In the illustration “The Priceless Find (Antique Shop)”, the artist Peggy Bacon is satirizing the idea of an antique by both emphasizing the idea of beauty and rarity which is considered directly with an antique as well as point out the literal definition of an “antique”. The artwork, created in 1943, was made in a time where America was preoccupied World War II. This historical detail allows the viewer furthermore to understating the reason why Bacon chose to point out the absurdity of antiques.
Before we can look at Bacon’s message, I must first state why the artwork is a humorous account of a real life event. This illustration was created two years after Peggy Bacon divorced her husband Alexander Brooks (Meng, 18). Though it could be plausible that the antique shop could symbolize of her broken marriage, argued with crackled paint, shattered mirror, and dark atmosphere, but Bacon is a realist (Tarbell, 32). Peggy Bacon was documented in an interview to never create scenes and caricatures but simply draw from her surroundings. Therefore making up a scene to symbolize an event in her life is not valid.
As to why the artwork is a satirical representation of the real scene, I derived this from both Bacons love of satire created during her studies at the Arts Student League and from an excerpt taken from an interview with Bacon. In this interview, Bacon stated the main purpose of a caricature is to heighten the absurdity of its quality (Meng, 18). Though plausible this could