Local collector was featured on PBS show 'History Detectives'

  • Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Edward Lewis can now tell everyone that a collage he found in a local thrift store is indeed a Frank Zappa original appraised at $25,000.
Lewis, a Georgetown art collector, watched himself on the broadcast of a PBS show, “History Detectives” Tuesday evening with friends at Portofino’s Restaurant.
“It was strange seeing myself on national TV,” Lewis said. “But it was fun to watch it with a group and a cold beverage or two.”
As for the painting, he said he wants to hold onto it for a while.
“It’s in a safe at a bank,” Lewis said. “If I do sell it, I hope the actual price is even higher than the appraisal price.”
He explained that many items are sold for more than the amount for which they are appraised.
In the five years since purchasing the collage for less than $5, Lewis lent the piece to a friend, Wayne Bell, who hung it in his entertainment room for a while. Then, Lewis displayed it in his home.
Bell and another friend, Daryl Anderson, who are also collectors, helped Lewis research about the artwork to find its origin.
Lewis called PBS in October and talked with officials with “History Detectives” about the piece and they called him back in November.
He flew to Philadephia, Pa. to tape the segment shown Tuesday.
Bell and Anderson said they are happy for Lewis, but joked that he was just in the right place at the right time.
“He’s lucky that I didn’t go to that thrift shop,” Anderson, a musician with the band Southern Blue, said with a smile.
Bell, who is an art teacher, said Zappa is an excellent artist.
“The collage is a mid-century modern piece,” Bell said.

About Frank Zappa

Zappa, who died in 1993, was a composer, singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and film director known for his experimental, improvisational, and unconventional music which spanned rock and roll, jazz and orchestral genres. His compositions often featured social and political commentary.
A self-taught musician, Zappa began playing drums in rhythm and blues bands before taking up the guitar later in his career. He was involved in the cover designs of many of the 60 albums he produced as a solo artist and with his band, The Mothers of Invention.
Lewis said he has been a fan of Frank Zappa’s eccentric music for many years.
“He was a musical and artistic genius and I’m even more of a fan now.”
To view the program, visit http://video.pbs.org/video.

By Clayton Stairs

Freelance reporter Marla Stroupe contributed to this story.


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