How to Get an 8 Foot by 6 Foot Painting in the Back of a Car

As told by Robert C. Vose, Jr. (1911-1998)

Victor Nehlig (1830-1909)
Pocahontas Saving Capt. John Smith
Collection of the Brigham Young University

In upstate New York during the early fifties, I found a wonderful early American painting, Pocahontas and John Smith by Victor Nehlig. I paid a local dealer $100 for the picture who then smiled as I tried in vain to stuff the 8 foot canvas into the back of my old wooden Ford wagon. I soon realized that it would cost several times the price of the painting to have it trucked back to Boston.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I bought several old whiskey barrels from the general store and nailed them end to end, took the painting off its stretcher, and gently rolled the painting around the barrels, paint side out. I put some screw eyes on the inside wooden roof of the wagon and suspended the roll so it wouldn’t chafe. It stuck out the end several feet, but dry weather prevailed and I steered the Pocahontas-mobile gingerly through the snarls of Boston traffic.

Safely back in her frame and newly cleaned, Pocahontas and John quickly found a new home in a spectacular apartment in New York City. This time, they arrived in a moving van.

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