Giant checks – a personal history

I’ve always loved the theatricality and hokiness of ‘the giant check’

Many years ago, when we created the Museum of Bad Art, it got a tremendous amount of international publicity.  Paintings began arriving at our home from all over the world in hopes that we would accept them into our official collection. 

Like any good museum we had our standards and they were really low.  Only a small fraction of the submitted paintings met our exacting standards and were deemed bad enough for inclusion in the collection.   Eventually we had to deal with a growing problem.  Our entire house was filling up with paintings not quite bad enough for MOBA.  Since people had taken the time, trouble, and expense to ship them to us we didn’t feel like we could just dispose of them.

We hit upon a great plan.  We held a public auction of paintings not bad enough for the Museum of Bad Art with the proceeds to go to the Salvation Army – some of our paintings had been discovered in their thrift stores.

The auction was a huge success.  We had a big crowd in attendance and also had people bidding on the phone from Chicago, New York, LA and England.  We ended up raising more than $2000 selling not-quite-bad-enough paintings – each one with an official “This painting rejected by the Museum of Bad Art” certificate.

When it was all over I was dying to do something with a giant check.  We got local artist Jeanne Kent to paint us an oil-on-canvas giant check for the Salvation Army and we held a press conference with the local TV and newspapers capturing the handing over of the framed giant check for the 6 o’clock news.

I do love giant checks.


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