Here at Etsy, we believe that the story behind an object is often just as fascinating as the object itself. Short Stories is our series dedicated to telling the tales behind extraordinary pieces found or created by Etsy sellers.
I found this piece after responding to an “apartment contents” sale notice in the newspaper. The ad did not mention any specific items, but I knew the apartment was in an older complex located in the storied Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York — there just had to be something cool there. When I got there, I met the daughter of the apartment’s original resident and was told that everything had to go. I had called earlier to ask about any art, and the lady remembered me. She took me to a closet in the master bedroom filled with stacks of framed prints, drawings and paintings wrapped in yellowed 1960s newspaper. The pieces were all by her great-uncle, an artist by the name of Harold Yale Silverman. She told me a little of what she remembered about him. Silverman had studied at the prestigious Cooper Union and the Art Students League in Manhattan during the 1930s and early 1940s before being drafted to serve in WWII. She said these pieces dated from that time and had not seen the light of day for 40-50 years.
These are the moments I live for as a picker here in NYC — finding great pieces by artists forgotten by time and bringing them to the public market for others to enjoy. This particular painting is a unique industrial landscape with great color and composition and a nice hard-edge, graphic look. It is painted on an old masonite board and comes in its original homemade frame.
Have you created or come across an object with an extraordinary story that needs to be told? Email us!