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William Tracy

Picasso in a Thrift Store: The Story of an Unexpected Find


***This post was written using information from abc NEWS***
Photo of Pablo PicassoPhoto byWikipedia

Thrift store finds can be hit or miss, but for Zachary Bodish of Columbus, Ohio, it was a big hit. Bodish, who often visits thrift stores to look for furniture and art to resell, stumbled upon what he believed to be a reproduction poster of an exhibit of Pablo Picasso's work for just $14.14. Little did he know, the poster was worth much more.

After receiving offers from several potential buyers, Bodish sold the poster for $7,000 to a private buyer who contacted him through the phone book. Though the poster was never officially appraised, experts in Picasso's work estimate that it is an authentic linocut, for which Picasso carved a design into linoleum that was then pressed onto paper with ink by a printer. Todd Weyman, vice president of Swann Auction Galleries in New York City, estimates that the fair market value at auction could be $4,000 to $6,000, based on sales of comparable works during the past years.

The poster was created by Picasso for an annual pottery show for the city of Vallauris, France in 1958. Lisa Florman, an art professor at The Ohio State University, notes that in addition to the 100 numbered "original" linocuts, which were signed by the artist, it is possible some photolithographic reproductions were made. By that time, Picasso was one of the most famous artists in the world and a "real celebrity in France certainly."

Though Bodish was hesitant to sell the poster, he needed the money to supplement his income as a part-time worker in the arts. "If it hadn't been worth very much, only $2,000, I probably would have kept it," Bodish said. Bodish had met with a representative at Christie's auction house in New York City, who estimated that the piece could sell for $4,000. However, the private buyer offered a higher amount and Bodish was pleased with the transaction.

Overall, Bodish's story is a reminder that sometimes the best finds are hidden in plain sight. Thrift stores can be a treasure trove for those willing to do a little digging, and it's always worth taking a closer look at something that catches your eye. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a valuable work of art.

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