“Behind a door? Behind a door.”
Back in 2013, a Diego Rivera painting worth about one million dollars, (that’s a 1 with 6 zeroes behind it) was appraised on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow.” It was revealed that at one point, the painting had been sitting behind a door in owner Rue Ferguson’s home. Just sitting there, collecting dust. Ferguson, who owns it and brought it to be appraised, got it from a great-grandparent who bought it in Mexico some 80 years ago.
After relatives were erroneously told it was a fake, it was put in storage and left to the elements. Ferguson says he knew about Rivera, but didn’t really know the significance of the world famous Mexican artist. You know, Diego Rivera, the lover, mentor and on-again off-again husband of Frida Kahlo?
Titled “El Albañil” or “The Bricklayer,” the painting is one of Rivera’s earliest works. Rivera was only 18 years old when he painted this for a competition, which is now seen as a turning point in Rivera’s career. The painting also features Rivera’s favorite subject at the time, the workers of his homeland.
Although it was not in pristine condition and needed some restoration, the piece was still in million dollar shape when Ferguson brought it to “Antiques Roadshow.” The painting is now in museum condition and has been displayed most recently at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Check out the video to see the owner’s eyeballs pop out of his head when he hears the quote.