SAN DIEGO (AP) — A donation center in San Diego has received a landscape painting that turned out to be a rare work by early 20th century wildlife artist John Fery that’s worth more than $20,000.
A worker at the St. Vincent de Paul Village charity told KNSD-TV that while unloading a truck full of donation items recently, he was struck by the artwork’s midcentury frame.
The painting of a snow-covered mountain over a lake was taken to an appraiser, who determined it was an original painting by Fery.
“It’s like finding a treasure,” Alejandro Miranda said. “We go through many, many trucks every week, every day and we don’t know what we’re going to find from one day to another.”
Fery was commissioned by the Great Northern Railroad in the 1910s to create landscape paintings that served as advertisements for travel through the northern regions, according to the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
The back of the painting includes the letters “GNRR,” which stands for the railroad company, said Jason Hanks, whose company Cal Auctions will auction the artwork on its website through July 16.
Proceeds from the sale will support St. Vincent de Paul Village’s programs for the homeless.