A few days ago, I learned that the Media General Art Collection was being auctioned off. That fact denotes another sad "changing of the times".
I was proud to have one of my pastel paintings, "Blue Seas", in their collection. According to the auction house documentation, Media General purchased my painting in 2001. I don't recall from what gallery they got it. It was one of 369 pieces of art in the auction that ended this morning.
Media General owned the Richmond Times-Dispatch that operated out of a building in downtown Richmond, Virginia for years. That same building was once also the home of the Richmond News Leader, the afternoon newspaper for which I served as a correspondent and wrote many feature articles and news stories for nine years.
We were in competition with the Times-Dispatch, so I spent many hours on deadline, on the telephone, and learning lots about being a good news reporter. I worked with John Gunn, an outstanding and very professional editor who made certain that every fact was checked for accuracy. That was a wonderful and valuable experience that helped develop my writing career.
When Media General purchased my painting for their newspaper building, it was especially meaningful to me. The printing presses were long-gone, but the reporters were still there.
Things change. Newspapers vanish. Art moves on. Because it is an auction, the new owner is only a number.