What if your art was in the MET...
...and you never knew it
The Ted Conrath Project
"The symbolic illustrations by Theodore Conrath only lack color to remind us of Blake."
- The New York Times
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
- Leonard Cohen
"A whole new, wonderful world."
- Robert Yahner
National Arts Club
What if your work sat in collection at the MET and you never knew it? That’s the tip of Ted’s iceberg, an artist in a family of talent, that had no idea of their own power. After seventeen of his pieces were discovered in a thrift store 23 years after his death, the art world would gain a second chance to see a talent that had fallen through the cracks.
This is the search for Ted Conrath, his family of artists, and the power of art in the face of deformity, mental illness, and financial hardship.
Ted Conrath had scarred fingers; a fall on a stove melded the first two on his right hand together like an arthritic putty knife. He would use these fingers to move paint across his canvases, abstracting land, cloud, and sea. Born with spatial impairment, he expressed himself through sculpture and drawing and landed a promising scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, but it was vanquished when Ted had to learn to use his stiff fingers to fire his machine gun at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific. Only one thing could overcome war, malaria and the loss of family: his art.