• Last modified 5538 days ago (Feb. 21, 2009)
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Claude Abel fights for painting

99'er Claude Abel

fights for painting

     Ron Furno of L/395 sent an article from the Idaho Statesman about fellow 99'er Claude Abel of B/394 who is fighting for his state.

     Claude is 83. The newspaper article says he doesn't look like a "tough guy," he's soft spoken and enjoys classic automobiles and cardigan sweaters.

     An art collector purchased a painting from Abel's aunt. He paid $25 to the Salvation Army.

     Abel says the Salvation Army mistakenly took the painting after his aunt's death.

     It has an appraised value of $15,000.

     When the collector who paid $25 refused to return Abel's calls, it "made me made" the 99'er said.

     Abel got made enough to spend $7,000 in legal fees to get the painting back in his family.

     The newspaper ran a color photo of Abel and the painting — an Indian mounted on horseback.

     Abel said the value of the painting was not the major cause of the suit, but it was a family heirloom which never should have left the family. "I knew darned well I was right."

     The artist's work has been compared with Remington and Russell. He was a native Idaho cowboy who often presented his western artwork to friends.

     He gave the painting of an Indian riding a white horse to Abel's aunt in 1932.

     After his long and costly fight which went all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court, Abel won. He said the painting has a lot of meaning to him.

     And, like any 99'er, he fought for what was right.