Our cover this month, “Hill Street” (30 in. by 20 in.) by Wayne Thiebaud, sold for $20,000 at Christie’s recent Prints and Multiples Sale in New York on July 15, 2014. Considered a member of the Pop Art Movement, Thiebaud’s works were included in the groundbreaking “New Painting of Common Objects” exhibit in 1962, alongside such Pop Art luminaries as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, Edward Ruscha and Robert Dowd.
Thiebaud, however, was never truly comfortable being placed in such company. His work slightly predated that of the others, casting him more as an influence than a member of the Movement. Further, he abhorred labels like “fine art” and “commercial art,” instead insisting that he was “just an old fashioned painter.” Though Thiebaud’s work often depicted objects of mass culture, particularly items commonly found in diners or cafeterias, his choice of subject matter seemed to arise more from a genuine fascination with the mundane items themselves, rather than the statement their depiction might represent.
Estate planners must share a similar appreciation for the mundane aspects of their craft. Though creating complex plans and attempting new techniques may be exhilarating, the more yeoman labors of careful document drafting and consistent client communication are where we can often do the most good.