An Inheritance to Treasure

The Rickie Report is pleased to share the solution to a mystery we were involved with over the past few months.  The following is a true story. The names and locations of the people have been changed to protect their privacy.

The Rickie Report received an email from a woman in the midwest.  It is not unusual for us to find queries about a specific artist or type of art in our mail box, but this one was particularly poignant.  Jeannie’s mother had recently died.  She and her brother were going through their mother’s home deciding what they would keep and what would be sold or given away.

Jeannie’s brother found a painting with Jeannie’s name  and “1976” written on the back in their mother’s handwriting.  What was it?

To Jeannie’s amazement, the artwork was something she had never seen in her parents’ home.  It was pretty to look at and was signed by Edna Hibel.  Having no idea who the artist was, Jeannie went to the internet.  And in her search, she found an article recently written in The Rickie Report about Edna (January 6, 2012).

We suggested that Jeannie send a photo of the art work to the Edna Hibel Museum in Jupiter, FL. to help solve the mystery of what the painting was worth.  But how did her mother get the piece and why was it never hung in their childhood home?

Jeannie and her brother remember their parents traveling to the Palm Beach, FL area once a year when the company her father worked for would give its managers an all expense paid trip to thank them for their hard work.  While the men played golf, the company would take the wives to local museums and points of interest.  While the other wives accepted a fur coat or piece of expensive jewelry, Jeannie’s mother chose a piece of artwork by Edna Hibel.  She was not a showy person.

Through a course of emails,  Jeannie’s pleasure at finding the answers to this mystery has given The Rickie Report a sense of satisfaction.  She loves Edna’s work and is hanging new found art, worth over $20,000 in her home.  A reminder of her mother’s values.  “I cherish it,” she shared.