Waterbury mechanic says he 'stumbled upon lifetime's worth of artwork' in dumpster
Jared Whipple, a hardworking auto mechanic since age 19, is now sitting in the driver's seat.
"I stumbled upon this lifetime's worth of artwork," said Whipple.
Inside a 40-cubic-yard dumpster on his Watertown property, Whipple found the paintings of Francis Hines - who stored his life's work on the property but died in 2016.
Hines became famous for wrapping a number of buildings in New York, like his paintings.
"Three years before he passed away, the owner of the barn in Watertown where he had stored his life work was preparing to sell the property," said art historian Peter Falk.
When Hines died, the estate threw his work into two huge dumpsters. Whipple and his friend George found one of them.
"We started pulling it out of this dumpster not too far from here in this old abandoned barn, and we just fell in love with it," said Whipple.
"He felt that it was morally just wrong to throw away this whole body of work," said Falk.
Falk says Whipple had no knowledge about art but did a lot of research over several years. And that time was well-spent.
"The larger paintings, which are roughly 4 by 6 feet - those are priced at $20,000 to $22,000. The smaller ones around $12,500," said Falk.
All totaled, this find is worth millions of dollars.
Whipple says he contacted Hines' family, who have allowed him to keep and sell the art, which also includes some sculptures.
The artwork will be on display at the Hollis Taggart gallery in Southport next month.