Minnie Evans Visionary Collage, ca. 1960
We actually bought that from Minnie Evans in 1969 and met her at her job as a gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens. And after meeting her a few times, she invited us to her home. We met her mother, some grandchildren and looked at her dream book, and we selected this picture from the dream book.
So, now, did she think of herself as an artist or as someone capturing the flowers and the animals around the garden, or... what was she thinking?
I think she thought of herself as a person who was a visionary. In her dreams she saw these things and then put them together while she was at her gatehouse. She would sit in there and draw these things with a pencil and then color them with crayon, cut them out and apply them to another piece of paper.
Well, this is a iconic example of her work, and the whole outsider style has a different vocabulary and condition ethic than other mediums. You have the crease in the paper and some dots and dashes that are outside of the mode of academic art, but that's the way it's supposed to be, and it's a great example of her work. Minnie Evans, aside from her career as a gatekeeper, had a larger career. In 1975, she had an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, and she was also collected by the very important surrealist artist Jean Dubuffet. And she's come to have quite a reputation among American surrealism, American visionary art, American outsider art. Do you recall how much you paid for the piece?
Oh, my goodness. Recently a piece was at auction that was estimated at between $800 and $1,200 and sold for $13,000.
Yes. So her stock is on the rise.
Given that, I would estimate the piece, at auction, between $3,000 and $5,000. For insurance at $10,000 and the retail value, I would think, would be probably between $8,000 and $12,000.
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