Apr 18, 2018

A trove of 11 drawings by the late outsider artist James Castle was discovered hidden in the walls of his home.

Officials from the town of Boise, Idaho came across the cache of 11 never-before-seen artworks in December while overseeing the “investigative demolition” of part of Castle’s home, which is being preserved as a museum dedicated to the late artist. The Castle estate authenticated the pieces, worth an estimated $75,000, and donated them, along with 50 other works, to the city of Boise. The collective value of the gift is $1.1 million. The discovery of the artworks, which had been hidden by Castle inside the wall cavities of his house, shocked the small preservation team from the Boise City Department of Arts and History. But storing works in unexpected places was something the artist was known to do. “Castle hid his work in unusual spaces,” including in rafters and under barn foundations, Jacqueline Crist, managing partner of the James Castle Collection and Archive, told the New York Times. Castle, who died in 1997, was born deaf and received no formal art training, but eventually rose to fame as a so-called “outsider” artist in the 1950s. The dates of the newly discovered drawings are uncertain, though experts place their creation somewhere between 1930 and 1950.