I like a lot of different styles of painting. I have had an active interest in art for the past few years, and my tastes are still evolving as I learn and live with my growing collection. I do not collect as an investment but for the fun of it and to feed my enjoyment for doing research and learning. Here are some of my favorites. By the way, I am NOT the wildlife artist of the same name.
Sergei “Alexander” Nelke was born on 14 December
1894 in Vihula, Reval, Estonia. His ancestry was
Finnish. The first mention of him in U.S. records is
his WWI draft registration card, which was completed
on 1 August 1917, and notes he was tall, stout, blue
eyed and had light color hair. He had arrived as a
seaman on the ship Brosund shortly before that, and
the ship's passenger list gives his height as 5' 8
1/2” and weight as 200 lbs. Other records indicate
that he worked as a ship's carpenter for as long as
17 years. His brother, Waldemar “George” Nelke
arrived in the U. S. about the same time, also
employed as a ship's carpenter, but married a
Finnish woman named Lillian soon after and worked as
a maintenance man in a bank for many years. Census
and naturalization records for George Nelke have
helped to confirm the identity of Alexander Nelke.
The WWI draft registration cards of both men mention
that they were supporting a mother and sister in
Russia, likely in Estonia.
unnamed, A. Nelke, 10" x 14", oil on stretched canvas
Nelke appears as a sailor on several ship's passenger lists before 1930. He does not appear in any census records, so likely worked as a sailor or traveled before 1940. His 17 year career as a shipboard carpenter is mentioned in the “New Yorker at Large” column of the Morning News of Florence, South Carolina on 17 June 1936. The subject of this column was the Washington Square annual outdoor art show in New York City. Nelke is mentioned in the article as an exhibitor and one of the “handful of surprising personalities” of the show. Nelke is referenced as a member of the Washington Square Outdoor Association in the Supplement to Mallett's Index of Artists. Nelke worked as a commercial artist, and his work was often reproduced at prints and on items such as playing cards.
Nelke exhibited at the Salons of America in 1934
& 1936 and with The Society of Independent
Artists (SIA) in 1934, 1936, 1938, 1940 and 1944.
The record of his address on Baltic Street in
Brooklyn, New York in the records of the SIA matches
the address on his WWII Draft Registration card and
1945 Naturalization record. Both of these records
give his full name as Sergei Alexander Nelke, though
he signed as Alexander Nelke on his draft
registration card. Nelke is also mentioned in
Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide and Who Was
Who in American Art by Falk. Details regarding his
training as an artist are not known. Nelke primarily
painted marine scenes and landscapes, but one
reference to a figurative painting has been found.
Nelke died in Brooklyn, New York in August 1974.
unnamed, Alexander Nelke, 8" x 10", oil on canvas
Rosabelle Jacqueline Morse
was born on 13 November 1914 in Brooklyn, New York,
a daughter of Louis Joseph and Gertrude Labuschin
Morse. Louis and Gertrude were married about 1903
and were living in Brooklyn in 1910 where Louis was
working as an "Inspector, street". Louis was working
as an "Inspector, Docks and Ferries" in Brooklyn
during the 1915 New York census. Gertrude was born
in Germany and came to the US in 1887, at the age of
5 years. Louis was the son of English immigrants.
According to the 1936 year book of Cooper Union
College she was attending the Day Art School.
Rosabelle attended Cooper Union College for five
years and worked as an artist her entire life. She
married Benjamin Breger by 1940 when they were
living in the Bronx, New York during the census.
Benjamin was employed as a "truant officer, public
school". Rosabelle seems to have continued to use
her maiden name when she worked as an artist. Later
in life she resided in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Her
exhibition at the Ward Eggleston Gallery, New York
was mentioned in "Arts Magazine" and "Magazine of
Art" in 1951. She is mentioned in the "Art News
Annual" in 1955 and in the "Portfolio and Art News
Annual" in 1960. She was mentioned in "Locus: A
Cross-referenced Directory of New York Galleries and
Art" in 1975. She was listed in Who's Who in
American Art in 1999 and Dictionary
of signatures & monograms of American artists,
from the colonial period to the mid 20th century
by Peter Falk.
This painting was purchased directly from the artist's daughter. She noted that the subject was Rosabelle's piano teacher. Rosabelle was also an accomplished musician.
Rosabelle died on 21 December 2002 in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Rose Cutler was born on 13 March 1915 in New York
City, New York, a daughter of Samuel and Sophie
Cutler, Russian Jewish immigrants. Samuel worked as an
iron worker and in the carpet business. She received a
BA from Hunter College in 1936 and an MA from Columbia
University in 1937 and received a PhD from Walden
University in 1979. She also received a certificate in
advertising and interior design from the School of
Professional Arts. She was a painter,
designer, and teacher. Cutler worked in pastels,
watercolors, oils, inks and graphite. She also studied
at New York University, the University of Missouri,
Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of
Technology, the American Artist School, New School for
Social Research, the National Academy of Design and
the American Artists School. Cutler was a member of
the Art Directors Club, Artists Equity Association,
College Arts Association, National Society of Interior
Designers, Colonial Art Association and Women in
Design. She worked at Women's College University,
Adelphi College, University of Missouri and Rhode
Island School of Design. Cutler exhibited widely won
numerous awards and her work is in several
Cutler is listed in Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, American Artists of Renown 1981-1982, Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who of American Women, International Dictionary Biographies, and The World Who's Who of Women.
Ethel Rose Cutler died on 31 March 2007 in New York City at the age of 93.
unnamed, Aurelia A. Varrone, 14" x 11", watercolor
Aurelia Angela Varrone was born on 11 November 1909.
She earned an AB degree from Columbia University in
1934. She received a license to teach Fine Arts in New
York secondary schools in 1939 and a BS degree from
New York University in 1940. According to the Society of
Independent Artists: the exhibition record 1917-1944,
she exhibited two watercolors, a floral and a
landscape, in 1944. Varrone made several trips to
Europe via passenger ships in the 1950s. Her address
was the same, 3009 Wallace Avenue, Bronx, NY, on
her Columbia University record, SIA exhibition record
and the passenger lists from her trips to Europe, so
she lived at the address for at least 20 years. Two of
the passenger lists noted that she was single, but
there did not seem to be a distinction between
divorced, widowed and single on the lists. No
indications of a marriage have been found for her. She
has not been located in any census record, so it is
uncertain whether Varrone was her married or maiden
name. It is also possible that she was not born in the
Aurelia Varrone is mentioned in Arts Magazine in 1953 and 1954 as a member of the Kottler Group, possibly related to the Lynn Kottler Gallery, a well known New York art gallery that was founded in 1949 and seems to have been active into the 1980s. Varrone is listed in Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide and Who Was Who in American Art by Falk.
Varrone died on 1 April 1972 in Mt. Vernon, Westchester County, NY.
A. A. Varrone signature
"Self Portrait", John Shayn, 20" x 18", oil on
John Joseph Shayn was born on 15 January 1901 in Wilena, Russia, as Jacob Sheinfein, a son of Joseph and Ida Sheinfein, later of Chelsea, Massachusetts. The Sheinfeins were Jewish. The Sheinfein family immigrated to the U.S. in 1909 settling in Chelsea. Jacob was employed as a confectioner, with his own shop in 1910, and as a "Newsdealer" in 1920. John Joseph Shayn was reported as Jacob Shayn in the 1930 census of Brooklyn, New York. He and his wife, Bulah, were living at 304 Crown St. and his occupation was "artist, commercial". He and his wife had been married for about two years, according to the census. John submitted a petition for naturalization on 23 March 1937 in New York City. In the petition he reported that he had married a woman named Rose on 23 December 1927 in New York and that their daughter Della was born on 5 June 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. Their address was 101 W. 41st Street, New York and John was employed as an advertising designer. John and Rose were divorced in 1940 in Dade County, Florida. He was later married to Florence Gordon.
John Shayn was a painter, sculptor, illustrator, graphic designer, lithographer and etcher. He attended Boston University. He later studied print making at the Art Students League in New York and worked in lithographs and etchings. He exhibited paintings and sculpture at the Arthur U. Newton Gallery in New York. His exhibitions were reviewed in the New York Times. He experimented with surrealism. He is listed in Who's Who in American Art (1973, 1976), Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide and Who Was Who in American Art by Falk.
John Joseph Shayn died in December 1977 in New York City.
John Shayn signature
Joseph Newman was born in New
York City on 4 September 1890, a son of Nettie Newman.
Newman's father died between 1900 and 1910, and
unfortunately, his name is indecipherable in the 1900
census. Joseph Newman appears with his mother and later
his spouse and children in the 1910-1930 censuses of
Brooklyn, New York. His occupation was listed as artist
from 1910. He attended the Pratt Institute and the
Adelphi College Art School. Newman served in the U.S.
Army during W.W.I., which may indicate why there is no
WWI draft registration card available for him. After the
war, he married a woman named Stella or Estelle and
traveled to Europe. In the mid 1920's he formed, with a
group of contemporaries, The Fifteen Gallery in
Manhattan. Newman exhibited frequently at the Brooklyn
Museum, The National Academy, The Carnegie Institute,
The Whitney and The Society of Independent Artists. He
was a member of the L.C. Tiffany Foundation, The
Salmagundi Club, Rockport Art Association, and the
American Watercolor Society. His work is represented in
the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, The Newark
Museum, the Boston Library, and the Library of Congress.
Newman was the recipient of many awards throughout his
career. This painting is not signed but bears Newman's
Newman died in September 1979 in
Flushing, Queens County, New York.
Carlton Daniel Ellinger was born on 8 November 1888 in Allegan, Michigan a son of Daniel J. G. and Amelia R. Ellinger. Daniel J. G. Ellinger was deceased by 1900 and Carlton and his mother were living with his grandparents, Daniel and Regina Ellinger in Allegan. Daniel Ellinger was a "preacher". Carlton was living in Detroit, Michigan in 1910 where he was a self employed "Designer, Book Cover". Carlton may have received his artistic training in Detroit, but no record has been found to support this. There are indications that he was employed in Grand Rapids, Michigan before moving to Detroit. He was living in Manhattan, New York on 5 June 1917 when he completed his WWI Draft Registration. His occupation was listed at "Artist, Self employed". His registration noted that he was the sole support for his mother and wife. Ellinger served as a private in Company 8, Ninth Coast Artillery Corps, during WWI. Carlton was married to Mary L. Snyder between 1910 and 1917, probably closer to 1910. Mary was also born in Michigan. The Ellingers were still living in Manhattan in 1920 where Carlton was employed as a "Commercial Artist". By 1930 Carlton and Mary had relocated to Bronxville, Westchester County, New York and Carlton was still employed as a "Commercial Artist". Carlton worked for several printing companies in Michigan and New York, starting before 1910. Mention of Carlton in printing trade journals and advertisements started before 1920. There are few mentions of his work as a fine artist.
Carlton was a member of the Salmagundi Club in 1925 and the Artists Guild of the Author's League of America (New York City). He is mentioned in Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, William Morris: Ornamentation and illustrations from the Kelmscott Chaucer by William Morris and Some Examples of the Work of American Designers by Bowles.
The last reference to Carlton found using Google was a mention in 1947 in Financial World, Volume 88. He was employed by Sun Life Assurance of Canada.
Paul Bachem is a New York plein aire painter. He has a web site. Bachem had a long career as a freelance illustrator before devoting himself to fine art. He is an associate member of the New York Plein Air Painters and a founding member of the Long Island Plein Air Painters Society. The painting above is the first painting by Paul that I added to my collection. It is such an odd size that I have never had it framed, though it would be easy to do at framesbymail.com. I just have it sitting on the top of the window frame in my middle bay window. Paul told me that this was done in his old style before he started painting en plein aire using techniques and palettes used by his favorite artist.
"Moonrise" is a sketch for a
larger painting of the same name. The larger
painting was 11" x 14". This sketch was painted en
plein aire on an unseasonably warm winter morning on
the last day of January in 2011.
made the following comment about this painting:
"Painted on July 31st 2011 at the Glen Cove City Stadium in Glen Cove, NY. I practically grew up on these fields and the place has hardly changed over the past 45 years. It is a wonderful environment and it always feels good to be there."
Though I am not really
collecting any more (Spring 2016) due to lack of
wall and storage space, Paul put this little gem on
sale and I impulse purchased it before I could
restrain myself. It will be fun to search the local
thrift shops again for the perfect frame and then
spend an hour walking around my house for an hour
trying to find a place to squeeze it in. Damn you,
Ruth E. Baderian was born 2
July 1927 in the Bronx, New York, a daughter of John
and Emma Tietjen. John was employed as a "Commercial
Traveler, Tea & Coffee" in 1930. Ruth was
married to Steven G. Baderian. Ruth earned a
scholarship to the Art Students League in New York
City. She was a teacher and artist in watercolors
and oils. Baderian won numerous awards for her work
from well known organizations including the
Salmagundi Club, American Artists Professional
League and Long Island University. Ruth Baderian was
a signature member of the American Watercolor
Society, and won the Grumbacher Gold Medal three
times. She was a member of, and teacher at, the Art
League of Long Island and a member of She is
mentioned in Davenports Art Reference and Price
Guide, Who's Who in American Art
(1973, 1976), and Who Was Who in American Art by Falk.
Her works appeared in The Best of Flower Painting, Artistic Touch
2 and Artistic Touch 3 as well as in
"Watercolor Magazine" Winter 1999, and in "American
Artist Magazine" April 1996.
Ruth died on 17 December 2010 at Williston Park, Nassau County, New York.
Dorise Evelyn Olson was born
on 8 June 1932 in New York City, a daughter of
Arthur and Anna Carlson Olson. Dorise attended at
the Art Students League where she studied with Louis
Bosa. She was a Salmagundi Club Scholar and studied
under Daniel Greene. She married fellow artist Raul
Jose Mina-Mora. She is mentioned in Who's Who in
American Art (1989-1992), Who Was Who in
American Art by Falk, Women Artists
in America: 18th century to present
(1790-1980) by Collins, Who's Who of
American Women (1984), and Who's Who in
the East by Marquis.
Dorise died on 29 June 1991 in Oakdale, Suffolk County, New York. Raul died on 30 May 1996.
Judith "Judy" Hausman was
born on 13 February 1916 in Antwerp, Belgium, a
daughter of Elias Jacob and Mary Stern. The Sterns
arrived in New Orleans on 10 September 1941 on the
S.S. Shawnee from Havana, Cuba. Elias gave his
occupation as "Diamond Merchant", and his children's
names as Irena, Ruth, Judith, and Menachem. Their
race was given as "Hebrew", and all were born in
Antwerp, Belgium, except for Elias who was born in
Szerencs, Hungary. Judith married Gershon Hausman.
The Hausmans settled in New York City. According to
her obituary, Judy was an artist, though no other
records of her work as an artist have been found.
She is not listed in any art reference book.
HAUSMAN-Judy (nee Stern) died suddenly in Jerusalem on July 22. Beloved wife of the late Gerson Hausman. Loving & loved mother of Miriam Hausman, Evelyn and Sylvain Jakabovics and Reva Hausman. Treasured Grandma of Andrew, Allison & Barrie Jakabovics. Dearest sister of Ruth Danis, the late Menahem Stern and the late Irene Banitt. Precious aunt, sister-in-law and cousin. Exceptional friend to so many, patron of many causes, artist and painter of great vitality.
HAUSMAN-Judith. Yeshiva University and its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary mourn the passing of a long-time cherished friend and supporter. A painter and artist, whose works were exhibited in 1993 by the Yeshiva University Museum at the Cardozo School of Law Gallery, her joie de vivre expressed itself in the art of tzedakah and chessed. Together with her late beloved husband, Gershon, she was a YU Guardian and RIETS Fellow. They established the annual Hausman Stern Kinus Teshuva Lectures in New York and Jerusalem, consecrated to the memories of their parents, Elias J. and May Stern, and Moshe and Chava Hausman. Heartfelt condolences are extended to her children, Dr. Miriam Hausman, Dr. Evelyn (and Sylvain) Jakobovics and Reva Hausman, to her sister, Ruth Danis, and to the entire Hausman/Stern Family. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Dr. Norman Lamm, President Yeshiva University David S. Gottesman, Chairman Board of Trustees
HAUSMAN-Judith. The Jewish Center mourns the passing in Israel of its longtime loyal and devoted member. We fondly remember her elegance, gentleness and exceptional creativity. May her entire family be comforted among those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem. Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Rabbi Samuel Goldman, President Elza Weinman, Sisterhood
Erb Hoffman was born in Buffalo, New York, a daughter
of Lucius L. and Henrietta M. Erb. Lucius was working
in Buffalo as real estate and insurance agent in 1910,
1920, and 1930. Ruth was still living at home in 1930
working as a "teacher of art, at home".
The back of this painting has
extensive information about this painting's history,
including Ruth E. Hoffman's signature. This painting
was part of Hoffman's personal collection and later
in the collection of Dr. Anthony J. Sisti.
I purchased this from a
seller in Gladstone, New Jersey. When I queried
the dealer about the source for the painting, he
this painting from another dealer, the artist name
is Mary Hise, Mary Cathawne Hawley, formerly Mary
Hise 1910-1983, artist from South Wales/East
Aurora N. Y. area in western new York State. Mary
painted from the 50's-70's"
I queried the dealer about the
spelling of the name "Cathawne" and he replied that was
the spelling that was given to him. It is incorrect,
though. I was easily able to find records for Mary, but
nothing to indicate that she ever worked as an artist. I
was able to contact a relative to try to determine if
this identification is correct. This relative told me
that, coincidentally, she had just attended a family
reunion in July 2010, and was offered numerous paintings
by Mary, which she accepted. The paintings were found in
the basement of Mary's home which was being "vacated".
She is working with her family historian to provide
information about Mary's work as an artist.
Mary Catherine Hise was born on 17 August 1910 at Kenmore, Erie County, New York, a daughter of John Herman Hise and Mary Evelyn Hoskyns. John was working as a farmer in 1920 in East Aurora, New York. Mary married Robert Emmet Hawley on 7 May 1927 at East Pembroke, New York. Robert and Mary were living next door to her parents in 1930. Robert was employed in "General Farming". John Hawley was employed as "Superintendent, City Dains (Drains?)". Mary had two children by 1930. Records for Robert and Mary after 1930 are scarce, except for the Social Security Death Index. There are no records of Mary's work as an artist, and it is curious that she would have signed using her maiden name. The record of her death uses her married name, so she was not divorced from Robert. She was married at the age of 16 and had five children, so would not appear to be someone with the access to the education or time to become an artist. She would have been in her 40s in the 1950s, so would probably still have had children at home. I am taking this identification with a grain of salt, until I can find some documentation to support it.
All of this being said, I like this painting, both for the colors and the style. The dealer sold another painting, a 10" x 12" size, by the artist that was similar in style and colors, and equally well done. This artist was at least a talented amateur, and probably had some formal training.
Mary Catherine Hawley died on 15 December 1983 in South Wales, Erie County, New York. Robert died on 7 January 1962 in Buffalo, New York.
Italo George Botti was born
on 24 March 1923 in Greenwich Village, New
York a son of Ettore and Filomena Botti, Italian
immigrants. The Bottis immigrated to the US on 22
August 1920 from Agripoli, Italy on the S.S. Duca
Degli Abruzza. Ettore's occupation was give as
"Tailor" on the ship's passenger list and as
"Tailor, Clothing Co." on the 1930 census of
Brooklyn, New York. Several Botti men and their
families were his neighbors in 1930; James "boot
black, shoe shine parlor", Dominick "laborer,
railroad", and Biase "laborer, lithograph co". These
men may have been brothers of Ettore, as all were
near him in age.
Italo G. Botti was well known for his painting, stained glass, sculpture, and mosaic work. Botti attended the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts, Leonardo da Vinci School of Art, the Abracheff School of Fine Art, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League. He studied under Frank Vincent Dumond, Nicolai Abracheff, Reginald Marsh, and Bernard Lamott. An example of his mosaic work may be seen on the Botti Studio web site. He taught at the City College of New York, the Art Students League, and the Art Institute of Chicago. As it turns out Botti is listed in Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, and is also mentioned on a couple of the more popular on line art web sites.
Botti painted under
the pseudonyms "George Barrel" and "Barrel
Botti", before starting to use his birth name,
Italo Botti. This may have only been true while
he worked with Arts International and other
galleries. He seems to have signed his work
either Barrel or Botti in block letters. This
piece caught my eye as I skimmed ebay. I paid
very little for it, without researching it and
kind of kicked myself afterward, expecting it to
turn out to be an import or by an obscure
artist, though the seller claimed he was
"listed". The seller was completely
clueless as to the identity of the artist,
claiming it was by W. R. Barrel, despite the
fact the George Barrel's biography and the
original sales receipt were attached to the back
of the painting! Yes, hard to believe, but true.
I am including several images of
Botti's work as George Barrel, found on the
Internet, since he is something of a mystery
artist under the pseudonym Barrel. I am
reasonably certain that all of these works are
by the same artist. I was quite
surprised when an Internet search fairly easily
turned up several auction records for his work
and other sellers with his work for sale. All of
the works are largish, the smallest I have seen
listed was 24" x 36". A couple of the auction
houses who brought his work up for sale don't
sell junk, so his work seems to be considered of
value. He is frequently misidentified as W. R.
Barrel for some reason, though I had no
difficulty in determining that Botti painted
under other names. Of course the biography taped
to the back of the painting helped. It should
also be noted that there was an Argentinian
artist named Italo Botti (1889-1974) and there
also seems to be some amount of confusion
between these two artists. One of the
paintings shown above was attributed to the
elder Botti, but the style is more in keeping
with that of the younger artist.
Dr. George Feldman was born
13 October 1897 in New York City, New York, a son of
Isaac and Fannie Feldman, Austrian immigrants. Isaac
Feldman owned a tailor shop. George gave his
occupation as "dental student" on his WWI draft
registration. He applied for a passport in 1923,
giving his occupation as dentist, and his intent to
travel to Germany, Switzerland, and France to
"study". There is no indication if he was studying
dentistry or art, or both. He was living alone
during the 1930 census of New York City, occupied as
a dentist. There are numerous mentions of him on
passenger lists for various ocean voyages to Europe.
He traveled frequently in the 1920s and 1930s.
Feldman is listed in Falk's Who Was Who in American Art, where it is noted that he was a painter, cartoonist, craftsperson, and graphic artist. He painted in both oils and watercolors. Feldman attended the Art Students League and New York University. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society. He exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, and at the American Watercolor Society, Brooklyn Museum, Morton Gallery, and Chautauqua, NY. He was 89 when he painted the painting my collection. There is a bit of glare from the glass. I will get a better photo, by and by. This may not be his best work, but I like that he kept painting. His signature is very strong, so he may have retained his skills. I have not been able to find any other examples of his work for comparison.
George Feldman died on 9 April 1997 in Ithaca, NY at the age of 99.
Cyril Joseph Ledoux
(pronounced "le doo") was born on 19 July 1894 in
New York City, New York, a son of Alexander J. and
Theresa M. Ledoux. Another son,
Sylvester, was born in Pennsylvania in 1895.
Alexander was an immigrant from French Canada and
employed as a laborer in Manhattan, New York in
1900, as a candy maker in a confectionery shop in
Saratoga Springs, NY in 1910, and as a laborer in a
machine shop in Elmira, NY in 1920. I have seen
indications that he came from Quebec, but have not
been able to confirm this. According to New York
city directories Cyril was a student in Saratoga
Springs in 1910, employed at the National Aluminum
Works in Elmira in 1914 and 1915, a toolmaker at the
Arsenal in Troy in 1918, an employee of "K V
Co" in Elmira and toolmaker in Troy in 1920, and so
on. On 5 June 1917, when Cyril completed his WWI
draft registration card, he was residing in Elmira,
and employed as toolmaker for the Willys-Morrow Mfg.
Co. During the 1920 census, Cyril and his brother,
Sylvester, were employed as toolmakers in a machine
shop. During the 1930 census, Cyril was living in
Rochester, NY as a lodger in a private home, working
a "designer, machine tool co.". Cyril married Anne
Rose Mattes about 1935 and their son, Cyril Joseph
Jr. was born on 14 June 1936. From 1936-1960 Cyril
is listed as a designer in Rochester city
directories. The address he was employed at appears
to be for the Delco Appliance Company. Prior to
1930, this company was called the North East
Electric Company and Ledoux may have worked there
then, as well. Ledoux was mentioned in the American
Magazine of Art in 1930, and in the Proceedings of
the Rochester Academy of Science in 1953. Ledoux
received his training as a toolmaker at the
Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute, what is
today known as the Rochester Institute of
Technology. It is not known where he received his
Ledoux, 13" x 16", oil, 22 October 1927
Ledoux started painting at
the age of 19, about 1913, according to his
daughter. He was a painter in oils, etcher,
engraver, jewelry designer, and photographer. His
family still owns his engraving press. He
was the secretary of the Rochester Art Club (RAC),
1928-1930. Ledoux was selected to
design a mace for the University of Rochester.
Ledoux developed his own photographs, though I have
not found any information to indicate that he
exhibited his photographic work. He painted in the
company of Carl William Peters and Edward Siebert.
Siebert painted his portrait, which is still in the
possession of the family. Ledoux was the Secretary
at the 29 January 1929 meeting of the RAC, when Carl
W. Peters was one of 20 members present. Cyril
Ledoux exhibited at the Buffalo Artists Association
Albright Gallery Show in 1927 and 1928, and at the
Rochester Art Club annual show in 1930. He taught at
the Rochester Art Gallery and exhibited at the first
Clothesline Show at the Memorial Art Gallery in
Rochester in 1958. He had a lengthy career as a
painter, likely created numerous paintings and
exhibited his work many times. He is not documented
in any art reference book, though, and despite
his exhibition record and association with some
notable regional artists, there is little interest
in his work and his paintings tend to sell for
All of the paintings in my collection are painted on boards except for one large painting on canvas. Two other large paintings on canvas I have seen were marine scenes.
Cyril Ledoux, 8" x 10", oil (Buffalo Society of
Artists 1927 exhibition label)
Ledoux, 13" x 16", oil
Cyril Ledoux died in December 1976 in Rochester, and was buried in the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Rochester on 13 December 1976. He designed his own tombstone and the tombstone for his parents' grave in Elmira, NY. Anne R. Ledoux died on 16 February 1999 in Rochester. Some of the information in this biography was gathered in a telephone call to Ledoux's daughter in April 2010.
Ledoux exhibited the painting
above at the Rochester Art Club during the period that
he served as secretary of that organization. This
painting still bears the exhibition label from the 1930
Exhibition labels from
I paid $20 for the painting
above on ebay and did not think too much of it at the
time, but it was the largest painting by Ledoux that I
had had the opportunity to purchase. I was quite
pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the painting,
once I saw it in "the flesh". In person, it has much
greater depth and complexity, and the colors are much
richer than in this image that the seller provided.
Ledoux definitely had a unique style and I am not sure
why his work does not sell for higher prices. His work
is quite different from that of his contemporaries, so
perhaps that accounts for the low prices his work
Ruth Strickling was born 8
October 1922 in the Bronx, New York, a daughter of
Joseph and Elizabeth K. "Elsie" Meinberg Gorman. In 1930
Joseph was employed as a "Coal Co., proprietor". Ruth
married Harry Lenin Strickling on 5 August 1949 in the
Bronx, New York. They lived in the Bronx from 1949 to
1955 when they relocated Dumont, New Jersey. They moved
to Silver Bay, New York in 1970.
"Auditorium at Silver
Bay", Ruth Strickling, 8" x 10", watercolor
Ruth attended Hunter College
where she majored in biology. Her drawing ability helped
her grades and in her senior year she took a watercolor
class and got "hooked". After graduation, she studied at
the Art Students League in New York City, and went to
work in an advertising agency. She next went to work at
Famous Studios as an animator and her subjects included
Popeye, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and others. While
living in Dumont, she was a member of the Hackensack Art
Club where she entered juried shows and exhibited
locally. Her personality was very energetic, which is
why she liked to work in watercolors, according to her
Strickling was apparently thrifty as she painted on both sides of the paper when she created these watercolors. Unfortunately, whoever matted these paintings used scotch tape around all four sides to mount them to the mats. It would probably be very difficult to remove the tape without damaging the paintings.
Strickling, 8" x 10", watercolor
Ruth was an art teacher and
artist. She taught continuing education courses at a
local high school. She worked for many years as an
instructor of watercolor painting at the Watson Art
Center at the Silver
Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks. She became the head
of the Art Department there and was a well respected
member of the staff. She was a prolific artist in
watercolors and sold many watercolors while at Silver
Bay. She also taught at the Tenafly Adult School in
Tenafly, New Jersey and was active in the arts community
of Dumont and the vicinity.
Strickling, 10" x 8", watercolor
Ruth Strickling died on 20
January 2009 in Dumont, New Jersey. Harry Strickling
died on 31 July 2007.
Donald W. Lambo was born on 3
December 1921 in Amsterdam, New York, a son of John
O. and Anna M. Lambo. John was an Italian immigrant
and Anna was a German immigrant. Both immigrated to
the US in the late 1880s. John was working as a
"loom fixer, rug mill" in 1930. Donald worked as an
illustrator for many years and I found numerous
books that he supplied the illustrations for. He
later started working as a fine artist. His wife was
also a fine artist.
This label was glued to the
back of the painting, and gives a brief biography of
Lambo. I am not sure if this painting falls under
the category of fine art or illustration. It may
have started as an illustration and later was sold
as fine art.
Lambo died on 9 January 2008 in
Croton on Hudson, Westchester, New York. His obituary
appeared in a local newspaper:
Elizabeth L."Betty" "Liz" Widmayer
was born 28 January 1926 in Queens, New York, a
daughter of Walter and Bessie Widmayer. Walter was
occupied as a chauffeur in 1920 and a "hacksman,
taxical" in 1930. For many years Betty lived with
her sister, Joan Widmayer, at 333 57th St., New York
City, according to old telephone directories. This
relationship is proved by the obituary of their
brother, Walter J. Widmayer, who died in New Smyrna
Beach, Florida on 11 January 1997. This address is
written on the back of many of Betty's paintings,
along with her name. Joan used the pseudonym Walters
in the music business, and possibly in other
ventures. I have also found references to her as
Joan Walters Widmayer. One record for a Joan
Widmayer identifies her as a student at the
Frostburg State Teachers College. I have no
proof that this is the same woman. Joan was born in
November 1930. Betty and Joan copyrighted several
songs in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the team
of Walters and Widmayer.
Widmayer, 38" x 28", oil
A Betty Widmayer is mentioned
in "Savage Art: A biography of Jim Thompson". She
was identified as "a young graphic artist in charge
of layout and design" at the New York magazine
"Police Gazette" in 1951. An Elizabeth Widmayer of
New York was a patron member of the American Society
of Portrait Artists. I have seen claims that she was
a fashion model with an "outgoing and positive
personality", but cannot confirm that. A significant
number of her paintings were offered on ebay in late
2009 by several sellers, so it is possible they came
from her estate, or the estate of a relative. All of
the work by I have seen by Widmayer has been
figurative. She was an accomplished artist, but I
have not found listings for her in any art reference
book, any records of exhibitions of her work, and no
auction records for her work, except on ebay.
After her death, a lot of fashion illustrations, prints and proofs, signed by Elizabeth was purchased at a nearby 58th Street estate sale. The dated proofs and prints were from the late 1960s. The work was done for various New York fashion publications, including Bergdorf Goodman, the Ritz, Lord & Taylor and Abercrombie and Fitch. The work bore the Widmayer's 57th street address and some bear the name of Jane Walters as Elizabeth's representative.
Betty Widmayer died on 16 September 2008 in New York City.
Mrs. Catherine H. Gardner was
born on 20 November 1901 in Gridletree, Worcester,
MA. She married James E. Gardner about 1936 in
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY. The source for
her birthplace a 1936 passenger list, likely at the
time of her honeymoon. She was a member of the
Dutchess County Art Association of Poughkeepsie, New
York. She served as Treasurer of that organization.
She was a frequent exhibitor at the shows sponsored
by the art association. She exhibited oils and
watercolors in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1942, one of
her watercolors, "Manchester Bridge Houses", was
chosen for a WWII Victory Calendar. Each month
featured a painting by a Dutchess County artist. Her
painting was used for the month of December. The
announcement of the winners of the calendar contest
was made by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mrs. Gardner
is mentioned several times in the Poughkeepsie Eagle
News, Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, and the Harlem
Valley Times, in connection with her work as an
artist. The names of her paintings are often given,
and the themes of her work appear to have been
coastal scenes and florals. Her works were often
described as "brightly colored". She is not
mentioned in any art reference book that I have
examined, but I have found several mentions of her
works in auction records. I was not able to locate
her in census records or other primary records. She
resigned as Art Supervisor in the Dutchess County
public schools in December of 1936, possibly due to
her marriage. She and her husband appear in numerous
Poughkeepsie City Directories. James appears with
his parents in the 1920 and 1930 Federal census
records of Poughkeepsie.
Catherine Gardner died December 1984 in Poughkeepsie. James was born on 28 September 1908 in New York and died in Poughkeepsie on 25 August 1984. James was a WWII veteran of the US Navy, enlisting in 1944.
Samuel Kamen was born 15 June
1911 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, a son of
Mitchel and Ray Eisenberg Kamen. Mitchel Kamen was
Jewish and immigrated to the US in 1888 from Russia.
The parents of Ray Eisenberg Kamen were also Russian
Jews, though she was born in New York and was about
14 years younger than Mitchell. Mitchell Kamen owned
a clothing store during the censuses in 1910, 1920,
Kamen, 24" x 18", oil
The Kamens retained their Jewish heritage and I found records of the bar-mitzvahs of Mitchell and Ray's three sons. I have found indications that Mitchell Kamen shortened his name from Kamenetzky. Samuel Kamen married Edith Segal after 1930. Segal was a well known poet and political activist. Her death notice also says that she was a dancer.
Kamen, 11.75" x 11", oil on paper
Samuel Kamen (in progress).
K. Silkman was born on 15 July 1919 in New York City,
a son of William and Mildred "Millie" Harris Silkman.
William and Mildred were born in London, England.
William was of Russian/Jewish and English ancestry and
Mildred of Polish ancestry. The Silkmans immigrated to
the US in 1908 and the Harris family immigrated in
1912. William and Millie were married on 6 October
1918 in New York City. Both became naturalized US
citizens in the 1920s. William was employed as a
painter in 1910 and 1917, usually working for building
contractors. He was employed as a furniture
upholsterer in 1920. I have not been able to locate
the Silkman family in 1930. William did fill out a
draft registration form in 1943, giving Millie as his
next of kin. They also had a daughter, Jacqueline who
was born 7 May 1922 and died unmarried on 25 December
2005 in Queens Village, Queens, New York. Millie and
her children traveled to England in 1929 and 1937.
William did not accompany them. Jacqueline testified
before a Congressional committee in 1959 regarding the
difficulty in finding adequate nursing home care for
her mother and aunts. She was employed by the
Department of Health at the time.
I have not been able to find out much about Arthur's education and work as an artist. This painting likely came from an auction of New York City storage liquidations of Benson Seto and Arthur Silkman held at the Gary R. Wallace auction house in Parsonfield, Maine in July 2008. I do not have any information regarding the story of the sale. According to the seller of this painting, Arthur Silkman received the Grumbacher Art Award at the Arts Interaction 9th Annual Spring Show in 1987. I have not been able to confirm this. Other information I have seen suggests that Silkman exhibited at the Salmagundi Club and was associated with the Knickerbocker Artists. I contacted the Salmagundi club's curator, and he informed me that they have no record of Silkman exhibiting there and no one there has ever heard of him. The curator is attempting to locate members of the Knickerbocker Artists, a surprisingly elusive group. Silkman seems to have been a formally trained and accomplished artist but is not listed in any art reference resource. I am still researching him.
For some reason, a search for Arthur Silkman on www.whitepages.com shows that his household was made up of Marvin P. Scilken, Mary P. Scilken, and Gertrude Silkman, though the telephone number is disconnected. The address listed is 330 W. 28th Street, Apt 9F, New York, New York. Marvin H. Scilken was a noted librarian and his wife was named Mary. I was able to contact Mr. Scilken's sister and she told me she had never heard of Arthur Silkman. This is probably just a mix up of old directory service information.
Silkman enlisted as a private in the US Army on 9 December 1941, his occupation recorded as "photographers, marital" and his education as high school graduate. He returned to the US on 19 September 1945 a member of the 272nd Infantry Regiment. His arm of service was listed as "Engineers".
Arthur Silkman died on 15 November 2005 in New York City.
Arthur Silkman signature
Erisa Yuki is a New York artist. There are a couple of women by this name involved in the art scene in New York City. One of these women exhibited her paintings at the School of Visual Art in 2008. The other is a fashion designer who was active from the mid-1990s to the present and seems to have been known for her wedding dress designs. I am not sure which artist's work this is, if there is a third woman by this name, or if the two artists are the same person.
John Thomason was born on 14 December 1903 in the Bronx, New York City of an English father and a German mother. His parents were Samuel and Hedwig A. “Hattie” Koch Thomason. Samuel was a successful bricklayer who died between 1920 and 1930. The family was well off enough to have a live-in maid in 1910 and 1920. John was still living at home in 1930, the oldest son in the household. He was a laborer working as a bricklayer at the time as were his two younger brothers. This identification is possible because, in addition to signing his name on the back of one of his oils, he also included his address, 1559 Undercliff Avenue, an address found in the Bronx, New York. The family was residing there in 1920 and 1930 during the censuses.
So far, I have seen only four examples of Thomason's work; an oil painting dated 1930, my watercolor painting dated 1944, another undated oil painting, the one with the address written on back, and an example of an oil painting in a book. Thomason signed all three oils in block letters on the front, but also signed two in cursive verso. He also wrote the titles of the paintings and other descriptive information on the back of two of the oil paintings. The watercolor is signed in cursive on the front. Luckily, Thomason’s cursive signature was consistent and distinctive. He always continued the horizontal line of the letter “T” in his last name to create the letter “h’ and then the rest of the letters of the name in one stroke of the pen. I was contacted by a gentleman from Rochester, New York who also has several of his paintings and Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York also has a large collection of his work.
is sometimes confused with John William Thomason
Jr., a career Marine Corps officer who was also a
writer, artist, and illustrator. I sent images of
these paintings and signatures to the Special
Collections Librarian at the Newton Library at Sam
Houston State University, JWT Jr.’s alma mater. The
Library has over 2,000 examples of his work in their
collection. The librarian assured me that the work
and signature of John Thomason were very different
than that of JWT Jr. Judging by the examples that I
have seen, the work of John Thomason, the subject of
this biography, is much more sophisticated than the
work of JWT Jr., who's art seems to be mostly
drawings, illustrative sketch work, and a small
amount of watercolors mostly used as cover art for
his books. To further confuse identification, both
men studied at the Art Students League in New York
Homes", John Thomason, 15" x 9.5", oil
John Thomason is
listed in Davenport’s Art Reference and Price Guide
as a 20th Century New York artist. John Thomason is
mentioned in Falk’s Who Was Who in American Art, 3
volumes edition, but I have not yet had the
opportunity to examine Falk’s work, so do not known
which John Thomason it is. John Thomason was one of
six artists who were featured in an exhibition of
oils and watercolors called “Exhibition of Paintings
by a Group of Six” at a New York gallery,
Barbizon-Plaza Art Galleries in 1941. The other
artists were David Jacobson, T. Oscar Maine, Arthur
Tilgner, Oscar Ralph Weidhass, and Edward Sunquist.
This show ran from 22 September – 20 October 1941.
All of these artists were active in New York City in
the 1940s, though none seem to have gained enduring
Thomason received his early training as an artist in New York City high schools. He also studied at the National Academy of Design, Art Students League, Rochester Institute of Technology, and University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery under Fritz Trautman. In 1963 Thomason went to Rochester, NY to teach at the newly opened Monroe Community College. He later became the Director of Art there and retired in 1970. His home and studio were on Conesus Lake in Geneseo, NY. His biography appears in Scenes of Monroe and Ontario Counties Past and Present by Anne Peacock-Jacobs. Thomason was active in the Rochester Art Club and Geneseo artists' groups. He exhibited in Rochester and New York City.
John Thomason died in January of 1985 in Geneseo, New York.
Walter Lynn Mosley was born
in 1960 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and now lives in
Brooklyn, NY. He received a BA in Art from San Jose
State University and attended the Art Student's
League. He studied under Bob Gerbracht, Maynard
Stewart, and Frank Mason. He is a member of the
Salmagundi Club, fellow of the American Artists
Professional League, and a signature member of the
New York Plein Air Painters. I like that
every painting he does seems to be personal and
unique to him, and he explains the location,
context, and intent of the work as he did for this
"This was painted last summer, 2008. It is a Stowe, Vermont painting done along the Recreation Path that is very popular among hikers, rollerbladers, bicyclers, etc. It is an excellent hike and offers wonderful views along the way. Besides the path this is a classic Vermont painting, lush in greens and showing mountains and trees of the type that I associate with Vermont. The painting was done looking east at sunset. A tree by the hillside casts a long shadow in the foreground. My friend and fellow artist, Mary Poerner is seen painting in the foreground in the shade. You can see all the accouterments of the artist, an easel and pack chair and she is wearing a large white floppy hat to shade her eyes for the purpose of painting the landscape."
Mr. Mosley has a website
and a blog.
He sells his work under the ebay id of wlmartist. He
does daily paintings and sells them on ebay, many of
them plein air, as the painting above is. Capturing
light is one of his motivations and one of the
things that strongly draws me to his work.
"Painted en plein air• in 2004 on Mt. Desert
Island, near Bar Harbor, in Acadia National Park. This
scene is of a beach called "Little Hunters Beach"
which is slightly off the beaten path, in fact it does
take a short hike to get there, and then there are
large cobblestones on the beach, so off the beaten
path is a fairly accurate description. But it is a
beautiful, peaceful spot and worth the effort of
getting there I feel. I saw no one else there while I
was there which was nice, and a contrast from the more
popular Sand Beach. Swimming at "Little Hunters Beach"
might not be recommended because, as I said, there are
cobblestones rather than a sandy beach and the waters
and rocks seem a bit treacherous. However, it is
really a lovely, scenic spot and one well worth
The painting below attracted me
because of the way the artist captured light and I also
liked the little splash of motion from the figures in
the middle of the painting.
Mosley also included a short
paragraph about his motivation for this painting
which is another thing that attracts me to his work.
Even though these are plein air oil, which he paints
every day, he takes the time to share his
motivations and other interesting information. It is
easy to see that he cares about his work and is just
not cranking out "a painting a day":
"This was painted
just this past summer, in Hyde Park, a National
Park, and once the estate of the Vanderbilt family.
On the grounds are some of the most exceptional
trees to be found in the United States. Prior to the
Vanderbilts taking over the area, another wealthy
land owner landscaped the area, therefore the trees
are several hundred years old and are among the
largest of their species in the United States. To
read more about the history of the grounds and there
trees, and to see a picture of the purple beech tree
in the painting itself, click
The purple beech
gets it's name by the fact that the leaves can take
on a deep hue of red-purple. I was drawn to this
scene, the composition, by the majesty of the tree
itself. In the background, a family of Indian origin
picnic on the ground, a standing female figure can
be seen with a colorful long flowing pink gown that
the women of India are known for. The figures were
quickly jotted down in the field (with no further
manipulation later in the studio.)"
Walter Mosley, 11" x 14", oil, 2007
example of a winter painting without snow. WLM had
this to say about this one:
"Winter Shadows" was painted last year in winter (2007). It was painted in upstate New York in Brewster, NY, the name of the street is Seven Oaks Lane. This is a late morning painting in which my aim was to capture the moment of sunlight on a clear sunny, albeit wintry day. Aside from the various greens, mostly warm in tone by the sun, the painting is chiefly made up of a subtle interplay between blues, red-violets and blue-violets. The house and its tones intermingle with those of the trees behind and in front, yet clearly stands out because of the warmer tones which face the morning sunlight. A human presence is indicated (almost inconspicuously) by the parent and child walking along the street. There is a variety of textures used throughout the painting from thin washes for the sky and street to thick impastos for the trees, grass and house.
I really like Walter's still
lifes. This one seems jump off of the wall. I like that
the bottle and flowers are slightly off center in the
image. Like the colors, too. I happened to have a
wide mission-style frame in forest green that was
perfect for this painting. Walter said about this one:
"This is a still life painting done in my north light studio in 2007. It is a painting of white flowers (shaped like small lilies) in an old antique glass bottle (before the screw-top was invented) with a maroon or wine colored backdrop."
"This was a demonstration for a student and has the quality of spontaneity of a work done in one sitting, all at once - "alla prima". It is a copy of a work by John Singer Sargent, his portrait of Jean Joseph Marie Carries. In the original Sargent signed his name along withe sitter's on the top of the canvas (with the back of the brush) and I likewise signed my copy with "Mosley a/Sargent" in the upper right."
It is interesting to see the
breadth of Mr. Mosely's work and his associations in the
New York art community.
"This was painted recently, in March 2010. It was painted in Washington Square Park in downtown New York city (Manhattan) on a clear, sunny day in the afternoon looking in a southern direction (away from the arch.)"
This painting had some chips in
it, so I sent it back to Walter and he filled them in,
but also somewhat altered the painting, making some of
the tree trunks more solid brown and maybe a few others
things that did not jump out at me. The painting now
looks somewhat different from the image of the early
version. Both are very nice, though.