By David Rogers. July 27, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — It is said that every picture tells a story. When it comes to art collecting in the High Country, there seems to be a story behind every painting, especially when it comes to Elliott Daingerfield. For this story, one woman’s tragedy is someone else’s happy outcome.
Daingerfield is considered to have been one of North Carolina’s most prolific artists. His ties to Blowing Rock are unmistakable since he reportedly owned or built three different properties during his lifetime, much of which was spent here. Those properties included Edgewood Cottage, what is now Westglow Resort, and Wildwood.
Given his Blowing Rock connections, it is only natural that Daingerfield’s work would get the attention of collectors in the region, as well as area museums and galleries.
Tim Miller, owner of Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery is one of those experts on Daingerfield, and frequently fields calls from collectors interested in acquiring Daingerfield pieces — or having reason or need to sell some of his art.
A 70-something Charlotte woman was recently diagnosed to be terminally ill with cancer. She happens to have owned nine Daingerfield paintings, sketches and pastels. With no heirs, she wanted to find a good home for her artwork. A friend, who was also chummy with a family member of Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery staff member Alex Cirulis, heard the woman’s wish and told her about the Blowing Rock gallery, describing it as expert in all things Daingerfield.
It was a delicate job to reframe them.
Almost six months later, Ms. Cirulis was manning the store when the woman came in with her story of nine paintings she wanted to sell. She negotiated a deal with Miller, who promptly drove to Charlotte to pick them up and professionally transport them back to Blowing Rock.
Cirulis explained to Blowing Rock News on Thursday, “The paintings, sketches and pastels were all in very good condition, but a lot of work needed to be done with the framing. I think that original framing was done maybe back in the 1950s, so it was a delicate job to reframe and mount them.
“There were a couple of sketches that were unframed,” Cirulis added. “When we first looked at them, unframed, they really didn’t have that much of a visual impact, at least for me. But when mounted and framed properly it is a different story altogether. Last Saturday we completed the mounting and framing of a double-sided piece, with a pastel on one side and a sketch on the other. It sold that same night during a show we were doing for another artist.”
In fact, of the nine Daingerfields that Miller acquired, six have been sold already and the gallery hasn’t even had them a week and a half. Astonishingly, one of the prize pieces of the collection, a very large oil on canvas, remains unsold. It is titled, “Wash Day.”
Another available piece is titled, “Raging River,” and Cirulis noted to Blowing Rock News that descendants of Daingerfield believe it is a study of Linville Falls, or at least of Linville Gorge.
Miller, of course, was one of the first calls made by the auctioneer who was charged with selling the long lost Daingerfield, “Twilight,” that stayed for well over 40 years inside the backing of a mirror in Pebble Beach, California.
EDITORS’ NOTE: For the Blowing Rock News story on “Twilight,” CLICK HERE.
“This has been a good year for Daingerfield’s work,” Cirulis observed. “Just this year alone, just since January, we have sold almost 20 of his paintings or sketches or other studies.”
“We paid a lot of money for these nine pieces of art,” Miller admitted to Blowing Rock News, “but at the same time we got a good enough price by buying all of them at once that we can offer them to collectors at what are arguably below market prices. Large oil on canvas works of Daingerfield like “Wash Day” are in many cases selling for upwards of $50,000 each. But we have “Wash Day” listed at $32,000. It is not all about the money. It is also a labor of love and we love to see these really good pieces go into appreciative hands.”