Retired Army Senior Sergeant, Victor Hazon Hall says that he has found a signed painting worth millions of dollars at a local flea market. He blames corruption within the art world for the fact that art galleries familiar with the work of the artist, Martin Johnson Heade
, refuse to authenticate the find. He has submitted the painting to a well known art restoration and conservation center in Atlanta, GA who confirmed that it is an original oil painting and that several features of the work are consistent with works known to have been created by Johnson Heade.
The painting in question is the epitome of pre-Raphael works and shows the influence of John Ruskin throughout. It is unquestionably a masterpiece with historical connections to the Audubon Society's "The Seaside Finch". Hall says that this may be the greatest of all Johnson Heade's works, yet it is stagnated by a fickle authentication system with no objectivity. The work is signed and there is a comparative signature circa 1900 available.
He says that a few large galleries have asked him to send all his research supporting the position that this work is Johnson Heade's. However, once they received his research, they could not be reached. He believes they are practicing a bit of deception in the hope that this work will be put on the market again at some future date at a bargain price.
Many people dream of finding treasure and work toward that goal. It is quite disappointing when one actually finds a treasure, only to be stifled by the corruption of a troubled art world with many problems.
This is an American disgrace and certainly not the American way. There was a time in this country when virtue was better than gold, but it now appears to be about egos and greed. Hall plans to continue publishing articles and keeping the press informed about the status of this Johnson Heade masterpiece, possibly his greatest work of a now extinct species that now seems to be caught in a web of silence.
Hall, as well as many he has spoken with on this topic, is under the impression that dealing with old masters in the art world is a world for special people in America, which is contrary to the ideals this country was founded upon. This painting will one day find its way into the great American Halls of Art and justice.