July 18, 2015

I Found The Owner Of Page 253

I Found The Owner Of Page 253 
By John R. Greenwood

The title of this post is deceiving. I did not actually find the owner of the painting on page #253 in Jack Lewis’s book “The Hudson River,” they found me. It’s one more great story placed at my feet by the magic of this book. 

For readers of this blog who’ve been following my Jack Lewis journey over the last few years you know how excited I get when I collect another piece to the Jack Lewis puzzle. Trust that my lack of writing on the subject is not indicative of my interest in the subject. Work and personal responsibility have kept my posts and investigations at a minimum.

Until this week.

I recently posted some photographs of our town’s community celebration called Parkfest. It is a one day event full of activities for town residents. It has a carnival flair and it provided some great photo opportunities. When I got home the day after posting the photographs there was a comment unrelated to the post at the bottom. The person leaving the comment stated they had a Jack Lewis painting and that they were having trouble contacting me through the email address I use for the blog. 

Of course I panicked knowing that someone had Jack Lewis “stuff” and they couldn’t get to me to share it. I was on the phone to tech support within seconds. The online tech was the most pleasant customer service representative ever and after telling him my story, (which he genuinely seemed to enjoy) and after exercising extreme patience with me, he solved my problem and then some. Now I had to try and contact the person who left the comment. 

It wasn’t easy.

Many people who comment on blogs do not have a blog of their own. The comment may show a profile page but that doesn’t always lead to an email address, which is what happened here. So, now I had to get my Google engine started. Before you know it I’m on a FB page of the person I think is the wife of the man who left the comment. I go to her Facebook page and leave: a message, my repaired email address, say a simple prayer, cross my missing finger and wait. 

Low and behold.

I get an an answer from another “nicest person in the world.”

This Jack Lewis thing has them falling from the sky. Jack if you’re up there listening I want you to know that just mentioning your name has produced the nicest people this world has to offer; that includes your daughters. Having made phone contact with them has shown me why this entire journey has been blessed with goodwill and cooperation. It’s like a cloud filled with Jack’s spirit is drifting along side me during this discovery of his work. 

Back to my newest “nicest person in the world.” 

I asked her if I could share her story. She said certainly, but would I leave out her last name. 

Here’s Barbara’s, “Jack Lewis” story:

*Barbara’s Email:
“My name is Barbara. I came across your blog about Delaware artist, Jack Lewis. I have an original painting by him, entitled, “MacDougal Alley” (Greenwich Village, New York City) and I also purchased his book, “The Hudson River…Its  a signed copy. So pleased when I realized my painting was on page #253 of the book. I’ve had both for about 10 years and every once in awhile I search the internet for any new information I can find about him. That’s how I found your blog. I knew he had passed a few years ago in York Maine. I loved reading all the information about Jack Lewis on your Blog… Thank you…. Love my painting! 

John (Me) - I responded immediately and expressed my unstoppable desire to know the story of Barbara’s discovery. 

Barbara -
“You are not going to believe where I purchased “MacDougal Alley” ….. A garage sale!! 
I knew nothing about Jack Lewis at the moment I spotted it, my heart started pounding, because I knew it was a GOOD one! I love art and have bought many nice pieces at various garage sales over the years. 

I paid $6.00!! 

Yes, $6.00. Am I lucky or what??? 

When I brought the painting home, I started researching. I found out as much information as I could. That’s when I found his Hudson River book. I had an appraiser come in and look at the painting.”

Barbara now has the painting insured for many more zero’s than $6.00 has. 

I did edit some of our conversation for privacy and respectful reasons. Barbara was gracious and kind by sharing her story. I did not want to place her trust in me at risk. Don’t forget we have never met and only had these brief conversations within a few day period. 

I included the black and white image from Jack’s book along with the accompanying page that mirrors Jack’s interpretation of what he was painting that day. The colored image is a simple photograph of Barbara’s painting in a frame. She apologized for the reflection from the glass. 

With or without the reflection seeing the second original painting to come from this book will definitely highlight the summer of 2015 and it’s only mid July. 

Thank you Barbara, Jack, and “The Hudson River.” 

Time to turn another page…


  1. I love this post John! Stories like this just make my day with their unexpected connection. So glad you found Barbara and learned about her painting!

  2. love your investigative nature and I too really admire the painting. Nice work.

  3. Gives one incentive to check out garage sales for that undiscovered piece of art! -- barbara

  4. I just purchased my first Jack Lewis at a ta sale in Berkshire County, MA. My research also brought me here.