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info on artist: Katzen

- 30 Dec 2007
#1

Hey all,

I bought a painting at a local thrift shop. I wasn't familiar with the artist, but I really liked the piece. The painting is signed L. Pell Katzen and dated 1955. I've done some research and learned that the artist is Lila Pell Katzen aka Lila Pell or Lila Katzen. She's apparently a well known sculpturor who has some pieces on display at the Smithsonian. She died in 1998. I have no intention of selling the painting. I'm just curious what her art works are worth. I'd assume that her sculptures would be worth more than her paintings since that seems to be what she was most known for. Does anyone have any good sites where I could find information about the value of pieces by certain artists? I certainly don't mind searching for the information myself, but I got a load of website hits when I did a search on her name. Are there certain sites which are good when investigating art work?

Also, I'll be posting pics of the piece. The painting is nice, but the frame is in pretty rough shape. I'd like people's opinions on how I should have it re-framed. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks!

Comments

- 30 Dec 2007

Photos...had to locate that pesky USB cord
My cat decided that he wanted in the first picture. Anyone want a cat for cheap...or free? ;) He's being a total pest tonight *sigh*





- 30 Dec 2007

How should I re-frame this piece?
You can't really tell so much by looking at the pic I posted, but the frame isn't in the best shape. It's obviously been re-framed before. It's actually two frames that have been attached together. There's an outer wooden frame that has lost some paint, has some cracks in it. This might have been the original frame and been used with some matting, not sure. But it's not in very good condition. The inner frame is one of those cheap black plastic frames. It's obviously newer than the outside frame and not original. It's in decent shape, but it looks pretty cheap and doesn't fit well with the picture. So how should I recover this piece? I don't think I want another black frame. I think I want possibly some type of lighter wood...something that would look good with teak furniture. Also, should matting be used or not? I'm leaning towards no, but I'd like your opinions.

- 31 Dec 2007

The frame appears at least...
The frame appears at least to me to very possibly be original - it is very typical treatment of that 1955 period. Personally, I would keep the frame as it is currently. It is a wonderful painting. As to value, it is probably significant but not outlandish, I imagine, and may likely gain in value over the next few years, given the fact that this is an earlier painting from her; and that she was a recognized New York artist and a noted modernist sculptor won't hurt anything either. It looks like there are a few auction records for her currently available on the net, but as you said, most prices noted are for her sculptures. Good deal, in any case.

- 31 Dec 2007

I really think...
that the inner frame is not original. It's not real wood. I do think that the outer frame is original though it's in pretty rough condition...missing paint in parts, some significant chips and dings. I was thinking that, at least, the inner frame should be replaced with something made of real wood. Don't know why anyone put a plastic frame there. And should I attempt to restore the outer frame. I'm not opposed to keeping the outer frame, but it's in such rough condition (can't really see it from the photos) that it quite distracts from the painting itself.

And I know the painting had to be worth more than I paid for it at the thrift shop. Got it for only $10. What a steal! I was kinda thinking the painting may be worth a few hundred buck. $300-$400? Do you all think it's worth more/less? I love art but know nothing about the value of it :D

- 31 Dec 2007

Well, if the frame is origina...
Well, if the frame is original, remember, like furniture from the same period, it is probably not going to be pristine. I'm not much good at math, so I'll just estimate it would now be fifty plus years old. If you do decide to replace the frame, you will want to be careful not to damage the artwork itself (canvas/stretcher/etc).

The painting, if you like it, is worth what you paid for it. It is even very likely worth considerably more than $300 or $400 to a collector of fine art, but on most days I'm hoping, when you get right down to value, not worth to you as much as your cat.

- 31 Dec 2007

Nothing could be...
worth as much as my BennyBoy...except for my nephews Oliver and Own and my neice Oaklyn. Benson was a Christmas present last year after my beloved Marmalade died after 18 years of being the best kitty-boy. Benson's a good boy too as long as he remembers to stay of the dining table.

And I'm planning on taking the painting out to a friend who owns an antique shop to get her opinion on whether to get it re-framed or leave it as is. Maybe she'll have some idea as to it's worth. I'm just curious seeing as I'm not planning on selling it. It took me long enough to find a painting I liked enough to fill that last section of wall in my living room.

- 01 Jan 2008

Those scrapes are...
Those scrapes are minimal,the frame is in sync with the painting so dont change it...it looks period to me as well the artist probably picked it herself.

- 01 Jan 2008

I did an Artprice search on Katzen
and there were sculptures which sold at auction;one for $750.It also listed a watercolor which at auction,only brought $70. :( Anyhow,your painting is a gem and you should keep the frame original!

- 02 Jan 2008

The inner frame
is called a liner and is more often seen wrapped in linen. It is typlically a neutral transition from the image to the frame (like a matte is for works on paper). It also gives the framing more substance and visual heft; so it does not look too small on a larger piece. I suspect that they are both original to the painting and quite like how they look. I'd touch up the frame if the wear bothers you, but leave it as it is.

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