"She just wanted to show me some French etchings." The Thin Man by Hammett

I’ve taken to showing my Hubert etchings to anyone that shows a glimmer of interest. A tad disconcerting for my husband who would much prefer that I occupy my time getting back into the 9 to 5 grind instead of playing host to a procession of onlookers parading through the Hubert gallery I set up in the upstairs hallway of our house. But showing my etchings has finally paid off.

The print expert at the library who graciously accepted my proposal to view my etchings up close and personal kindly agreed to meet with me last week. Fearful perhaps that in my overly enthusiastic state I would show up with a U-haul in tow unloading crates of Hubert’s work, he tactfully suggested bringing two or three examples of Hubert’s works for him to examine. But thrilled at the prospect of finally speaking in person with someone knowledgeable on the subject I set out with a dozen etchings in my bag and enough excitement to propel me up the hundreds of steps to the third floor print room of the imposing historic building.

A self-described bibliophile, I gawked at the reams of beautiful leather-bound books lining the wood paneled walls while I waited for the front-desk librarian to summon the print expert. Expecting a bespectacled, bow-tied, bearded gentleman I was greeted by a man who more closely resembled a big- screen star than someone who spends his time pouring over works of art. Distracted by musing about which actor would best play his part should they ever shoot a movie about the NY Public Library, I  quickly regained my focus remembering my mission and proceeded to dress the large wooden library table with my dozen etchings.

Unfortunately, the library has no record of Hubert in their archives. Although we still don’t know who Hubert is, we now know conclusively who Hubert is not. Hubert is not Alfred Hubert nor is he Hubert Robert having been incorrectly identified as both on occasion. After examination and discussion, it was determined that most likely Hubert was a souvenir artist (and a pretty good one at that) which explains why his work shows up all over the world. It also explains why I’ve had negative responses from the various museums I’ve contacted. Apparently I’ve been barking up the wrong tree. Looks like I need to zero in on long established antique shops and souvenir shops in the Paris area. And my search gets more and more difficult. But on a positive note I now have a new direction, and, thanks to the very charming print expert, I finally feel validated in my search…

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