Harry Mills Walcott
The Gossips, circa 1901
Signed H.M. Walcott, and inscribed Copyright 1902 by S. T. Shaw (ll); signed Samuel T. Shaw and dated 1925 within a two inch painted square on the reverse
Oil on canvas
19 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches
Samuel T. Shaw, New York
[Sale] American Art Association, New York, The Samuel T. Shaw Collection of American paintings, Jan. 21, 1926, lot 86
[Sale] American Art Association, New York, Important Examples of English, French & Italian Furniture, Rare Tapestries & Oriental Rugs, Decorative & Table Porcelains, Bronzes, Silver & Fabrics, Oct. 25, 1928, lot 1239
New York, Society of American Artists, 1902, no. 115
Buffalo, NY, Albright Art Gallery, The First Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists, May 31 - Sep. 2, 1906. no. 115 [as Gossip, lent by Samuel T. Shaw]
Charles H. Caffin, "American Studio Talk", International Studio, 1902, vol. 16, p. 73
Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists and a Group of Small Selected Bronzes by American Sculptors, Albright Art Gallery, 1906, p. 29
Samuel T. Shaw was a businessman, proprietor of the Grand Union Hotel, collector and patron of American Art. A member and officer of the Society of American Artists, the National Academy of Design, Lotos, Union League, National Art, and Salmagundi Clubs, Shaw awarded cash prizes for the best picture at annual exhibitions.
Shaw established a Fund in his name that eventually grew to $1,500, for the annual purchase of one or more works by American artists. The winners were selected with the assistance of a jury, the paintings to become the property of Samuel T. Shaw. The present work was one of the award winners, and is signed by its owner and dated 1925 on the reverse.
The bulk of Shaw's collection, comprising 210 paintings by 103 American artists (including the present work) was sold at auction by the American Art Galleries in 1926.
The painting was reproduced as a postcard on which is indicated Salon 1901 so it appears that it may have been exhibited in Paris prior to Walcott's departure to America that same year. In a 1902 review of the annual exhibition at the Society of American Artists, Charles H. Caffin described the present work as a clever study of fisher girls seated in a row, their white caps and blue aprons (especially the latter) being made conducive to a quaintly piquant scheme of movement and color. [International Studio, 1902, vol. 16, p. 29]
Additional Notes & Condition Report
The name of Samuel T. Shaw on the front of the painting appears possibly to have been reinforced.
Treatment Performed (Summer 2017)
1. Consolidate areas of flaking paint with BEVA 371.
2. Remove grime layer and discolored varnish from painting.
3. Edge-line painting with linen strips adhered with BEVA 371
4. Restretch and place into tension.
5. Fill areas of paint loss with Modostuc filler
6. Apply new varnish of BEVA varnish (Regalrez resin with U V stabilizer).
7. Retouch as necessary with resin colors (Maimeri).
Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging.
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