Appraisal Video: (3:19)
Paintings & Drawings
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
GUEST: This painting was done by Demetrios Jameson, who was my father. Dad did this in, I believe, around 1947 when he was a student at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
APPRAISER: Now, he studied with Max Beckmann at that time.
GUEST: Yes, he did.
APPRAISER: And Max Beckmann is this larger-than-life German Expressionist artist, and you can really see he was picking up on the things that he was taught by the master.
GUEST: Yes, and he had very, very high regard for Max, and they communicated for many years after. This painting used to hang in my grandmother's house, and I just loved it from the time I was a little kid, so I was probably six or seven years old.
APPRAISER: It's a little spooky-- it didn't scare you?
GUEST: No, it doesn't, it never has. The only thing is, I keep waiting for her to turn around, and I've been waiting for about 60 years for her to turn around. In later years, when he was at Oregon State University, where he was a professor, he had a studio in the attic of Fairbanks Hall, and I used to go and visit him up there and watch him paint. I told my dad when we were discussing his art, I said if there's any painting that you ultimately give to me, it's got to be this painting.
APPRAISER: He moved on to a different style, a more modernist style.
GUEST: Yes, he did.
APPRAISER: And so this is an early example of his work.
GUEST: This is... that's one of the reasons I picked this painting, other than the fact that I love it, is that we know very little about, you know, the values, or what have you, for this era. There's not very many like this.
APPRAISER: Of all the markets that have remained stable in our very wobbly economy, for American art, the Modernist Movement and the Surrealist Movement are very strong and very sought after. And this painting is just a terrific example of American Modernism/Surrealism. We have this crumpled-up piece of mysterious paper; we have this enigmatic figure with red hair and an acidic green skirt; then we have these cracks in the concrete; the broken silo; the crumbling columns. Central casting, wonderful Surrealism. As we see, it's signed and dated lower right. The painting is an oil on canvas. And I want to turn it around for just a moment to see some... uh, but, she's not going to turn around, just the painting.
APPRAISER: (laughs) Maybe. So on the back we have an original-looking frame.
APPRAISER: Was that something your father did as well?
GUEST: He made that, yeah, and he did the design on the frame as well.
APPRAISER: So, we have the artist's name here and also "Parasol"-- the name of the painting. We don't often think of the Pacific Northwest for its cache of Modernist artists, but this, with the Beckmann effect, is really tremendous. I would insure this one at $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow. Oh, great.
APPRAISER: I think he was a very important artist.
GUEST: Well, I agree, I think so as well.
APPRAISER: Well, you're a good son. (laughter)