INSPIRING STORY OF THE WEEK
ART APPRECIATION: THE ANATOMY OF A PAINTING
by T.H. Everingham
Being raised in the antique business, Tom never lost his thirst for seeking out hidden treasures in second hand shops. In the early days of his marriage, he occasionally visited one of them at lunchtime, not just for pleasure, but for economic reasons as well. As struggling newlyweds, these stores were a good source for a few treasures his wife and he were not yet financially able to purchase at retail prices. It so happened there was a Goodwill outlet several blocks from his place of employment in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Upon entering the Goodwill one particular lunchtime, at first Tom saw nothing of particular interest. He was about to leave empty handed when he spotted a painting on the top corner shelf. It seemed to stand out, looking brighter and newer than any of the others leaning against it. He liked its subject matter of a young girl pouring molten steel. Furthermore, it appeared to be an original oil and, in his amateur opinion, a quality work of art. He noted the signature, ‘Carl Walberg’, a name that meant nothing to him at the time. Although Tom was the first to admit he knew little about art, something attracted him to this particular painting beyond its two dollar price tag. He purchased it and left Goodwill with a smile on his face.
Tom returned to his office with his new acquisition stuffed into a grocery bag. Although he tried to settle down to work, he found it difficult to concentrate. Questions about the painting kept intruding on his thoughts. Who was this Carl Wahlberg? When and why did he render this painting? Was he still alive? Hoping to satisfy his curiosity, he phoned the reference department at Carnegie Library and asked if they would do a quick search of the artist’s name and background.
After researching both American and foreign artists, the librarian discovered that Carl Wahlberg was a local artist of some note. A long time member of the Associated Artists, his paintings were exhibited twice by Carnegie Institute. Not only had he received two awards, but some prominent Pittsburgh collectors had purchased a few of his works.
Tom opened the local phone book and discovered three listings for the name Carl Wahlberg. After dialing the first name on the list, an elderly sounding man answered. The conversation that ensued from that phone call had a profound effect on both of these men.
To this day, Tom feels certain that the episodes of that day had been choreographed by some knowledgable force, and that he was honored to have been given a part in an amazing intervention.
This story is now published in
Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection
Beyond Coincidence stories