Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

July 20, 2012

Rare artwork found in a Dumpster

RICHMOND, Va. — STILLWATER, Okla. — Joe Greene looks about anywhere for collectibles -– even in a Dumpster.

He sees value in things people just throw away.

In his latest search for treasure, Greene found a piece of artwork, buried beneath piles of garbage, that caught his eye.

It was framed, but he couldn’t tell much about his discovery because it was covered in a thick layer of ketchup. Besides that, he said, “It’s stunk.”

On the backside of the frame was an article that explained the artwork had won a prize in Taos, New Mexico, in 1967. There also was the artist’s name — Doel Reed.

“I had never heard of Doel Reed in my life,” Greene said.

While the name didn’t mean anything to Greene, it did to Louise Siddons, Oklahoma State University’s curator of collections.

"He was in the National Academy of Design ... ,” she said. “He was an author and he was interviewed frequently by national art magazines and was probably one of the highest profile artists we’ve had on the faculty.”

The artwork that was discovered was titled “Near Ledoux” and was constructed from ink and crayon. Siddons said it’s a depiction of a tree-lined avenue near Taos, N.M., where Reed resided.

“It’s nice because it’s a local scene and often times he kind of has imaginary landscapes or he collages a bunch of landscapes together to make an imaginary landscape, so this is nice because it’s recognizable and local,” Siddons said.

She said the artwork, which will be donated to Oklahoma State, amounts to “an amazing discovery.”

Even if it came from a Dumpster.


Details for this story were provided by The Stillwater (Okla.) News-Press.

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Joe Greene has found some interesting things that other people have thrown out, but he describes a recent find as nothing short of divine intervention.

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