Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1816
Art Opening tonight, June 29th, 6-8 pm. The Dorchester Historical Society has joined with the Dorchester Arts Collaborative to present Dorchester Artists, Past & Present.
Today’s illustration shows a painting by Aldro Hibbard that Mayor Menino took to the Antiques Roadshow. Hibbard lived in Dorchester for part of his life and is counted as a Dorchester artist of the past.
‘Antiques Roadshow’ draws fans in Boston by Martine Powers
The Boston Globe, June 10, 2012
The painting, discovered in the attic of Dorchester’s Mather Elementary School, had hung on the wall of Boston’s historic Parkman House for years. It was one of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s favorites — a landscape of a sleepy Vermont town nestled in snow — but he knew little more about it than the artist’s name, Aldro Hibbard.
So the mayor did as any self-respecting American with a taste for the thrill of unearthing secret treasure would do: He took his find to “Antiques Roadshow.”
Menino and more than 6,000 people from around the country came to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Saturday for a chance to appear on the PBS television series in which regular joes learn the history and monetary value of prized family heirlooms and yard sale castoffs.
Inside a room the size of an airplane hangar, hundreds waited in lines radiating from a central temporary studio: one for jewelry, another for posters and prints, more for furniture, military memorabilia, musical instruments, pottery, porcelain.
Menino’s wife, Angela, brought her own piece to be appraised, a vase, brought to the United States from East Asia in the early 1900s and left to her by a longtime friend. Appraiser Lark Mason explained that the vase was Japanese, Kutani porcelain, worth about $400 to $600.
“I have a nice cabinet that I’ll display it in,” Angela Menino said.
As the mayor waited for the appraisal of his painting, he was approached by the show’s host, Mark L. Walberg; no, not Mark Wahlberg, but a celebrity in his own right for the dozens of adoring fans who asked him for autographs.
“I watch your show on TV,” Menino proudly declared.
“I watch your city on TV!” Walberg shot back, giving a nod to the Boston Celtics. “I’ve got my fingers crossed for you tonight.”
After studying Menino’s painting, appraiser Colleene Fesko announced that it was quintessential Hibbard, known for his soulful depictions of Vermont and Cape Ann.
“It’s a checklist of everything you want to see in a Hibbard: There’s the covered bridge; there’s the snow; there’s the sleigh,” Fesko said.
Menino said he liked the painting because of the elegant contours and shadows in the snow. Fesko said Menino’s judgment was right on point.
“Some artists, when they paint snow, you see white paint,” Fesko said, paraphrasing an art critic from 1918. “When you look at an Aldro Hibbard, you see snow.”
Because it had been framed behind glass, Fesko said, it had maintained excellent quality.
Estimated value: $50,000. But Menino said he had no plans to sell it.
“It’s going back where it came from,” Menino said, “but I’m going to insure it.”
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