Monday, April 30, 2018

Hide And Seek

"This large, unsigned piece is another favorite of mine from the Pantages Porfolio.  It measures about 3'6" by 5'.  I actually like it so much I'm showing it to you twice here - as it can be hung vertically or horizontally.  This is not  because it is an abstract rendering...  but because it shows two different images. 

Hung horizontally,  it is a single goat with horns.

Hung vertically, the body of the goat is made up of images of other animals. I found a dog, a raccoon, a cougar, a bear, and duck or goose.  I am sure there are more. What do you see?" - Peter Smith 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Looks Can Be Deceiving

"I saw this unsigned and unattributed painting the first time I was at Jim's house. It was prominently displayed in his living room, and I quickly deemed it the ugliest thing in the entire house. I must have walked past it a hundred times during all of our visits there to remove his collection. At each pass, I would I crane my neck to catch a good look at it, often thinking, "Who is staring at who?" 

Fast forward a few weeks. This painting popped up a few days ago in Judy’s studio. Then something happened to me that I did not expect. I realized I was positively happy to see him, and that I missed him.

Here is my take on this big sad man. I think he's a 1930's-era gypsy. He's the strongman at a carnival. It's the only life he has ever known. He is getting on in years but still ringing the big bell - except it hurts now with every swing of the sledge hammer. He's loved by the other Carnies but somehow he is lonely.

His ugly face became beautiful to me as I could see the mix of pride and sadness. Something happened to him but I don't know what it was, and never will. I just know his sadness is much bigger than just his life with the carnival. Perhaps he lost someone special? What I do know is that I love him now and am not sure I will be able to separate myself from the ugliest painting from Jim's house." - Peter Smith

Sunday, April 22, 2018

We Can't Look Away, Part 1

Eye, eye, eye we can't look away! As we work our way through organizing and cataloging the Pantages Portfolio collection, we often come across works that are simply mesmerizing and hold our gaze - sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes for bad ones.

This charcoal and ink on fabric is a perfect example of that. At first, I really did not like this piece, but Judy did. So what exactly is going on here in the piece? Only the artist knew for sure. But, the more we studied it, the more it grew on us, and both of us just can't get enough of it.

Judy sums it up best when she describes this piece as "subtle and strong at the same time." It is by American painter, printmaker, and architect Benton Spruance (1904–1967) who is best known for portraits as well as works with religious or mythological themes. In March, 2018 Swann Auction Galleries sold Spruance's Riders of the Apocalypse for $27,500; it was estimated at $20,000-30,000.

Friday, April 20, 2018

What's A Few Million Amongst Friends?

Good things come in threes with this amazing Pantages Portfolio painting discovered  in the depths of the consignor's basement. It was tucked up against an appliance with laundry soap, and covered in spiders and basement debris. No wonder the clown in the pink hat looks so sad!

This work caught Peter's eye and Judy started to investigate it immediately. The painting is by the German artist Karl Hofer (1878 - 1955) and is marked with this paper label on the back. The piece appears to be named "Masquerade."

The highest price ever paid for one Hofer's works is EIGHTEEN MILLION US DOLLARS. The value of this picture is TBD (but hopefully close to that!) On May 16, 2017, Christies sold a Hofer painting of a bathing Hindi girl; it was estimated at $150,000-200,000 and realized $391,500.  

Monday, April 16, 2018

And We're Off!


Welcome to the Pantages Portfolio!  This website - a work in progress, like most fine collections - is dedicated to bringing the energy, excitement, and range of this amazing grouping to art enthusiasts all over the world.

Check back regularly to learn about...
  • Breathtaking collection highlights 
  • Hidden gems 
  • Famous (and not so famous) artists represented in the collection
  • How the cataloging process is moving along
  • Our expert's commentary and analysis 
  • What its like to live with at least 600 works of art stacked in every nook and cranny of your home, including the bathrooms
  • The collection's can't-miss preview party 
  • How to purchase works from this collection 
  • And more, lots more!