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My grandfather the artist - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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My grandfather the artist [20120704|23:07]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I brought home five sketches done by my maternal grandfather from my visit to my parents. I plan on having them framed when we eventually move to our new house.

The first is a pastel study of a street corner in Brooklyn, NY in 1947, where he and my grandmother lived after the war. I love the old car and the elevated train track, which is actually still there. It's one of the few paintings he signed, dated and labeled - generally he did none of those, making it difficult for us to date and locate his work.



It's labeled "Corner of Hendrix and Fulton" and if you look at Google Streetview, it looks surprising similar now to the way it did then.

These two watercolours are quick studies of costumed ladies that we think he did while teaching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.





We think he might have painted this at Coney Island, but we have no idea who the model is. It may have been someone he knew. Stylistically it matches the previous two, so it was probably done around the same period.


My mom thinks this looks like New England. It's much more impressionistic than his usual work, which was quite meticulous, more like the first pastel drawing of the Brooklyn street corner. I think it was done later in his career and that he dashed it off in a few minutes. In the lower right hand corner, you can see that he simply ripped it off his easel without bothering to remove the tape or trim the edges. I'm not sure he thought much of this painting, so I'm surprised it's survived as he had a tendency to burn anything he thought was sub-par.



A good deal of his work hangs in my parents' house. He built frames for the ones he liked best. These weren't among his favourites, but they stood out to me when I looked through the portion of his unframed portfolio that passed to my mother.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sekl
2012-07-04 23:59 (UTC)
I love his style with the watercolor portraits. Nice that you can take these to your new home.
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[User Picture]From: jixel
2012-07-05 03:14 (UTC)
This is cool, thanks for sharing this
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2012-07-05 06:30 (UTC)
He was quite talented! Any of those would be cool to have in your home!
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[User Picture]From: ursarctous
2012-07-05 09:19 (UTC)
These are wonderful, how lovely to not only be able to collect such beautiful pictures, but to have a personal connection to them as well.
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2012-07-05 10:39 (UTC)
Stylistically they are surprisingly different. Even the three figures, who are similar, still show some distinct variety, and the last one is quite different to the other two, probably because of the surround, rather than being against a white background.

All very nice though, definitely worth hanging up, even if your grandfather possibly thought otherwise!

It's nice when you can place something exactly, and for urban images, Google Streetview makes that so much easier now. A few years back, before Google went down that road, I found my Great-grandfather's old shop in Bristol, and the comparison between an old photo, and the current shop, is quite interesting. The current view of Brooklyn doesn't seem to be quite as salubrious as the older picture suggested at that time.
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[User Picture]From: void150
2012-07-05 11:48 (UTC)
Beautiful work!
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2012-07-07 01:54 (UTC)
Wow, that's beautiful!
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[User Picture]From: cheekytubemouse
2012-07-07 18:37 (UTC)
Oh wow. What lovely, precious pieces of art to have in your home!
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