Human beings are curious by nature. Some more then others. I once asked a girlfriend what she did on her recent beach vacation. She told me that she sat by the pool all day and “people-watched”. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I have to admit that some of her stories were particularly colorful.
We often notice exceptionally fashion-forward ladies while they shop. As they peruse the merchandise, onlookers are noting her choices. As she steps away, they flock to follow in her footsteps and grab whatever she approved. I thought if I ever own a shop, I will hire her to simply browse.
Today I was walking through a local antique shop. I enjoy the myriad of flashbacks that only objects from my youth can stir. From across the store, I saw a stately gentleman studying something. I did not give it much thought. As I turned the corner of the next aisle, he was still there and in deep concentration. My curiosity is starting to pique. He was moving in close to take a good look at the piece on the wall. Perhaps studying the paint strokes of a talented local artist? Maybe he has discovered the work of a famous painter that has been stored in someone’s attic for generations? I was growing more inquisitive, as he continued to examine the piece.
Trying not to seem obvious, I sauntered down the next aisle. It was full of your general run-of-the-mill relics. Nothing compared to whatever was inevitably at the end of the aisle! He was still there as I approached. He was now standing back, as if to get the whole picture in view. He even had his hand gently scratching his chin. He was contemplative and educated. A true art savant!
I dabbled around with an unusual vintage smoking stand to kill time. Actually the smoking stand was something that I just would have walked by without a second look. But it was a cool sign of times past. It even plugs in and lights up for evening smoking parties. Very Gatsby.
Eventually the gentleman pulled himself from the piece, to no doubt finalize his purchase. I am sure he has the perfect spot for the masterpiece in his home. Maybe over the fireplace in his library or the guest suite in his mountain cabin?
As a student of Art History, I have to admit that I do still enjoy studying artisans. I appreciate the passion and creativity that goes into one’s work. I personally look to buy art that has a story and is not sold bulk in retail markets. Antique stores are a great way to find such treasures.
Onward to the end of the aisle. I turned with anticipation and there it was in all it’s vintage glory. Although certainly not what I had expected. It was a poster featuring Ann Sheridan and Veronica Lake in their skivvies selling diet pills. I found myself coming in close to read the details. I also found myself stepping back to give the poster a full viewing. Then I slipped away quickly. I would not want any onlookers to get the wrong idea.