Woman's mission to reunite painting with peregrine falcon artist

Graham Austin Ely artist painting

Liz Wurtzler is looking to return a painting of a woodcock (left) to Graham Austin (right), around 30 years since he gave it to her family. - Credit: Liz Wurtzler/Graham Austin

A woman who lost both her parents is aiming to reunite a painting with the original artist around 30 years since he gave it to her family. 

Graham Austin’s house was being decorated and pointed by Liz Wurtzler’s father, and instead of paying for the job in cash, he lent him a painting as a reward for his work. 

Liz, who grew up in Soham, believes the work was done in Ely around “30 to 35 years ago. 

“My father passed away seven to eight years ago and my mum passed away in May, but my younger brother remembers doing work on the house. 

“We were clearing through her things and came across the painting and thought maybe we will sell it, but we didn’t know who was interested in it if there is a market.” 

After seeing Graham’s name on the back of the painting, Liz wanted to learn more about the artist and found that he had painted a peregrine falcon at Ely Cathedral in an article by this newspaper. 

As well as finding out more about the painting, Liz is also looking to sell the work to help cover her mother’s funeral costs. 

Graham Austin peregrine falcon Ely Cathedral

Graham Austin painted one of the resident peregrine falcons at Ely Cathedral last year. - Credit: Graham Austin

Most Read

“I happened to have seen Graham’s name when he painted the peregrine falcons,” Liz said. 

“The painting is one of those things we think we must get the story of that. I have no idea on what it could be worth, probably thousands.” 

Graham first produced a painting of a peregrine falcon in August last year, one of many works he has produced in 50 years as a wildlife and aviation artist. 

Liz, who now lives in the West Midlands, decided to take action with the painting after both her brothers chose not to keep it. 

But although the ultimate goal would be to sell, there is something she would like to do, too. 

Graham Austin woodcock painting

The painting was gifted to Liz Wurtzler's late father by Graham Austin after he did work for the wildlife and aviation painter. - Credit: Liz Wurtzler

“It would be great to speak to him as there is more to the story than we know, so it would be lovely to hear that,” Liz added. 

“My parents were trying to find a customer’s address in London when they ran an iron and shirt delivery service, and at random, asked Stephen Fry where to go and that helped them, so you never know.

“Both of my brothers were made redundant because of Covid, so it’s a situation they would not want happening to themselves, but we’d like to sell it so they don’t have to worry about their situation.”