John Thomas Biggers (1924–2001) The Garbage Man, 1944 – paintings, oil on board

Tales of the Dealer:

Some time ago in the 1990’s a classmate of  Dr. John Biggers was visiting Hampton University the school they both attended many years prior. He comes across an early drawing by Biggers that he buys. Upon returning home to Houston he gives the drawing to his daughter and ask her “go show this to John”.

When Biggers sees the early drawing he did as an undergraduate he chokes up a bit, and decides he has to have it. He tells the young lady that in exchange for the drawing she can get anything in his studio that she chooses. 

Her boyfriend at the time tells this story of the offer to a trusted friend who was also an art dealer. The dealer advises him that she should “RUN, not walk” and get what he believed to be his finest work of art at the time, “The Garbage Man”. 

Mistaking Dr. Biggers sentimental attachment for substantial value the young lady declines the offer saying, “if he wants it that bad it must be more valuable than that”. The drawing is still in her possession however “The Garbage Man” is currently in the collection of Crystal Bridges.

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