Humans have been creating art since before the beginning of written history, and in that span of thousands of years, there have been more than a few masterpieces that have somehow managed to slip under the radar. These are pieces that were discovered in attics, garages, and storage areas where they sat for countless years before being discovered and sent in to the experts.
While some of the artwork can’t be 100% confirmed to belong to a specific artist, they’re often valuable and rare enough to be worth adding to a museum’s collection.
1. Van Gogh’s Landscape
An industrialist named Christian Nicolai Mustad bought a 19th century painting of the French countryside dubbed Sunset at Monmajour, buying it from then brother of Vincent van Gogh, Theo. The painting was never officially identified, and would sit in Mustad’s attic until the 1970s.
When new homeowners took over the property, they discovered the paining and sent it to Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in 1991, and while experts weren’t able to confirm it was a Van Gogh at the time, it was eventually confirmed as authentic.
2. A Forgotten Rembrandt
Now known as the Unconscious Patient, this was originally meant to be sold as a generic painting for a few hundred dollars at an auction. But it didn’t take long for some experts to come forward and claim it was a long-lost Rembrandt, and after it was confirmed to be authentic, it was resold for millions.
Part of the reason it was dismissed was due to how unremarkable it was compared to some of Rembrandt’s other, more famous work. It was eventually bought by an art collector for a cool $4 million some years later.
3. Jackson Pollock’s Forgotten Painting
A man based in Los Angeles, who was helping an elderly neighbour move in December 2015, stumbled across a Los Angeles Lakers poster that had been signed by Kobe Bryant, which would be to the delight of any sports betting NZ enthusiast. The poster was sent in for appraisable, which piqued the interest of the firm, who went on to gauge the value of other items in the garage.
Very much to their surprise, they came across a piece of artwork that was reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. While there have been plenty of tests done on the piece, it remains unconfirmed as authentic, but is still worth around $10 million due to its age.
4. A Trove of Arthur Pinajian Works
Two men in 2007 bought a small cottage in Bellport, New York. The two, who were initially intending to refurbish the cottage and flip on the market, came across a stockpile of artwork that had been sitting in the cottage’s garage.
An inspection revealed that these belonged to Arthur Pinajian, an Armenian-American artist who was known for his reclusive lifestyle. It was discovered that the cottage once belonged to Pinajian, who had passed away almost ten years beforehand at the age of 85.