Art Director of Philadelphia Gallery Turns Drawings Found Forgotten in Antique Shop into Next Big Thing

Claire Iltis at her desk
Image via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Claire Iltis, associate director at Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, turned drawings she found forgotten in an antique shop into the next big thing, writes Zoe Greenberg for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Iltis stumbled onto the drawings that looked like other-worldly collages in dusty storage bins in upstate New York. Since then, the art labeled with a Dorothy F. Foster signature has made its way onto the posters of Outsider Art Fair’s annual show, proving the powerful reputation of the Philadelphia gallery.

It also shows how a good story can make long-ignored art popular. That is reflected in the price of the drawings. The antique shop was selling them for $5 and now they sell for $1,000.

Fleisher/Ollman Gallery built its reputation on “outsider art,” made by self-taught artists who never showed their work professionally.

Foster received many rejection letters from museums and galleries during her life, which were found by her grand-nephew, Robert Young. Now, her works were the subject of a solo show at Fleisher/Ollman in the fall and with another showing at Outsider Art Fair in March.

“Now after she’s dead,” said Young, “everybody’s going goo-goo over all her stuff.”

Read more about Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Stay Connected, Stay Informed

Subscribe for great stories in your community!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.