Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Sears-Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art

October 1962 was an important month for many reasons.

For starters, in 1963 that month would be called Rocktober. But 1962 was not about rock. It was about roll. Rolling to Sears to get a painting.

Man that was a good segue. I think I may print it out and frame it.

Since the beginning of time (actually 1895) Sears has sold art to the masses. Still, in 1962 they noticed that most of the general public did not own any fine art.

So they decided to scare the hell out of the American public.

Vincent Price was selected by the board of trusties to 'seek out little old ladies and suck the blood from their necks... then sell them art.'

Price later explained to them that he was actually only an actor, not Dracula. He also explained that he had never played Dracula. He also apologized (in advance) for his work on Michael Jackson's Thriller album.

Luckily for Sears, Price was a connoisseur of fine art and had collected art and lectured on the subject.

Price picked out the paintings for the collection. Sears originally wanted to put his name in the corner. Vincent balked at this suggestion and the executive said "I guess we can put a price on this painting."
Vincent corrected him "My first initial is 'V' not 'A.' You can't put V. Price on this painting."
Moments later he realized that was supposed to be a joke and he laughed and laughed. They later put a price on the painting.

Prices ranged from $10 to $3,000. Each painting came with the same quality guarantee that Sears puts on its other products.

The program ended in 1971. In the years between Sears customers bought over 50,000 pieces of fine art and celebrated 9 Rocktobers.

11 comments:

  1. Just one of the many reasons Vincent Price was cool.

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  2. Now it feel like my home needs some Sears-Vincent art.

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  3. Upside Down Calculator Man11/17/2005

    You can spell "Vincent" on the calculator. Just type 7129324 and hold it upside down.

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  4. I vote for a referendum on this art! Who is with me?

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  5. I M Da' Bomb11/17/2005

    Did you know that along with being a artist who painted for Sears that Vincent (or Vinnie) was an actor, writer, and gourmet? He was born in St Louis, Missouri. He traveled through Europe, studied at Yale, and became an actor. He made his screen debut in 1938, and after many minor roles, he began to perform in low-budget horror movies such as House of Wax (1953), achieving his first major success with House of Usher (1960). Known for his distinctive, low-pitched, creaky, atmospheric voice and his quizzical, mock-serious facial expressions, he went on to star in a series of acclaimed Gothic horror movies, such as Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). This movie was his last movie because after it was filmed he proclaimed "If Sears doesn't want my art, then the American people will suffer with out me in the movies!" He then laughed his trademark laugh.

    He abandoned films in the mid-1970s, going on to present cooking programs for television - he wrote "A Treasury of Great Recipes" (1965) with his second wife, Mary Grant - but he had two last roles in The Whales of August (1987) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). He also recorded many Gothic horror short stories for the spoken-word label Caedmon Records.

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  6. Jim Shorts11/18/2005

    Foul! Foul! I know that we are all upset about the war, but you can't be a bomb!

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  7. Mrs. Ashton Kutcher11/18/2005

    I bought one of these paintings for my husband, Mr. Ashton Kutcher. He prefers the Christopher Lee collection, however.

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  8. Racist Hal11/18/2005

    I hear that Vincent Price is part eskimo so I wouldn't put one of these in my house. Yuck.

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  9. Mr. Fuji11/18/2005

    Oh, this Vincent Price thinks he is so big! Well, he won't be when Don Muracco drops an paintbrush on him Monet-style.

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  10. Swear to god, my folks have one of these paintings.

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  11. Bob Peterson says-I have one of the original works of art from the collection. It is still in the originalframe and has three original Vincent Price Collection labels on the back. It's priceless, it's a keeper.

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