Mose T Folk Art Painting
Appraised Value: $1,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:27)
Paintings & Drawings
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
GUEST: Well, Mose T. is a black gentleman from Montgomery, Alabama. He is still living, I understand. Um, apparently a little later in life he developed an interest in painting. He wasn't very well to do. And he would basically take pieces of scrap plywood and whatever he could find to use to paint on. And couldn't afford art paints and so he usually would buy cans of house paint and old brushes, and was pretty prolific, would turn out quite a bit of very "primitive" paintings-- subject matter being men and women and children and animals.
APPRAISER: Well, it has a great look. It's very minimal, it's very abstract. And as you mentioned, he started painting in the '60s using house paint and just about anything. I was reading the other day where he sold them on his front yard for a dollar. And, you know, that sort of thing changes when in 1993, I think it was, the Museum of Modern... the Museum of Folk Art, rather, in New York gave him a retrospective. So what ends up happening with even outside, outrageous kind of art like this when it has the imprimatur of a museum show-- what happens? You get fakes. And what ended up happening with Mose Tolliver is that because he was so prolific, there were a lot of fake pieces of his out on the market. Authenticity is always a problem, but we're lucky with Mr. Tolliver in that he's still alive. And when a piece is being confirmed to be by him, it can of course be shown to the artist and established as being an original piece by him. Where did you get it? When did you get it?
GUEST: I lived in Montgomery, Alabama, and my husband gave this to me as a gift in 1993 in the summer, for the opening of a medical practice.
APPRAISER: Oh, great. And what did he pay for it?
GUEST: He paid $250.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, since the show and since there's been so much more interest in outsider material, his stock has gone up. I'd value it at about-- assuming it is a real Mose Tolliver, which I certainly suspect that it is-- I'd value it at around $1,000.
GUEST: Well that's wonderful. That's fantastic. Thank you so much.
APPRAISER: Great-looking guy.
GUEST: He is.
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