraisal has the potential to show something wonderful. And that, my dear son, is why Mommy’s job is never boring.