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Friday, January 11, 2008

From the Baikinange Collection

Valentino painting

I'm a big fan of thrift store art, the fruits of the labors of well-meaning but often talent-starved artists. I was lucky enough to find a few charmingly bad paintings at an estate sale some years back, and have displayed them proudly for years (much to the chagrin of my loved ones). I paid a buck each for them, maybe you think I was robbed.

A cut above the typical thrift store fare (meaning, I paid somewhat more than a buck for it) is this circus painting by Illinois artist Louise Woodroofe.

Apparently Louise was quite a pistol. She had a backstage pass to Ringling Brothers circus for years, and spent much of her life as an art professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and died at a ripe old age (over 100). A short history of the life and art of Louise Woodroofe can be found here.