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Painting Bought For $4 Expected to Sell For $250,000

A few years ago, a woman was looking for old picture frames at a New Hampshire thrift store when one caught her eye. She bought the frame, and the painting inside it, for $4. She hung the painting up in her home and didn’t give it a second thought - until this spring.

An original painting by N.C. Wyeth
Credit: Bonhams Skinner

That’s when she became curious about the pretty little painting that had been hanging on her wall for six years and decided to post photos of it on social media to see if anyone could shed any light on it. As luck would have it, she ultimately connected with Lauren Lewis, a former curator, who drove three hours to see the illustration in person.

Lewis thought the $4 painting could be an original by N.C. Wyeth, a renowned American illustrator whose fame began with a Saturday Evening Post cover in 1903; he was also the father of artist Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of artist Jamie Wyeth. Throughout Lewis’ career, she had worked with art by all three generations at the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Wyeth Study Center in Rockland, Maine. So, if anybody in the world could correctly identify the painting, it was Lewis.

Sure enough, after examining the painting, Lewis says she was “99 percent certain” it was authentic. Lewis also spoke with Christine Podmaniczky, a prominent Wyeth scholar, who agreed with her assessment.

On 19 September, Bonhams Skinner will sell the painting at auction, where it is expected to fetch as much as $250,000.


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