Cullen Yates "Hazy Day Autumn" Oil Painting, ca. 1920
My wife's grand-uncle was in the road construction business. And he was in Upstate New York. It was the first time the roads had ever been paved. And this fellow came out and asked him, while he was right on his street, would he mind doing their driveway? So he said no, he'd be perfectly fine doing the driveway. So he did it, and then afterwards when he went for the money, the fellow said, well, he didn't have any money. Would he take one of his paintings? So he took this. And when he got home, the wife said, "Well, where's the money?" (laughing) And he said, "Well, I got this instead." And she never let him forget it for the rest of his life, so...
Now, do you know anything about the artist? All I know is that he's in the American Who's Who of painters, but other than that, no.
Okay, his name is Cullen Yates. It was actually technically Owen Cullen Yates. He dropped the "Owen." And your painting is signed here on the lower left. It's a little hard to see, but you can just make out the signature over here. And the reverse, there's actually a wonderful label that gives us the title of the picture, which is just "Hazy Day Autumn." It doesn't tell us exactly where he painted, but we know quite a bit about his life. And of course, we know where the painting itself came from. Yates was born in Ohio and showed a lot of talent as a young man and was very interested in art. And as many artists did in the late 19th century, he went to New York and he studied at the National Academy of Design. And there he met an artist by the name of William Merritt Chase. Now, Chase was one of the premier painters of the day. One of the things that made him so influential was that he loved and really espoused the virtues of painting on the scene. Rather than creating an image in your studio, you would go to the place. And he had a real love of landscape, and that was something he imbued in many of his students. And Yates was certainly one of those, and would go on site to work as well. Now, Yates is most associated with the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania. But he also did live for a time in New York state, and this is clearly where he would have found it. And it was probably a stream right in that neck of the woods, right local to his studio. He did travel some, but he tended to work very locally wherever he was based at the time. Now, do you have any sense of the value of the painting?
Well, we had it valued I'd say about 15 years ago, and they said about $2,000.
Well, I think there might be some forgiveness in your family over the question of where the money is, because the money is here. It's just hidden in the landscape. If you were to sell this picture today at auction, you would be looking at $5,000 to $7,000 for it.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.