The ugly art no one wants

The one of greatest value is crowned the ugly duckling, but . . . they are so wrong!

This original oil painting [24×42 framed] is a later work of Esther Mabel Crawford.  Received by my father from the artist sometime during the 1950’s.  In 2003 when I moved in with my mother to care for her it hung in her bedroom, over her bed.  Then mother decided to gift some of her things.  A first lift of an oil painting went to one grandson, another less valuable but more treasured, because it had always hung in grandpa’s den, went to the other grandson, the large ocean scene mother purchased from a local artist in Newport Beach, CA went to the youngest granddaughter, and so on and so forth until all children and grandchildren possessed art that once hung on her walls.  But, no one wanted the Crawford.  So, it was placed over my desk where I spent six to eight hours a day writing and it went into obscurity from sight and mind.  Oh, now and then I would raise my eyes to view it but other than the occasional glance from me it went unnoticed by everyone else.  Still, it was gifted to me from my mother and for that reason alone it had great value.

Today, it hangs over the Living room sofa and, except for myself, it is no more appreciated than if it were a piece of patternless textile hanging there.  In fact, it has been and it is today the least appreciated art hanging on the walls.  I am clueless about why this is true.  It is a beautifully done oil, soft lines, muted colours that draw your eye in.  It is understated but powerful.  It draws me into it.  I does not glare at me, scream at me, or otherwise demand my attention.  It is soft and alluring, it is timeless art.  It is Crawford.  It is the woman my Dad described to me to a capital T.  And, I have to tell you, I like this oil, I like it a lot.

Why am I the only one to appreciate?  Can’t they see its beauty?

In 2002 John Moran Auctioneers sold a Oil/Canvas, Signed for over three-thousand dollars.  If my children knew this they might like this oil more.  But, then possibly not as none of them seem to be into the value of art.  They are into what they like and this oil is not something they like.

So, a decision is made.  As it seems there is no one to pass the Crawford oil painting down to [and I need some wheels that move faster than those on a tricycle] I will sell the oil painting to the highest bidder.

Any takers?  If so, leave a bid in the comment section.  Starting bid is 2,500.00.

Here is some information on the artist:  Crawford, Esther Mabel 4/23/1872 – 11/21/1958

Coastal by Esther Mabel Crawford (1872-1958)
15″ 22″, Oil/Canvas, Signed
Est.: $2,000 – $3,000
Sold by John Moran Auctioneers for $3,025 on 10/29/2002

Additional information on the artist Esther Mabel Crawford:

(from: Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West)

Esther Mabel Crawford was born on April 23, 1872 in Atlanta, Georgia and spent her childhood there.  She attended the Cincinnati Art Academy from 1894-1898 under Lewis H. Meakin, Thomas Noble, and Joseph H. Sharp.

In 1900 she studied in Paris with James Whistler.   Crawford also spent time at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1901, and the South Kensington School of Design in London. She studied with Bror Nordfeldt in Chicago, and with Alphonse Mucha, Arthur W. Dow and Otto Walter Beck.  Esther Crawford also studied in Japan during a 1922 trip.

Crawford lived briefly in New York, Chicago and Jacksonville, Illinois, and traveled to Japan and China before settling in southern California.  In 1911 she took a position in the art department of the State Normal School, now UCLA.

Esther Crawford was primarily an oil painter and block printer of scenes in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Her exhibitions included the Society of Western Artists, Detroit; California-Panama Exposition, San Diego; California Art Club, Los Angeles; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Esther Crawford died on November 21, 1958 in San Gabriel, California.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s