American born artist Charles Deas briefly made a name for himself in the New York art scene before fading into obscurity. At his peak, he was a well respected artist whose images of Native American’s got him elected as an associate member with The National Academy of Design in New York in 1839. The enigmatic Deas suffered from mental illness and was institutionalized at the age of 29 until his death at 48 and his paintings were lost.
The New York Times reported that many of Deas paintings were recently discovered and are currently hanging in the Denver Art Museum. This being the first post factum of Deas’s work, curators at the museum are genuinely excited, but Carol C. Clark, an art history professor, who found the lost art is especially excited saying in an interview, ‘“If we’d tried to do this show 30 years ago, half of these works would not have been here.”
She found the lost work in some unlikely places. One painting, perhaps his most famous, called “Long Jakes, the Rocky Mountain Man,” was found under a bed. Another was found in an unopened wooden crate which was sent to Minneapolis from New York City in 1945.
The Charles Deas show runs November 28 and features 39 paintings. Professor Clark is currently on the hunt for 50 more unaccounted for Deas works.
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