Some things are too valuable for the price.
On Friday morning, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama received an invaluable gift.
Sam and Barbara Pearson of Ashburn, Virginia presented an original painting by Jean Lake to the museum in honor of Lake, a highly acclaimed Troy folk artist.
The Pearsons chose the Pioneer Museum of Alabama over other museums, including the Smithsonian, because of Lake’s connection to the museum and because it was “the perfect place” for painting. “
Barbara Tatom, museum director and members of the museum’s board, accepted the painting, but with “inadequate” words for such a generous and thoughtful gift.
“There is no way to express our gratitude, but no way,” Tatom said. “Having an original painting by Jean Lake means so much to the museum and to our entire community.”
Tatom said Jean Lake’s artwork embodies the lifestyle that the Pioneer Museum of Alabama also embodies and seeks to preserve for generations to come.
Sam and Barbara Pearson were as grateful for the new home for the painting as the museum board was to receive it.
“The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is where the painting should be,” Barbara said. “We couldn’t be happier.”
Jean Lake’s painting has been part of the Pearsons House for approximately 50 years.
The couple bought the painting shortly after their wedding, and at one point they laughingly said they had other uses for the $ 350.
“But, the painting spoke to us,” Sam said. “With its vibrant colors and so many expressions of joy – the little girl dancing in the yard, the little boy on the swing, so much happiness, even the little one. dog was smiling. Barbara and I couldn’t help but smile as we looked at her.
Bob, a Texan, and Barbara, a New England, met in Turkey and got married in Montgomery where he served Uncle Sam in the Air Force. So their origins were not in the rural south.
However, they were almost fascinated by Jean Lake’s artwork that makes a heart happy.
And, not once, have they regretted spending their “groceries” on painting.
“The Jean Lake painting has hung in our hallway for all these years,” said Barbara. “It has been a very enjoyable part of our life, but now that we have downsized, we want others to enjoy painting as much as we do. The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is exactly where it needs to be. “
Tatom shared articles on Jean Lake with the Pearsons as well as the history of the museum.
“They were delighted to know that the museum also has Jean Lake’s latest artwork,” she said. “It’s a drawing of a mule. The museum is enriched by many original works of art and we are extremely honored to add to this collection through the generosity of Sam and Barbara Pearson.
Jeff Kervin, chairman of the museum’s board, also expressed his gratitude to the Pearsons.
“We are very happy and delighted to have an original painting by Jean Lake that was so closely associated with the history of our museum,” said Kervin. “The annual TroyFest here in Troy was created as the Jean Lake Art Show at the museum. The Troy Arts Council awards a Jean Lake scholarship to a high school student each year.
Jean Lake’s legacy continues and the Pioneer Museum is honored to share this legacy, thanks to the generosity of Sam and Barbara Pearson, said Kervin.