A Missing Painting That Is Worth A Million Dollars Was Found In The Trash!

Elizabeth Gibson admits that she’s not an expert in modern art. However, that didn’t stop her from recovering a brightly-colored painting from the trash on her daily morning walk in Manhattan.

She says she has no clue why she grabbed the painting. There was something about the painting that caught her attention. I’m sure she’s glad she did. It turns out, the painting is actually a 1970 abstract masterpiece by Rufino Tamayo.

Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage. Tamayo was active in the mid-20th century in Mexico and New York, painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences.

The painting that Gibson found in the trash was “Tres Personajes”. It is an abstract depiction of a man, a woman and an androgynous figure in a rich palette of purple, orange and yellow, with Tamayo’s signature rough surface texture, made of sand and ground marble dust mixed into the paint.

The painting was purchased by an anonymous Houston, Texas resident for $55,000 in 1977 as a gift for his wife. It was stolen from a storage warehouse in 1987.

Elizabeth Gibson spent four years trying to learn about the work, eventually learning from the PBS website that it had been featured on an episode of Antiques Roadshow. After seeing the Missing Masterpieces segment about “Tres Personajes”, Gibson and the former owner arranged to sell the painting at a Sotheby’s auction.

Gibson received a $15,000 reward for finding the painting, and a portion of the $1,049,000 it fetched at an auction.

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