Todd Weyman, an appraiser at the show, recognized the piece immediately as "Flora and Fauna," an early work of Zao done in 1951. The artist made 200 of them and the one her father found is No. 190.
Her father, Arnold E Conroy, was on a construction job at Yale University 17 years ago when he saw the artwork in a dumpster, reports Inside Edition.
"I think it's hysterical, I think it's very funny," says Ms Warren, who now plans to sell the artwork and give the money to her mother, Barbara Conroy.
Zao Wou-Ki was an illustrious Chinese painter based in France. According to New Haven Register, Ms Warren says that some of his paintings have recently sold for millions.
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