Harpo Marx might have played the mute vaudeville brother in the Marx Brothers movies. Arthur Harpo Marx was a complex man with a vast pool of talent. His son the custodian of his estate and memory has set a site dedicated to his father’s life and showcases some of his artwork. The Marx Brothers don’t have a hold of the imagination as they used to many years ago but a wealth of information can be found in this nifty little site of the life of Arthur Harpo Marx.
So the uniqueness of Dad went to work by creating a scheme only he could come up with. Dad decided that he, the artist, would select the people that he wanted to have commissioning and buying his art work. He would paint a picture, usually oils on casonite, and then invite one of his rich friends over to see what he had done. I was there to vouch for the perfection of his madness. Al Hart, who created and was CEO of the then City National Bank, came over to the house one day, and Dad showed him his latest effort. He then asked Al what he thought it was worth in relation to the art community’s standards. Al thought this particular piece maybe could go for about five hundred dollars. Dad said ok. You give me a check out to your favorite charity for three thousand dollars and the painting is yours.