Friday, October 13, 2006

Finding Rona Jaffe at 14th + 6th.

A NYC woman who was known for her novels, screenplays, and her foundation that supports young female writers passed away in late 2005, left behind an apartment in Upper East Side, which her lawyer came and claimed. Perhaps feeling that her belongings were of no use to him, he threw them out or gave them away. At age 74, Ms. Rona Jaffe did not marry, bore no children, and had no surviving relatives (she was the only child).

A man walked by and discovered that among the books, letters and magazine articles Ms. Jaffe had authored, there was an extensive collection of drawings and illustrations R.jaffe - she signed - had made before she entered book publishing. She had been a regular art contributor to the student newspaper at Radcliffe College, where she attended from age 15 to 19, and kept a record of every piece of work she had published. She sketched often, practiced the figure, and developed eventually a style that is clean, crisp and extremely funny. Her subjects included planets, light bulbs, books, magic carpets, mailbox, the little objects in her everyday life from which she found pleasure. Some were narrative. Almost all were done in black ink. The drawings were small, concise, fun and extremely delightful to view.

This man holds currently the largest collection of art works by Ms. Rona Jaffe. I gladly bought a print for $20.

- What are the limitations and freedom to selling such work, acquired by a total stranger (with the consent of the lawyer) after the person's death?
- Who buys such drawings, that were done by a writer?
- How much is this worth?