It's worth pursuing if you're the one able to make the connection, too.
A few years ago, after my dad died, I found an oil painting that I had completely forgotten about in the back of a closet. There was a name on the back, and a little detective work revealed that the painter had been a Fine Arts student at Macalester College in the mid-60s, where my folks lived when they were first married. My guess is that my mom picked up the painting at a student art show when she was looking for stuff to hang on their new walls.
Anyhoo, it turns out the artist became quite well known, not as a painter, but as a chef. She ran a successful little restaurant in Greenwich Village in the 70s, made TV appearances on the various PBS cooking shows of the period, and published a couple of cookbooks in the 90s, all of which I learned from her New York Times obituary.
The obit named a surviving daughter, and feeling only a little bit stalker-y I sent her a letter telling her about what I'd found. We split the cost of shipping, and now her mom's painting is back with her family, where it has a suitably appreciative audience. It was really neat being able to connect the dots like that.