Once it was decided that we would be moving east, we began to review our possessions and started the process of deciding what to keep, and what to sell or give away.
This can be a complicated process but in the end, we adhered to two values. Was the item something we truly loved, or was it useful? Or better yet, did is possess both qualities?
I did this with just about everything - furniture, clothes, linens, and even our art work. I had a regional painting of the Three Sisters in Oregon. Although I thought it was a beautiful painting, it was not something I truly loved. So I took it to our local antique art gallery and sold it.
In its place (although there wasn't supposed to be an acquisition in exchange), I purchased this landscape painting. It absolutely grabbed a hold of me. So I put the value of the Three Sisters towards it, and paid the rest through the gallery's lay-a-way program.
Last week, I finally received the painting. I had forgotten what it looked like actually. I even wondered, especially in the midst of our long move, what on earth I was thinking to purchase something at a time where most of our belongings were in storage.
But when I opened it, I understood once again.
I love the ornate and intricate detail of the gilded frame and the contrasting simpleness and complete calm of the subject matter, which is thought to be Greenwood Lake in New Jersey (from markings on the back of the frame).
Unfortunately, the frame did not withstand shipment across the country and arrived with a few broken pieces. They were clean breaks and likely easily glued. But nonetheless, I took it to a local antique frame restorationist and he mended the pieces back in their place.
In addition to repairing the frame, he also was able to give me some wonderful information on the piece. He believes it to be a painting by the 19th century American landscape painter, Thomas B. Griffin.
I haven't had a chance to further research the piece, but I am excited to learn more.