One million-dollar Rivera painting discovered in Antiques Roadshow

15 January 2013

During the recordings of the first episode of the Antiques Roadshow’s new season, a lost oil painting by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was discovered. The painting is estimated to be worth around $800,000 to $1 million.

The episode was filmed in Corpus Christi, Texas on January 7. Boston-based auctioneer and appraiser Colleene Fesko, taking part in PBS’s Antiques Roadshow identified the painting by one of the best-known Mexican artists Diego Rivera (1888-1957). The painting was brought to light by Rue Ferguson, a local resident. The painting dates to 1904 and is titled "El Albanil," and has set an appraisal record for the Antique Roadshow program, which has been on air since 1997 in the United States.

According to Ferguson his great-grandparents originally purchased the work in Mexico round 1930 and passed it on to his parents, who thought it was a fake. They then kept the work in storage, unaware of its true value. This painting, made when Rivera was only 18 years old, holds particular importance because it shows a young artist of note still developing his craft.

Ferguson realized the weightiness of the piece and decided the work likely needs to be in a museum where everybody can look at it.

Watch the first episode: Wednesday, January 23 2013 - 8:00pm - WNJN (PBS)

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