Cottage Filled With Thousands of Paintings

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The $300,000 cottage that came complete with thousands of paintings… worth $30MILLION
Two investors bought Long Island house intending to do it up and sell it on
But they found thousands of works by late artist Arthur Pinajian, who used to live there, and they were valued at $30 million
They are now at a gallery at which he had dreamed of exhibiting
By HUGO GYE
PUBLISHED: 08:12 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:56 EST, 8 March 2013
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Two investors who bought a dilapidated cottage for $300,000 are set to make a $30million profit on the deal after discovering an amazing haul of lost artwork by a previous resident.

Thomas Schultz and Larry Joseph snapped up the bungalow on New York’s Long Island in 2007 intending to do it up and sell it on for around $100,000 more than they paid.

But they found thousands of abstract paintings and drawings by Armenian-American artist Arthur Pinajian, who lived in the house for decades but never received critical recognition during his lifetime.

Six years after the stunning discovery, the work has been valued at $30 million and some of the works have gone on display in a Manhattan gallery where he had always dreamed of exhibiting.

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Discovery: Thomas Schultz, pictured, surrounded by paintings by Arthur Pinajian, an unknown artist whose house was filled with thousands of artworks when Mr Schultz bought it in 2007

Discovery: More than 70,000 paintings, sketches and journals were found in the artist’s former home
The rediscovered Arthur Pinajian

When Schultz and Joseph bought the house from the Pinajian family in the hope of turning a quick profit, the artist’s relatives advised the new owners simply to throw away the art stored in the cottage.

Thousands of pieces had been stored there since Pinajian’s death in 1999 aged 85.

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But instead the canny investors agreed to buy the art for $2,500 – though more out of sympathy than with an eye to making money.

‘I didn’t want to be the person responsible for throwing a man’s life’s work into a dumpster,’ Mr Schultz told CBS New York. ‘Someone’s life’s work deserved more than that.’

Stash: Pinajian’s relatives said they could just throw the works away but the buyers could not do it

A life’s work: Pinajian spent years copying famous artists’ work to teach himself the craft

‘Thrilled’: Thomas Schultz said he could not bear to throw away all of the artwork when it was found
‘ERA’S BEST ABSTRACT ARTIST’ NOT RECOGNIZED IN HIS LIFETIME
Arthur Pinajian may have been dubbed one of the best abstract painters of his era, but it was an accolade he did not live to enjoy.

Instead, the Armenian-American artist, who died in 1999 aged 85, was better known as a cartoonist in his lifetime. He trained himself to draw while growing up in West Hoboken, New Jersey, and was active as a comic book artist and creator from the 1930s until the 1950s. He found considerable success creating comic strips for Quality, Marvel and Centaur Comics.

After serving in World War II, he began working on his own – devoting himself to studying well-known artists and developing his own style using structural colour. But he had little commercial success and largely relied on his sister, a secretary, for financial support.

The two men started to restore Pinajian’s collection, which included abstract expressionist paintings, comic book illustrations and sketches of his fellow Second World War soldiers.

In total, they came across 70,000 paintings, sketches and journals of his work.

As they restored Pinajian’s art, his reputation began to grow; art historian William Innes Homer recently dubbed him one of the best abstract painters of his era.

Pinajian’s recovered paintings were appraised by Peter Hastings Falk, a leading author who has previously worked for Andy Warhol’s estate.

The total value is believed to be around $30million. However, it could take several decades to sell of all the work.

Nevertheless, ‘I was surprised and thrilled’, Mr Schultz said.

Fifty of the artist’s best works are currently on display in the Fuller Building in New York City. Pinajian had long wanted to show his work in the skyscraper, according to Mr Schultz.

‘The artist was in the Fuller Building in the 1950s when he was visiting an exhibition of de Kooning’s works,’ he told CBS. ‘He talked about how he thought his works were better than de Kooning.’

Talent: Pinajian was known as a comic book artist in his lifetime but devoted his later years to abstract work

Devoted: Pinajian, pictured left aged 18 and right when he served in World War II, was a self-taught artist
The painter was born in New Jersey in 1914, and worked as a company clerk and cartoonist before the War.

Afterwards he devoted himself to his art, but had little commercial success and largely relied on his sister, a secretary, for financial support.

The pair, neither of whom ever married, lived together in Bellport for nearly three decades.

His cousin John Aramian said he would be delighted with his posthumous recognition.

‘He thought he was going to be the next Picasso,’ he told the New York Times in 2007. ‘They believed he would become famous and this would all pay off for them one day, but it just never happened.’

Better-known work: Pinajian worked as a comic book artist and creator from the 1930s until the 1950s

Influential: Art historian William Innes Homer has called Pinajian one of the best abstract painters of his era

Study: He copied Expressionists, Impressionists, Cubists and Surrealists before establishing his own style

Influential: Art historian William Innes Homer has called Pinajian one of the best abstract painters of his era

View his art here!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2290200/30million-haul-abstract-art-forgotten-painter-run-cottage-sold-300-000.html

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