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You can’t take it with you

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Are you a packrat?

Come on, you know you are. Well, just remember, once you kick the bucket, someone is going to go through all that stuff, and they might not understand. The New York Times presents a tale of new home buyers who found a lot of stuff in the attic of a house they bought that had once been owned by artist Arthur Pinajian.

The two men shrugged and peeked inside the drafty single-car garage out back, finding a rotting compost pile of art. There were thousands of canvases damaged by mildew, water and vermin. Then they climbed into the attic and looked briefly — or maybe not so briefly — at the stash of erotic drawings of women.


The buyers hoped to find value in the art stash, but experts say it might come from an unexpected source:

There is no mention of Mr. Pinajian in major compendiums of modern American art, and a Google search of his name and “artist” turned up nothing relevant. After a viewing of several photographs of Mr. Pinajian’s works, Marina Whitman, an art appraiser in New York City, said that it seemed doubtful that they would become “part of the canon of art history.”

But some of his original illustrations for comic books, she added, could have appreciated in value, since the comics themselves have gained status as collectibles. Many comic books that Mr. Pinajian — who also worked under various pen names — helped illustrate in the late 1930s have become collectibles.


A quick google shows Pinajian as the artist on Madam Fatal, Reynolds of the Mounted, that kind of stuff. You see, our kind always remembers, and as long as there is an internet, Pinajian will live on.

  1. That’s a fascinating story. Thanks for posting!

    I’ve just embarked on a massive apartment cleaning project. Mr Panajian’s story will inspire me, I’m sure.

  2. This makes me wonder how many forgotten treasures exist in this country, and what is being done to preserve personal archives.

    As a trainied librarian, I plan to one day create a research collection of my comics. What will happen to the notable collections of Harlan Ellison, Mark Hamill, or Paul Levitz?

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