Alfred Joseph Casson Landscape Painting

Value (2007) | $25,000 Auction$40,000 Insurance

GUEST:
The artist is A.J. Casson. He's one of the members of the Group of Seven, which is a very famous group of painters in Canada, mainly in the Toronto area. My grandfather was actually friends with A.J. Casson, and they lived next door to each other. And one night he had snuck a painting out and gave it to him as a gift.

APPRAISER:
Why did he have to sneak it out?

GUEST:
His wife actually didn't really appreciate his painting.

APPRAISER:
So, Casson's wife?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
You know, that's very interesting, because today he's a highly regarded artist. But, in truth, he was not financially successful as an artist until he was about 60 years old. So that makes a certain amount of sense to me. He worked as a commercial artist in the commercial design and lithography fields and supported himself. So even though he was quite a well-known painter, he wasn't doing well enough financially. That probably explains... explains part of that. So, do you know that he wasn't one of the original Group of Seven?

GUEST:
Correct.

APPRAISER:
That Group of Seven was more than seven people. When one person would, for one reason or another, drop out of the group, which was founded around 1920, someone else would be pulled in. So, apparently that Group of Seven, at various times, was a group of six or seven or eight or nine. He joined the group when he was about 28, around 1926 or something like that. And then it disbanded around 1932, so it was a pretty short span of time that they were working. He was a quite elderly man when he died, and he was active in the art world in Toronto in many different ways throughout his life. As you know, this is an oil painting. These artists often worked in a kind of flat and broad style with these wide areas of color. It's probably a picture that was executed in the 1930s or '40s. It's difficult to say with certainty, because his style was relatively consistent. Do you know what it's worth?

GUEST:
It's kind of an ongoing family guessing game, I guess.

APPRAISER:
So what's the range?

GUEST:
It's anywhere from $15,000 up to $40,000.

APPRAISER:
I'd say you're probably, auction-wise, in the $25,000 to $35,000 range here. So your family wagers are pretty on the money. If you were planning to keep it, which I kind of think you probably are...

GUEST:
Right, yeah.

APPRAISER:
...I'd suggest you insure it for around $40,000, so the high end of your speculation.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Well, thanks a lot for bringing it.

GUEST:
Well, thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
South Hadley, Massachusetts
Appraised value (2007)
$25,000 Auction$40,000 Insurance
Event
Las Vegas, NV (August 18, 2007)
Period
20th Century
Material
Oil

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