Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lester Van Winkle at Diversity Thrift

Lester Van Winkle
Look at this print I bought at Diversity Thrift today. It's a 1981 signed, dated, and titled (No Bother) artist's proof by Lester Van Winkle, inscribed with thanks to someone (I forget the exact words right now); it must have been a gift. It cost fifteen dollars but it was a white tag special so it was twenty-five percent off of that.

This is my second happy Diversity Thrift find, the first one was a Tom Harte painting two months ago. I need to rummage through their more often. Actually, I bought three other little prints today also, but I will scan them and show them later.

FYI to Non-Richmonders: Lester taught in the VCU Sculpture Department for something like thirty-five years, he just retired a couple years ago and I think he's moved to Texas. I've never met him, but here is a post about him on a former student's blog.

FYI to Everyone, Probably: Lester was included in the 1973 Whitney Biennial.

Man, there are probably some lessons to be learned here, like never give anything away. Sort of depressing to know you can go from the Whitney Biennial to a Diversity Thrift white tag special.


Bill Gusky said...

Congratulations, good find!

artie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I love lester said...

Lester is a fantastic artist! Great find. I remember seeing one of my undergrad teacher's prints at a yard sale in a different city. It made me really sad. But it happens to big fancy money artists too. Think about all those hedge funders selling off art.
those artworks are unloved too.
And now it has found a place with a believer.
It went on a circuitous route to find the right home.

Justin Lincoln said...

From what I've gathered Lester is still in and out of Richmond occasionally. He was a great and well-loved teacher.I'll try to float him an e-mail about your post.

Kriston said...

Whoa, that is something.

Kai said...

Lester and I never saw eye to eye during my time at VCU. After my first studio visit, the one where he told me he couldn't talk about the work because of the size of some screws I had used, I hated him and did anything I could to avoid talking with him. All my avoidance plans failed and we ended up talking a lot. Long story short-Over the course of two years I fell in love. I learned more from his tearing me a new one than I ever got from any of the many quality studio visits I had in that time.
Anyone who's attending the CAA (College Art Association) conference in Boston this year can catch Lester giving his acceptance speech for some huge award they've bestowed upon him.
Martin, have you ever seen a copy of "Lester's Laws"? If not, I'll try to hunt down my copy. It would change your life.

Justin Lincoln said...

Oh please enlighten us with Lester's Laws. Seriously...

Mo Neal said...

Just stubbled on your site... I just stayed with Lester and Donna two weeks ago. They are "wintering" in Farmersville, TX and return to Deltaville, VA in spring. His old email via VCU is still good.
I was at VCU from 88-91 for MFA and although Lester was not on my committee, he was in my studio as often as I could get him there.
He will be in Boston and CAA gave him the Outstanding Educator Award!

Jeremy said...

This work is awesome! I'm actually Lester's nephew in Tennessee, and have always found him to be my most fascinating family member. I hope to see him again very soon, maybe I can find a work for my own walls. I know this is an old blog, but I just now came accross it and maybe I can breath some life into it.

Martin said...

hey jeremy, i was pretty happy to find that print for sure.

are you in or around knoxville? my friend tim mike martin has a gallery there called the basement gallery. stop in and say hi.


Sandi Van Winkle said...

I'm a Van Winkle in Knoxville. A working artist/illustrator. I would love to see a copy of Lester's Laws. I will need to research Lester a bit. And I'm wondering if I may be related to Lester.
Thrift stores are great places to find really good art. Sad sometimes and I always wonder how anyone could part with some of the objects, especially those inscribed. I must try to make to the Basement Gallery soon. Kudos on your great find. -Sandra Van Winkle

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