‘View Through Elliot’s Shack’: Tracking Rider’s art sale

By Amethyst Martinez

A $65,000 painting by renowned artist Lois Dodd is one of the first to be sold from Rider Art Gallery’s collection in an attempt to lessen the university’s financial deficit, with no announcement to the Rider community disclosing the sale. Dodd, who agreed to the sale, received no commission from the university. 

James Hartman, senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer, said that the university has no current plans to sell any other artwork, and that a collector reached out to Rider specifically for the Dodd painting. 

The painting, named “View Through Elliot’s Shack,” was once part of an exhibition held at the gallery, and  donated to the university by Dodd, according to past art gallery director and retired Rider professor Harry Naar.

“Most artists who’ve donated the work are really thrilled to have it in the Rider collection,” said Naar. “Which is ironic, because you don’t think of Rider having an art department, let alone having a gallery and having an art collection.”

Dodd’s painting was once hung in the bottom floor of the Moore Library, and was sold to an art gallery who then resold the piece to a private collector who owns other Dodd works, according to Hartman. 

The university came up with the $65,000 value in what Hartman explains was “based on what the collector was willing to pay for it.” 

However, Hartman said that the university has no other plans to sell any artwork from the collection at this time, and only was sold due to the interest of the collector. 

“The gallery reputation was getting well known,” said Naar. “Artists liked the idea that a work was going to be at a university, which is an educational place, and also at a place that was developing a really high reputation.”

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