Art Found in a Watertown Dumpster Could be Worth Millions

NBC Universal, Inc.

One man's trash became another man's treasure after hundreds of works of art said to be worth millions were tossed out in a local dumpster in Watertown.

“The whole thing was a mystery, and it was like, why, what is this mystery,” George Martin said.

That’s the big question George Martin and his friend Jarrod Whipple asked themselves after going through hundreds of works of art in a dumpster, cleared out of an old barn in Watertown.

"Luckily, it was all protected with plastic and covered, but you know, animals had obviously been nesting in there," he said.

They had no idea their worth, making unwrapping the discovery of artist Frances Hines much more exciting. Hines was known for his intricate canvas and building wrappings.

Waterbury's Mattatuck Museum displayed some of the works of art at an exhibit last year. 

“It makes a really broad statement about this life of an artist that has been forgotten and now has returned to the scene,“ Robert Burns, executive director of the Mattatuck Museum, said.

The property’s new owner, who knows about the story, said he wonders about the other treasures that may be right under his nose.

“We’re constantly looking for something. We have not found anything. Jared and his friends did a good job cleaning up the barn and everything here, so there’s nothing around,” Joe Ainatchi said.

More of Hines pieces will be displayed at an exhibit in Southport in May.

Contact Us