In Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s not uncommon to see people selling velvet paintings from a parking lot stand. Whenever I passed by these makeshift displays, I always wondered who might buy such paintings. I have an answer. There is one couple in Portland, Oregon who has bought more than 1,000 over the past ten years.
Collecting velvet paintings is an endeavor they take seriously and have a museum to prove it. At the Velveteria Museum, they showcase 300 pieces from their collection that run the scope of velvet painting “art,” Subjects and style vary. From jungle cats to women who smoke, they have it all.
Now that I’ve found out about this place, I do have a heightened curiosity about velvet painting traditions and what are the most popular. I read a review in Portland Picks,( #6 on the list), and Velveteria gets a plug for a fun place to brush up on kitsch. According to the description, paintings have been purchased from as far away as Peru.
It’s amazing to me the various items people collect. If there’s the space to display the goods, there you have it–a museum. Consider the Captain Beany, the guy in Wales who has a museum to honor baked beans. See what I mean?