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William Tracy

An Artist Looking for a Painting She Could Repaint Over Came Across a Valuable Piece of Art, Which She Bought for $9.99


***This post was written using information from TIME***
“Vertical Diamond” by notable 20th century artistPhoto byIlya Bolotowsky/Sotheby’s

It’s a story that seems too good to be true – a woman buys two large paintings for $9.99 each at a Goodwill store, intending to paint over them, but discovers one of them is worth between $15,000 and $20,000. This is exactly what happened to Beth Feeback in 2012, when she bought what turned out to be “Vertical Diamond” by 20th-century artist Ilya Bolotowsky.

The painting was eventually sold by Sotheby’s for $34,375, an incredible return on Feeback’s initial investment. The series of events that led to this remarkable discovery is nothing short of serendipitous. On a chilly day in April, Feeback and her husband were at an art fair in Oak Ridge, N.C., and Feeback had gone to a nearby Goodwill store to find a blanket to keep warm. There, she spotted two large paintings that she thought would make great canvases.

Feeback was going to paint over them until a friend noticed labels on the back that read “Weatherspoon Art Gallery. University of North Carolina – Greensboro.” Intrigued, Feeback researched the artist Ilya Bolotowsky and found out just how valuable the painting was. After contacting Sotheby’s in New York, she sent them the painting, which was insured for $20,000.

The previous owners of the painting were a married couple who had bought the paintings at a textile company’s liquidation sale. They had planned to put them in their basement, but the canvases were too large. They tried to sell them at a church yard sale and then took them to Goodwill, where Feeback made her lucky find.

Feeback has been in touch with the painting’s former owner and has even offered to paint them a picture of their late cat, Buttons. The story is a testament to the power of research and luck. It’s a reminder that valuable treasures can be found in the most unlikely of places, and that even the most mundane items can have hidden worth.

The discovery of the Bolotowsky painting is also a reminder of the importance of art education and appreciation. Many valuable works of art have been discovered by people who had no idea of their worth. Had Feeback not done her research, the painting might have been lost forever, or even worse, painted over.

Feeback’s discovery is a story that has captivated many people, and it serves as a reminder that treasures can be found in unexpected places. It’s a testament to the power of luck, research, and the value of art education. Who knows what other hidden gems are out there waiting to be discovered?

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