The Art Hunters Handbook: How To Buy Art For $5.00 And Sell It For One Million Dollars by Les and Sue Fox is a treasure loaded with the secrets of how to locate fine art cheaply. The information contained in this book is valuable because the art of collecting is fraught with acquisitions later discovered to be copies by expert appraisers.
Most people know about Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army and neighborhood flea markets. There are other secondary markets like estate sales, foreclosures, starving artist sales and a host of places generally unbeknownst to the public at large, which the authors set out.
More, a beauty of this book is that the methodology for identifying a valuable original painting is described in some level of detail. Generally, an oil painting has a texture that can be felt. There is a raised appearance with visible brushstrokes.
A stretcher is the inner frame which holds the painted canvas in place. A painting shows its age unless it has been cleaned professionally. Wood darkens to yellow or brown. Spots and stains appear on the back of the canvas. The paint dries and cracks. Paper labels, metal plates, gallery descriptions and serial numbers are all signs of reproductions.
Numerous stories of fine art purchased for pennies on the dollar are told in the book. For instance, Mr. Leiter visited a Los Angeles garage sale and purchased a painting wrapped in a blanket for five dollars. The painting turned out to be “Ripening Pairs” by Decker. It was sold to the National Gallery of Art for $1 million.
The Foxes provide artist profiles from the Hudson River School to Impressionism, Cubism, Modernism and Abstract Art. Examples of the popular artists portrayed in this book include Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Bierstadt, Franz Bischoff, Charles Schulz, Andrea Derain, Robert Henri, George Loftus Noyes, Joseph Raphael, Rufino Tamayo and Margarite Zorach.
The Art Hunters Handbook: How To Buy Art For $5.00 And Sell It For One Million Dollars by Les and Sue Fox is an important acquisition for collectors, educators, estate administrators and art enthusiasts everywhere.