This once obscure “Funeral Procession” painting, now famous, was brought into notoriety in part by what a 1980’s sitcom?

Here are a few clues before you look at the answer below.

  1. One of the main characters in the series has been in the news recently.
  2. The show was about the trials and tribulations of a upper class family.
  3. A replica of the painting was hung above the family’s living room mantle for nearly the entire eight-season series.


Ellis Wilson, April 20, 1899 – January 1977








The Answer:  The TV series The Cosby Show. 

Funeral Procession is the name of a painting by Ellis Wilson, which went from obscurity to notoriety in 1986, when it was featured heavily in the episode “The Auction” of TV series The Cosby Show. In the episode, Mrs. Huxtable wins the painting at an auction and pays $11,000 for it. She states that the painting was made by her “great-uncle Ellis”. At the end of the episode, Dr. Huxtable hangs the painting over the family’s living room mantle, where it would stay for the remainder of the eight-season series.

In real life, the painting is displayed as part of the Aaron Douglas Collection at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New OrleansLouisiana. Ellis Wilson was born on April 20, 1899 in Mayfield, Kentucky, and died on either January 1 or 2, 1977. In real life, the most he ever got for one of his paintings was about $300.

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Posted in Friday Trivia.


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