I would like to share with you my part in helping Claus Presisinger get back to Austria. We can only surmise how Claus came to America. He was born in 1834 and died in 1877 well before I was born. So you ask, how did she come by Claus Presisinger? That story began at my grandparent’s home.
As a child, I grew up with my parents and my grandparents who lived in Willow Grove, PA. My whole family loved to go to my grandparent’s home in the country. They had dogs, cats, two mean white roosters, and some chickens. My grandfather, Carroll Stricklin hung a heavy rope from a tree and fixed a piece of wood onto the rope and we swung until our hearts were content. There was an old stinky outhouse in the back yard and even though there was a toilet in the house, we wanted to use the outhouse. I would watch my grandmother, Ida catch a poor chicken, ring its neck and put it into a bucket of hot water to get off the feathers. One day I was playing in the sand box when my grandmother struck at something in the sand box with her hoe and as I turned to look at her, then the hoe, and then I saw she had beheaded a rattle snake. Thanks to my guardian angel and my Nana, I lived to see another day.
Inside of their house were many things that would interest any child. For instance, they had a stove that was half wood burning and half electric, grandmother made ho-cake on top of the stove, and that stove worked until the day I settled their estate. My grandfather liked to smoke a pipe and had several unique pipes in a pipe stand with an old brass tobacco tin and he even had a spittoon. My grandmother had an old corn cob pipe she liked to smoke.
In the den there hung a large portrait of Jesus or an image the artist imagined he looked like. This picture was hung there in the early 1900’s. It remained on the wall in the exact same place all through my childhood until the 21st century when the home was sold and I took the picture off the wall. Some years later, I decided to take it apart and see if there was anything behind it and to my surprise I found the original painting of Claus Preisinger’s, Italian Boat Scene. At that time, his signature was not legible. In 2016, I took the painting to Alan Avery Art Company to have it appraised.
The research discovered the artist name and also Preisinger was born in Austria, had been a member of the Munich School of Painting and Print, and attended the Salon of Royal Academy.
I wish it had been a Rembrandt and I could have sold it for millions but that not being the case, I tried to make contact with several gallery’s in Austria and received no feedback.
By 2019, I had published my book, The Everything Bagel With a Side of Milk and Honey and had been promoting it through various venues. My book made its way by personal conveyance into China, Brazil, Japan and throughout the US. I was hoping for an opportunity to have a copy taken to Israel. You know when the Holy Spirit got your back, He opens up doors and allowed me to meet Stan and Vickie Owen, pastors of Glad Tiding Church in Jonesboro, GA. Vickie’s brother and his wife, Mary and Roy Kendall had been living in Israel for over twenty years. They have an international ministry throughout the world. She agreed to take my book to Israel. Mary wanted to teach me to speak Hebrew and during our times together, she mentioned she would be going to Vienna, Austria to visit her brother.
I told her the story of Claus Preisinger and noted that his legacy remains in his artistic renderings. I asked her to take him home to Austria. Mary is back in Georgia and reported she had fulfilled my request. What happens now is anyone’s guess but Claus through his art is back in his native land.
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