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View Full Version : Baseball Art II (and Football) and why things aren't always as they seem Lelands Jan 2007


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01-26-2007, 08:26 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Many of us have heard stories about how Curt Flood and Tommy McDonald (former Eagles wide receiver) were both accomplished portrait artists.<br /><br />While reading Brad Snyder's excellent biography of Flood, I found out that neither Flood or McDonald were artists, just front men.<br /><br />ESPN discussed this with McDonald in November 2003: <br /><br /><a href="http://espn.go.com/classic/s/Where_now_mcdonald_tommy.html" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://espn.go.com/classic/s/Where_now_mcdonald_tommy.html</a><br /><br />However, Lelands didn't note this distinction in its January 2007 completed auction<br /><br /><a href="http://www.lelands.com/bid.aspx?auctionid=614&lot=135" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.lelands.com/bid.aspx?auctionid=614&lot=135</a><br /><br /><br /><br />Max<br /><br />

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01-26-2007, 10:22 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>That would be because I didn't know that. You learn something new every day. Although, in my defense, it has been a common hobby assumption that he was the artist, especially since his signature appears in the lower corner of the paintings that he promoted.<br /><br />Didn't Flood mention in his book that he was an artist. I thought I read that he went to Europe to concentrate on it during his time out of Baseball. <br /><br />Scott

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01-26-2007, 10:49 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Hi Scott<br /><br />I haven't read The Way it is in a number of years, but that's also the distinct impression I had, that he was an artist. I think he took even greater pains that McDonald did to hide the real artists, or at least that's what's conveyed in the Snyder book. <br /><br />Max

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01-26-2007, 11:21 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>The boxer Mickey Walker was a talented painter, primitive-style. Interestingly, none of the paintings<br />I've seen are of boxing or sports, but more scenic stuff like woods and houses.<br /><br />Prince Charles apparently is a talented water color painter. He entered a painting in a prestigious<br />competition and won. To make sure he didn't get preferential treatment he entered the work<br />under an assumed name.

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01-27-2007, 08:21 AM
Posted By: <b>Joe Tocco</b><p>"That would be because I didn't know that."<br /><br />Really? I used the Online Contact Form on your website to inform you before the auction ended that the painting was from McDonald's studio and not by McDonald himself. I even linked the same ESPN story. Perhaps you should contact your webmaster to investigate technical difficulties in your contact form feature.<br /><br />Joe

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01-27-2007, 10:09 AM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>If you used the contact form under the "internet Only" section, then there is a problem as I never got it. If you just used the normal "contact us" form, it goes to New York and I don't see it unless somebody forwards it to me. <br /><br />At any rate, if I had see it, I would have made the correction and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. <br /><br />Scott

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01-27-2007, 12:01 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe Tocco</b><p>Sure thing Scott, and I apologize if my first post sounded condescending. Next time I'll just call.<br /><br />Joe

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01-27-2007, 12:07 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>Sounds good, thanks again.<br /><br />Scott

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01-27-2007, 01:57 PM
Posted By: <b>leon</b><p>Scott is one of the easiest guys to work with I know. He is also very shrewd when it comes to advertising <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>.

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01-27-2007, 03:39 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>I'd seen a number of McDonald paintings over the years and didn't know he wasn't the artist until Max brought it up in this thread.

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01-27-2007, 04:12 PM
Posted By: <b>Ed Ford</b><p>Curt Flood was an artist. I own a print of a painting he did of Martin Luther King Jr., the original which hangs in the MLK Museum. There is ample evidence that Curt Flood painted this and many other portraits including teammates, the Pope etc. His artistry is discussed in his autobiography and 2 or 3 other biographies of this man.

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01-27-2007, 04:16 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Maybe the McDonald paintings were by Curt Flood

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01-27-2007, 06:14 PM
Posted By: <b>Ryan Christoff</b><p>What impact does this new information have on the value of the painting?<br /><br />I was the winner of the Gibson painting in question. I actually don't care who the painter was because the reason I bought it had nothing to do with the artist. It's just a great image of Gibson. The photo it's based on is probably the most common image of Gibson around (usually it's the full shot of him crouched down in his Crawfords uniform) but I really like the color of this particular work and thought it would look nice on the wall. <br /><br />While I don't mind overpaying for items I like, I prefer it to be because I am willing to pay more than the next bidder, not because an item is not as it was represented when sold. <br /><br />I'm also not at all interested in it if there are other examples. I thought it was a one-of-a-kind original painting by an NFL HOFer. I care nothing about the NFL HOFer part, but maybe the underbidder did. How can I know? <br /><br />I guess I can only ask opinions of other board members. So, does this new information impact the value?<br /><br />Any opinions would be appreciated. <br /><br />Thanks, <br /><br />-Ryan<br /><br />

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01-27-2007, 06:56 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>I just looked at the final price, and think it's a fair price. If someone wants to plus or minus the, that's fine. It's nice looking, large and took a skilled painter to make it. A painting isn't a poster or photo, in that it takes the painter literally hours or more to make it and requires quite a bit of skill-- skill that most don't have. If a Negro League specialist likes and displays the painting, I think the price is fair enough ... Having said that, the name of the painter, or at least that he has a prestigous background (art shown in some museum or a former artist for Sports Illustrated), does effect price ... Apparently, while he did not paint the portraits, McDonald had the paintings made for his purposes. If you can, as is the case here, say your painting was commissioned and owned by a Pro Football Hall of Famer, that's about as significant as saying the painter is well known. As you'd expect, most sports painting collectors would get a kick to find out that a painting was commisioned by George Brett, Rollie Fingers or whomever. You may be able to inquire and discover that the painter is someone of note-- I say this as the paintings are of a skill level high enough to be done by a professional and perhaps someone we've heard of.

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01-27-2007, 07:07 PM
Posted By: <b>Ryan Christoff</b><p>David,<br /><br />I appreciate your input, but I'm not asking if it was a fair price. I'm asking if it's worth less than it would be had the NFL HOFer actually painted it. I agree that it's a fair price, but "fair price" isn't really a meaningful term in this situation. <br /><br />If I had bid on and won something for $500 that I thought I could sell for $2,000 and it wound up being materially different than it was described which made it so I could only sell it for $600, you could still say it was a "fair price." But I might have had better use for that $500 and never considered placing a bid under those circumstances. <br /><br />Hopefully that adds some clarity to what I'm asking. <br /><br />-Ryan<br /><br />

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01-27-2007, 07:26 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>To me it would depend on where the painting was displayed. Apparently McDonald has provided paintings for the Heisman Trophy club, Universty of Oklahoma and the Baseball All-Star Game. If your painting was made for such prestigous display, that would more than make up for the lack of it being painted by McDonald. Any time a painting has been displayed in a museum or at a university or such, that will raise the value significantly.<br /><br />I would contant McDonald Enterprises and see who/what the painting was made for. If it was for the All Star Game or such display, you would have no financial concerns. This information may even raise the value in collectors' eyes.

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01-27-2007, 09:37 PM
Posted By: <b>scgaynor</b><p>Ryan, I understand your concern. I just sent you an e-mail to see how you want to proceed.<br /><br />Thanks<br /><br />Scott

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01-28-2007, 10:36 AM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Ed<br /><br />Simply because Flood writes in his autobiography that he painted something does not make it true. As well, simply because another author such as Snyder writes the contrary does not make it false. However, Snyder presents some fairly compelling evidence that Flood's public status as an oil artist was driven by marketing, rather than talent. <br /><br />At page nine of the book, Snyder states that the King portrait that was donated to the White House was signed by someone other than Flood. The source he quotes is Judy Pace Flood (Flood's second wife), from a May 19, 2005 interview. There is nothing in the book to indicate that she would have any reason to not tell the truth, as she is later given much credit for turning Flood's life around.<br /><br />(This part is a little confusing from Snyder. Later on, he indicates that the portrait artist would paint the portrait, and Flood would simply sign his own name to them. It's not clear from the book whether the actual artist signed his (or her) own name, or Flood's. ) <br /><br />Snyder states that Flood was adept with a pencil and ink pad, but could not paint oils: "Instead, he sent photographs of his subjects to a Burbank-based portrait artist who enlarged the photographs and simply painted over them."<br /><br />The artist is later identified at page 325 of the book as Laurence Williams: "Except to Karen [Brecher]and a few family members, Curt kept up the illusion that he was painting the portraits". Williams is also quoted from a telegram that "'I have one former professional football player that has been associated with me for 9-10 years, and he has made a little over $80,000 this past year'. Williams was alluding to former NFL wide received Tommy McDonald." Snyder indicates that he has a copy of that telegram on file.<br /><br />From an interview Snyder had with Karen Brecher (who lived with Flood for six years), he quotes her as asking Flood if he could have painted a portrait from scratch and Flood replied no.<br /><br />As I've indicated, the book is excellent, extensively researched and footnoted, and does present a sympathetic view of Flood, who endured much personal tragedy and stress in his fight against the reserve clause. Snyder's research of Flood's art business is not done to denigrate Flood, but to help us try to understand the complexities of the man's character, why he chose to fight organized baseball, and the toll it took on his personal life.<br /><br />Max<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

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02-25-2007, 10:39 AM
Posted By: <b>Ed Ford</b><p>Max, after your last post I had to read the Flood book.The book is very interesting and very well researched. There certainly is a basis for the author's opinion that the Flood did not do his own paintings but I don't believe the proof is conclusive but is persuasive. I am looking at my Martin Luther King print of the painting by Flood as I type this post. I want to believe Flood painted the original, that McGwire never did steroids, that Slaughter did not intentionlly spike Jackie Robinson, that Pete Alexander was not drunk when he struck out push-em-up Tony in the 26 Series. At least no one can diminish Stan the man Musial.

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02-25-2007, 10:41 AM
Posted By: <b>Hal Lewis</b><p>You spoke too soon.<br /><br />Stan Musial's estate just filed papers saying he is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.