Sometimes it pays to buy the former house of an obscure Armenian-American artist, a lesson recently learned by lucky new home owners Thomas Schultz and Lawrence Joseph.
According to News 12 in Long Island, New York, the duo purchased a massive collection of artworks by little-known painter Arthur Pinajian along with his old Bellport cottage. They bought the rare find for $2,500 in 2007, on top of the $300,000 cost of the house, and proceeded to restore, frame and appraise the paintings, drawings and journals found in the garage.
Well, it turns out their decision to buy Mr. Pinajian's art stash along with the house was a good one, as the collection has now been valued at a remarkable $30 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Individual works have already sold for a whopping $500,000, and now the abstract impressionist artist's works are on view at a gallery opened by Schultz, as well as in Manhattan's Fuller Building.
The posthumous attention is unusual for an artist who "did not conform to today’s norms," art historian Peter Hastings Falk tells The Armenian Weekly. "He painted every day, but no one saw his art. He received no reviews and not one of his paintings or works on paper ever was shown in a New York gallery or museum.” In fact, Pinajian's work was actually meant to be dumped in the Brookhaven landfill, per the artist's request; however, his family didn't go along with the instructions.
We're sure Schultz and Joseph, who confessed to the New York Times that they weren't "big art people," are thankful for the Pinajian family's oversight. Let us know what you think of the unexpected art find in the comments.
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