HomeThe Messy DrawerGoodwill in Maryland Finds Painting Worth $40,600! Was it an Organizer’s Mistake?

Goodwill in Maryland Finds Painting Worth $40,600! Was it an Organizer’s Mistake?

TE.GOODWILL25P2As an organizer, I often take clients’ donations to Goodwill. I rely on the client to know the value of what they own. Occasionally I’ll ask a client if we should sell an item or have something appraised before we simply put it in the donation box. Usually, they say, “Oh, that? It’s fake.”

The story was very different in Easton, Maryland, when a painting worth more than $40,000 was donated to Goodwill in error.

This impressionist street scene, “Flower Market” by Edouard-Leon Cortes, was dropped off at an Easton Goodwill store. An employee noticed the unusual painting and plucked it out of the day’s donations for special attention. The painting featured a gold embossed nameplate bearing the artist’s name and the painting’s title. The employee Googled the artist and compared the signature found on the painting with online sources. Excited the painting might be particularly valuable, Goodwill sent it to Sotherby’s for cleaning, authentication, and auction. Goodwill says that even if the owner didn’t intend to make such a large donation, she is out of luck because donations are not tracked and each is considered a legal and final transaction.

edouard cortes painting (pre auction)

Just imagine, this beautiful work of art might have been yours for $100 at Goodwill.


Written by

Certified Professional Organizer®, Scott Roewer is founder of The Organizing Agency, a professional organization and productivity company devoted to teaching residential and business clients how to increase productivity, save money, and how to live a more organized and abundant life.

An award winning company, in 2013, The Organizing Agency was once again awarded the Angie’s List Super Service award, in 2012 the National Association of Professional Organizers recognized Scott with its top honor, the Founders’ Award, and later the same year, the U.S. Air Force commended his volunteerism, naming him Joint Base Andrews “Hometown Hero.” For more information on Scott’s team and how they can help you, contact the office online or call us directly at 202-249-8330.



Tired of being disorganized?


“11 Things to Discard Before Monday”
Get started immediately with
free organizing strategies*.
11 Things you're guaranteed to not need.
Some are funny while others are meant to stretch you.
Get started today!

Yes! You're ready to get started. Please check your email now to confirm you're not a robot. We'll send over the PDF once you prove you're human.
GMail users - check the 'promotions' tab if you're on your computer. Anyone else, please check your spam folder if you didn't get the confirmation email.