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Visiting Art Galleries as an Undergraduate
Doug Anderson, Alum
Columbia College 1963

Columbia College in the City of New York was the way it was put to us. New York City is a great resource for Columbia students, and as a college student majoring in art history, I haunted the galleries.

When I was about to graduate, my parents wanted to "mark the moment" with a gift, and I took them to the Martha Jackson gallery and pointed at a painting--a $1,600 painting mind you. My parents laughed and said that they were thinking of spending a couple of hundred dollars (on the outside).

I explained that they could buy the painting with a 10% discount and for $100/month. When that didn't work, I suggested that they keep the picture till they tired of it, and then give it to me. That didn't work either.

A few weeks later, they went to the gallery and made the deal.

The painting lived in their apartment until a year after my Mother died. The woman my Father re-married hated it, and he called to tell me that he was delivering my college graduation present--this was 1985 (22 years after graduation). But OK, a deal's a deal, and I still loved the picture.

When the picture arrived, Dale and the kids took a vote and decided that I should sell it. None liked it. So I did.

The good news is that the picture had appreciated, and I wound up with significantly more than they had paid for it. I told my Dad who laughed at the thought that his investment in my art history education had actually born fruit.

The bad news is that I just saw another picture, also from 1958 by Karel Appel. It sold for twice what I got.

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