Albrecht Dürer, The Cook and His Wife, c. 1497, engraving, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, previously for sale at Sears for $225, framed. Albrecht Dürer, The Cook and His Wife, c. 1497, engraving, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, previously for sale at Sears for $225, framed.

Get Your Washer, Dryer, and Dürer at Sears

This is a true story.

Between the years 1962 and 1971, you could buy original paintings and prints by artists including Rembrandt and Picasso at Sears.

The department store wanted to change their image and did so, rather aggressively, by selling fine art and hiring Vincent Price to be the spokesperson for the campaign.  They also sold art of a lesser quality, but they had lots and lots of highly valued works of art for sale.

The idea was to create a one-stop-shopping experience for their customers – way before Costco and Target were even a thought.  Also, Price was on a mission to bring fine art to as many people as possible, which, of course, is a point of view with which The Art Minute is very sympathetic.

Together, Sears and Price sold over 50,000 works of art to the American public.

For those of you unfamiliar with Vincent Price, he was an American actor who is best known for his appearances in horror films, such as The Fly (1958), which eventually became cult classics.  Surprisingly, he also was a highly educated art historian, an art collector who donated his large collection to East Los Angeles College, and a gourmet chef.

Click here to see one of the catalogues of The Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art.  You won’t believe your eyes.

Watch the promotional video below:

 

 

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