Several months after the passing of my artist husband, it was time to face the daunting task of finding a home for the collection of his works which still inhabited our basement. Although my husband’s main occupation was that of an art teacher in a local community college, he had created works since the 50’s. My spouse was a professional. During his life-time, he had many shows and sold many works. Putting those remaining works out in the trash was unthinkable. Giving his works to family and/or friends was, to me, equally unthinkable. My husband respected his works and so did I. Many possible homes came to mind.
At first, several county venues were the recipients of donations of his works. Next, I tried donating his collection to a museum in New Jersey. When contacted over the internet, or over the phone, no curator showed the least bit of interest. What was I to do?
At about this time I met a lovely woman who had been a strategic planner and/or a vice-president for large companies. She suggested that I find a company that would agree to license my husband’s works to other companies. For the next several months I plowed though 150 different companies that might agree to license my husband’s art. My new friend, keeping the estate’s interest in mind, suggested that I examine the financial reports of those companies which licensed works similar to those of my husband’s. Although the internet provided me with lots of companies which licensed works of art for free, finding the financial reports of those companies for free was not possible. I began to give up hope.
Since I decided to spend part of the winter in Florida, my new friend suggested that I try to contact some art museums in Florida. Back on the internet, I located at least four museums that would be in the areas that I planned to visit. So, I prepared four hand-outs with included a bio of my husband, including the fact that he trained with a well-known painter from the School of American Realism; a list of the shows he had in the last 14 years; his own statement about his art and six prints of his work.
At this point, I am happy to say that I am negotiating with one museum that has shown interest in having my husband’s collection. Nothing is a sure thing, but I have lots of people praying that the deal will be done soon – God willing.
A friend asked me if I would go through so much trouble for some of my own work. “Probably not,” was my reply. This is a labor of love and respect for this body of work characterized by an enthusiasm for life. The works are my husband just as, in life, my husband was his work.