It took Hurricane Katrina for valuable paintings of the late Romolo Roberti to be taken out of the closet and put on public display at the Robert Henry Adams Fine Art Gallery in Chicago.
Romolo Roberti painted mostly midwest scenes, but retired to Gautier, Miss., in 1988 to be near family. He told the family to put his paintings away - as he said an artist's work isn't appreciated until after his death. And so they put his 250 paintings away...until Hurricane Katrina hit and they lost their homes. (But the storage building with the paintings survived.)
Roberti worked in the maintenance department at Cornell University. He eventually moved to Chicago and enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago for formal training.
The exhibit of works is on display until Jan. 8, 2008. It includes a 52-page catalog outlining his work. There are 36 works included in the exhibit.