Although she exhibited her artwork in galleries and competitions around the nation, Virginia Terpening spent most of her life painting in relative obscurity in the northeastern Missouri hamlet of Lewistown (pop. 530). Now, six years after her death, hundreds of those paintings have been unearthed in the dilapidated trailer she called home. The pieces, dating from the 1930s through the 1970s and influenced by the works of Thomas Hart Benton and other famous 20th-century artists, go up for auction this month for what could be a small fortune.
For more on the life and art of Virginia Terpening, read this week's RFT feature story,