Last fall Jenny got a call from her dad that he had gotten a contract to clean out a 10,000 square foot warehouse, and wanted to give her the first chance to see if there was anything there she wanted. I've learned never to ignore the possibility that anything this man does might not turn into an adventure, so I was in. When we got there it was 10,000 square feet. Of ammonia jugs, bleach, curtain rods, water bottles, light bulbs, wire hangers... you see, the man had owned a surplus department store called Insurance Liquidators, and had a couple of decades of junk stockpiled. Now, I like bleach as much as the next guy, so I did grab a few jugs, but after all it only costs a dollar a gallon, so we wondered if it was even going to be worth the drive out there. Jenny's dad was trying to convince her to take all kinds of useless items, and I could see she was getting annoyed with him, so I used the opportunity to sneak off into another part of the warehouse, where I discovered an office. Finally, I thought, if any treasure has been left behind it would surely have been deposited here. Unfortunately, after a few minutes I was unable to unearth anything more interesting than a stack of old country music records. Oak Ridge Boys, Slim Whitman, the obligatory Engelbert Humperdink. Also, it was cold, and the kids were in the car. The treasure hunt had turned into an ordeal. I needed to find something, anything, to justify the drive out there. Then I saw this ...
I was initially excited by the possibility that the piece might have been done by Friedrich Schroder Sonnenstern, a German Outsider artist who did work I find very unique and appealing. It fits roughly into his style, but it just wasn't right. I was NOT the proud owner of an original Friedrich Schroder Sonnenstern
Michael Werner Gallery
Which left only one other Schroder in my Google search results... Henner Schroder. A glass artist. A glass artist? Surely this is a promising lead, I thought to myself. And since Henner Schroder is alive and working in the Northwest, I thought I had a good lead, and contacted him with a picture of my art.
And he disavowed the piece. Said it wasn't his.
What choice do I have but to believe him? I was unable to find the signature of either artist to make a comparison, but here's a piece by Henner Schroder...