Treasure: Prints charming but not original
Nadine Vadasy attended Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies (now College for Creative Studies) so she’s familiar with the name and work of Georges Braque. She recently wrote to the column asking for help after receiving a gift of three interesting prints by the French artist.
“I received three framed prints from my friend about seven years ago,” she explained. “We met at Center of Creative Studies as students. We kept in touch all through the years…we were meeting for lunch and she said she had some pictures she bought at a garage sale and which were in her garage gathering dust. Did I want them? I only saw the top picture. Took them home and several days later looked at them. I thought the way they were matted was unusual. I have never seen prints done this way. When I saw the name, Georges Braque, I called her and told her I thought they might be authentic she said ‘Good for you,” and didn’t want them back. So I hung them up. Two of the three prints are backed with info in French. One print is titled Athenee, the other Vol de Nuit. A sticker on these two at the top gives information on the gallery that framed them, Galerie International in Royal Oak.
According to the colorful and detailed website georgesbraque.org, the artist was born in 1882 and was a 20th-century Parisian painter. “He was most well known for being the founder of Cubism alongside famous artist Pablo Picasso. In addition to the invention of Cubism, he did also focus on other forms of art which were prominent during this time period as well. He did work which touched on Impressionism, fauvism, and even focused on collage styles of work, which brought together a series of imaginative pieces, bold colors, and distinct shapes and styles to his work.
"During the wartime period, the work he put together would change in order to represent the somber, dark period the world was going through. In between wartime, he would also change the style and themes, to represent lighter times, and happier things which were taking place around him.
"Although he did change his style, tone, color use, and design features, he never strayed too far away from Cubism. There were also tinges or hints of this style, in every piece that he created during the course of his career, and is the reason his work was so distinct, in comparison to other artists of the time, who did not delve in to as many different forms."
Richard Fedorowicz of DuMouchelles took a closer look at the trio during a recent appraisal session. He said that two of the three are very well-known works, but ultimately had bad news. “Unfortunately, the originals of these are much larger and the signature and edition number on these were not put on by hand and not part of the actual paper.”
“Braque didn’t actually do prints in this size,” he continued. “These may be just reproductions. Sometimes smaller versions were done for books or magazines, which may have been the case with these.”
Because of that, he had a hard time giving her a value for the works. “They have minimal value at best,” he told her.
She said she likes them anyway, and will probably rehang them in the spot they were in before the appraisal – the bathroom wall. “I still like them,” she said. “I’ll probably just hang them back up and enjoy them.”
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About this item
Item: Braque prints
Owned by: Nadine Vadasy
Appraised by: Richard Fedorowicz, DuMouchelles
Estimated value: Negligible