Zelda Fitzgerald Oil Painting, ca. 1935
I brought to you a painting by Zelda Fitzgerald. She painted this while she was a patient in Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1930s. She painted this for a doctor who was the psychiatrist in charge of the John Hopkins Hospital. I inherited it from the doctor.
Everyone knows the story of Zelda, the beautiful young Southern belle who married F. Scott Fitzgerald, the rising artist, in 1920, and they became the quintessential sort of golden couple of the Jazz Age, of the '20s. And they knew everyone who was everyone in Europe. Zelda encountered many of the Modernist painters and was influenced by them, and their storybook life began to come to a rather bad end when Zelda eventually succumbed to mental illness. She was in various mental institutions during the course of the '30s and the '40s, first in Europe and then in America. She died tragically in a fire in 1948 in a mental institution, and part of her therapy was painting. She became a very accomplished painter. We're looking at oil on canvas in what is probably a frame from around that period, and it appears to be in reasonably good condition. The rarity of these pictures does raise the question of authenticity. I don't have an authenticity question about this picture because you brought us some very compelling documentary evidence supporting the provenance. And this rather wonderful painting of nasturtiums also is convincing in its own right as her work. But it would require consultation with some Fitzgerald scholars and experts in order to absolutely confirm the authenticity without any question. The one picture which I have tracked down, from 15 years ago, sold for $4,000 at an auction in New York City. In today's market, a conservative auction estimate on this painting would be between $10,000 and $15,000. To insure it, you should be thinking about perhaps $20,000.
Well, that's... very nice, thank you.
Well, thank you. I'm very excited. I got chills when you told me what you, what you had in that box.
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