When artist Harold Altman died in 2003, he left behind an estate consisting of more than 500,000 pieces of artwork. Now, 19 years later, his daughter is faced with the task of figuring out what to do with it all
Harold Altman was a prolific artist whose work brought him worldwide acclaim. His pieces can be found in the world’s top art museums and private collections. When he died in 2003, his thriving, prosperous career came to a screeching halt. For the past 19 years, the remnants of his eclectic life and career have been gathering dust in his former studio, a converted 19th-century frame church in rural Pennsylvania. This trove includes personal correspondence with cultural icons including Jackie Kennedy, Marc Chagall, and the Trump family, decades’ worth of letters and family photos, an eccentric collection of toys and treasures, and the staggering amount of his prints, paintings and drawings left behind: a collection surpassing 300,000 pieces. Now, the task of excavating it all has fallen to his daughter, Jessie. But doing so requires her to uproot her family, and take a detour from her chaotic life in order to sort through her father’s abandoned home and studio. Part-historical, part-personal, this story will follow Jessie as she veers off-course and interrupts her life to time-travel through 80 years of her father’s complicated, celebrated, and tumultuous life in an attempt to reconcile the man he was with the legacy he left behind.
Grants & Awards
- Recipient, 2019 LEF Moving Image Fund Pre-Production Grant
- Doc-a-chusetts Pitch, 2019 Salem Film Festival