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Soaring interest in Greenspan portraits
Newspaper says Erin Crowe's unauthorized paintings of the Fed chief stir hearts and open wallets.
August 11, 2005: 11:24 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Alan Greenspan has been called a real piece of work, and now the Fed chairman is a work of art.

Erin Crowe, a 24-year-old University of Virginia graduate, has spent the better part of two years working on unauthorized portraits of Greenspan, The Washington Post said Thursday, with titles like "If You Say So," "I Gotta Tell Ya" and "Humpf."

"I've never had people respond so positively to my work," Crowe told the Post, whose paintings of the Federal Reserve boss have made a stir in Sag Harbor, Long Island, vacation home to many Greenspan-worshipping Wall Streeters.

Interest rates in the paintings are high and rising higher, the report said.

Gallery owner Sally Breen has sold all 18 paintings on display for prices ranging from $1,000 to $4,000, said the newspaper, and one prospective buyer toyed with the idea of commissioning Crowe to create a Greenspan portrait for an office lobby.

"I've never experienced anything like it," Breen told the newspaper. "I had one woman call, I don't know what she did for a living, but said Greenspan was her hero, and she had to have a painting."

So what does Crowe see in the man in the big glasses?

She likes Greenspan, but had no particular interest in him before she started the series, the report said. She has never met him and has no idea if he is aware of her paintings, said the paper.

But aesthetically speaking, he makes a fine muse.

"Partly it's just because his face is so interesting, his lips, his ears, his hair," Crowe explained to the paper.

This latest example of serious Fed chair worship was originally created for show at an arts festival in Charlottesville, Va., the report said. After Crowe's first five painting were an overwhelming hit, Crowe decided it was time to make the Fed head proud and earn some money, according to the Post said.

While surprised and thrilled by how well her paintings have sold, Crowe has found it tough to let her Greenspans go, said the paper.


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Alan Greenspan
Federal Reserve
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