The man who lives 65 miles south-east of Indianapolis, in Batesville, found the painting featuring seven men playing a game of pool in the town of Oldenburg, also known as the “Village of Spires” because of its old churches.
What happened over the next years is quite amazing. Ronnebaum ended up moving from place to place. When he left Batesville he chose to burn all his possessions that didn’t fit a minivan. The painting survived. At a certain point in time he even had the painting stored in a storage unit. A year ago thieves broke into his home. He had the painting there but the painting was among the items that the thieves chose not to take.
Last week Jesse Ronnebaum paid more attention to the painting and noticed when the light hit the paint just from the right angle the words “Palette and Chisel Club 1910” written in the corner. While searching for more details on the internet he found out that the Academy of Fine Arts named back in 1910 “Palette and Chisel Club” still exists in Chicago. He learned that some well known artists had been associated with the “alette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts”. Because of this Ronnebaum contacted several art dealers in Indianapolis in regards to his painting. Sure enough in the next days he already began receiving offers ranging from $500 to $1500 for the painting.
Jesse Ronnebaum decided to keep the painting for a while and even have it restored professionally. With the help of Indianapolis art dealer Curt Churchman he plans to have the painting listed up for auction and his expectations are to get somewhere from $10000 to $25000. When asked if he would miss the painting the man responded that he sure will but he will find a replacement for it. Then he added: “Watch to see if I pass up a yard sale now”