In the art world, treasure can be defined as a trove of never-before seen artworks, journals written in the hand of the artist, and links to other great artists already on the art-world radar, all found in one cache. From one such find are 54 paintings and sketches by Arthur Pinajian (1914-1999) currently on exhibition at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral-Zorayan Museum in Burbank.
The discovery was made by Larry Joseph, a writer living in California, when he bought a run-down cottage in Bellport, N.Y., on the south end of Long Island. Pinajian and his sister had lived in the cottage for decades while he pursued his painting career in hope of becoming the next great contributor to the scope of painting movements that became so competitive in the 20th century.
Thousands of canvases, drawings, and journals, in varying stages of decay, stored in a porous garage and a drafty attic, were included as part of the sale. They were collectively a novel about a pretty good artist, a decorated World War II soldier, his sacrifices and successes — but just a few of the latter.