One Degree of Separation



Seeing as the Mount Dora Art Festival is continuing today (and will also end today so it is your last opportunity to come on out and enjoy fine art on display in our beautiful downtown district), I thought I would continue with my fondest recollections regarding some of the artwork my wife and I have collected over the years.

We have an unfortunate tendency to purchase first and inquire later so we have had a few surprises after we bring our artwork home and try to find out a little about its history. (See yesterday’s blog post.)  The painting displayed above was something we were able to acquire as the high bid at a local antique art auction.

I was thrilled to discover that I unknowingly purchased a little bit of Hollywood history (albeit indirectly related.) The painting was signed Gene Grant and, as it turns out, he is an American artist who was commissioned to provide the artwork for the movie “An American in Paris.” In the film, Gene Kelly portrayed a struggling American painter. The pieces he is shown working on or carrying around were provided by Mr. Grant.

As Gene Kelly is one of my favorite movie stars of that era, I was tickled to have one degree of separation between us.  I have a Gene Grant painting. Gene Grant worked with Gene Kelly. Boom. Winner.

I must have shown my enthusiasm too strongly because that Christmas, as my main gift, my wife bought us tickets to go see the Broadway musical version of An American in Paris. The tickets probably cost three times more than the painting. I fell asleep in the second act.

Here’s a photo of our artist Gene Grant in between the movie’s stars, Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.


Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

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