HORROR MAESTRO VINCENT PRICE SELLS FINE ART TO SEARS CUSTOMERS IN 1962

in art •  6 months ago

If you read these blog posts for the druggy rockin' weirdness I'm usually posting you might not know that I'm a film and art critic in real life. I love getting spooky on Insomnia in October, but the other night I found a great opportunity to fold in some of my critical writing as well.

If you didn't know, horror actor supreme, Vincent Price, was also an O.G. art collector. Price was so serious about art that he curated a collection of affordable art prints, reproductions, and even originals for Sears, Roebuck to sell to its catalog customers. Here's an amazing video of Price explaining the Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art to Sears employees...

This presentation is for the employees of Sears as they are being introduced to a new product to sell, that is, the art collection selected by actor Vincent Price. It is not focused on the customers of Sears, only the sales personnel at the various stores. It is not meant to be entertaining, only informational. Vincent Price and his wife since 1951 had been very active in introducing art to the students at East Los Angeles College. One of the galleries at the college is named after Mr. Price.

Here's some more from Artist's Network...

It was a surprise to us to learn that on October 6th, 1962, Sears unveiled an offering of original works of art for sale at its store in Denver, Colorado. Sears had commissioned famous actor and art collector, Vincent Price, to assemble a collection of art and gallery paintings that would be merchandised through its stores, making fine art more accessible to all Sears’ customers. They gave Price carte blanche to travel the world to put the collection together. After that first opening in Denver, the program was broadened with exhibits of art in ten additional Sears stores and after the first 1,500 pieces of art has been sold, it was expanded nationwide to all Sears stores. The program ended in 1971, but more than 50,000 original artworks had been sold during its time.

The Vincent Price Collection, as it was called, included gallery paintings and other works by Rembrandt, Chagall, Picasso, Whistler and many contemporary artists of the day. It included a watercolor by Andrew Wyeth and a painting by Salvador Dali commissioned by Price.

Here's the video...

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In a side note, my father-in-law, a painter and art professor in KY once invited Price to speak at his campus and was his escort during Price's stay. He was funny and gracious and my wife even has a postcard he sent as a thank you after returning to Los Angeles.