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.
"Dyers Hill School - Plumstead", H. Gayman, 8" x
10", watercolor on paper
Mrs. Helen S.
Gayman was born on 30 August 1892 in Pennsylvania. She
married George Gordon Gayman between 1910 and 1917,
when he completed his WWI draft registration card,
about 1916, according to the 1930 census. The Gaymans
were living in Plumstead, Bucks County, PA during the
1920-1940 Federal censuses. According to the 3 January
1958 edition of the Doyleston Daily Intelligencer,
Helen worked as a school teacher for 35 years,
retiring on 24 May 1958. According to her family, she
taught all grades and subjects, since she taught in
one room school houses. According to the 1940 census,
both George and Helen had completed three years of
college. George Gayman was working as a teacher in
1910, but his occupation for most of his life was
farmer, often reported as a dairy farmer. Mrs. Gayman
was well known, locally, as an artist. She is listed
in Dictionary of Women Artists by Petteys, Who
Was Who in American Art by Falk and Davenports
Art Reference and Price Guide. Even though
somewhat well listed, little seems to be known about
her life and work as an artist. She seems to be
primarily remembered as a painter in oils, but
obviously also painted in watercolors.
"Near Honeybrook, Chester Co., Pa.", H. Gayman, 8"
x 10", watercolor on paper
labels were found on the back of both of these
Adam Maeroff is a native of
Ohio who has relocated to Pittsburgh. He attended
the Art Institute of Philadelphia, The School of
Visual Arts and Pratt Manhattan.
Carolyn Speranza is a Pittsburgh
media artist. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon
University with a BFA and from Ohio State University
with an MFA. She painted this work in the late 1970s
while still in her teens. Her profile
is on Google. I'll get a better image of this painting
when time permits. This painting was never titled,
according to the artist. The artist's name and address
were recorded in crayon or marker verso, which made it
possible to identify this artist.
Julius Kahn was born in
Frankfurt, Germany on 1 December 1892. Kahn may have
served in WWI, as a picture he took of the trenches
of that war was mentioned in a history of the
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Kahn gave his
place of employment as the Biehl Optical Company on
his WWII Draft Registration Card. The October 11,
1962 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains a
biography of Kahn on the occasion of an exhibition
of his artwork at the Gallery Upstairs. The
exhibition included oils, watercolors and drawings.
According to this article, Kahn studied applied art
at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, Germany. He
came to the United States in 1938 as a result of
Hitler's ascent to power. He worked as a printer in
Pittsburgh and studied painting with Samuel
Rosenberg and Balcomb Greene. He became a member of
the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP) in 1943.
He exhibited 29 paintings in 20 years between 1943
and 1982 at the AAP annual exhibitions. The last
painting, titled "Window", was in 1982. Kahn was
married to a woman named Selma Schoemann, who was
born on 30 April 1917 in Losnich, Germany, and died
on 3 March 1997 in Pittsburgh. Julius and Selma are
the grandparents of well known photographer Jesse
Kalisher of New York City. Note that the
painting in my collection was completed when Kahn
was 88 or 89 years of age. This painting was offered
at the "Two Day Historic Hillsborough Auction"
sponsored by Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales
Ltd., at Hillsborough, North Carolina on 16
September 2006. This may give a clue to the estate
that it came from.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11
'Stark Nature Artist'
Adept in Other Styles
Julius Kahn Show at 'Gallery Upstairs'
By Jeanette Jena
Post Art Critic
a biographical sketch - prepared for his current
exhibit at the "Gallery Upstairs" - Julius Kahn says
that he deliberately "commits the crime" of copying
nature as closely as he can, making only slight
distortions or changes when he feels that expression
of rhythm requires it, and preferring to paint
"right on the spot."
In spite of this bold assertion, I feel that the artist's pictures of Israel are the most convincing works in the show. And these, he admits, were necessarily done from sketches and snapshots, because he had no time for full scale painting, during his recent brief visit there.
be sure, these oils - "Israel Landscape," "Bazaar
Street in Akko," "Impression at Tiberias" and
"Chalutz" - must certainly be called realistic; as
would the portfolio of prints, based on Israeli
sketches, which are also exhibited here.
However, memory has created an "emotional distance" which seems to add more force to these landscapes. And although Kahn's approach betrays an unabashed admiration for Van Gogh's dazzling colors and vivid southern patterns, I think you could call this the lesser "crime" of copying "human nature," which other artists have done before him.
Largely self-taught and a printer by occupation, Kahn was born in Frankfurt, Germany, came to this country and in 1938 , during the Hitler oppression.
Water Colors, Oils
United States citizen since 1944, he has been a
member of the Associated Artists since 1943; and, in
Pittsburgh, supplemented his early training in
applied art at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg
with evening classes with Samuel Rosenberg and
In addition to the Israel subjects, I like the free handling of a watercolor and an oil called "Parade". Both suggest people caught off guard, enjoying themselves in a crowd; and I would guess that they were also inspired bu quick sketches, rather than carefully worked over "on the spot."
The exhibition is made up of 25 oils, watercolors and drawings - still-life subjects - in addition to the print portfolio. It continues through October 28.
Kahn is mentioned in Davenports Art
Reference and Price Guide and Associated
Artists of Pittsburgh, 1910-1975: The First 75 Years
Julius Kahn, Pittsburgh
Julius Kahn, a Pittsburgh artist and retired
printer, died Monday in Forbes Hospice. He was 90.
Mr.Kahn who lived at 5326 Bartlett St., Squirrel Hill, was native of Germany and came to this country in 1938.
He studied art here under Samuel Rosenberg but his full-time occupation was as a printer. He owned a shop in the former Pittsburgh Life Building Downtown.
Mr. Kahn's works were exhibited at the Arts and Craft center in Shadyside and at one-man shows in the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute.
He was a member of B'nai-Zion Congregation; the Pittsburgh Society of Artists; and a 25-year member of the Zionist Organization of America. He also was a member of the defunct Friendship Club and its predecessor, the German Club.
Mr. Kahn is survived by his wife, Selma; a daughter Ilse Kalisher of New York City; a sister, Alice Blumenthal of Bethesda, Md,; and a grandson.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Ralph Schugar Chapel, 5509 Centre Ave., Shadyside. Visitation will be one hour before services. Burial will be in the Beth Shalom Cemetery, Shaler
Memorial contributions may be made to the Gertrude Nachman Memorial Book Fund of the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh, Forbes and Deniston avenues, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15217. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Pittsburgh artist Julius Kahn, 90, died yesterday at
the Forbes Hospice in the East End.
Mr. Kahn of 6326 Bartlett St., Squirrel Hill was a native of Germany who came to the United States in 1938. He worked as a printer with offices in the Pittsburgh Standard Life Building, Downtown.
Mr. Kahn studied with Pittsburgh artist Samuel Rosenberg and had been a member of the Associated Artists Guild since 1943. He was a 25-year member of the Zionist Organization of America and belonged to the Pittsburgh Society of Artists, the Pittsburgh Center for Arts and the Carnegie Museum Society. He also belonged to the former Congregation B'nai Zion in Squirrel Hill and the now defunct Friendship club.
He is survived by his wife, Selma of Squirrel Hill, a daughter, Ilse Kalisher of New York City; a sister, Alice Blumenthal of Bethesda, Md., and a grandson.
Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Ralph Schugar Chapel, 5509 Centre Ave., Shadyside. Friends may call an hour before the service. Burial will be in the Beth Shalom Cemetery, Shaler.
Contributions may be made to the Gertrude Nachman Memorial Book Fund of the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh.
Jennifer "Jen" Hagen was
raised in New York and Florida. She received a
degree in commercial art and worked in various
related positions for several years. Hagen
eventually felt that her true calling was fine art
and she was accepted into the full time program at
Incamminati in Philadelphia, which focuses on
teaching classic Italian Realism. She completed a
four year certificate at the Studio Incamminati and
was awarded a teaching fellowship there.
Jesse Rogers Ullrich was born
in Philadelphia on 6 July 1887 a son of Charles H.
and Sarah A. Ullrich. Charles owned a printing shop
in Philadelphia. Jesse received a B.S. in
Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in
1910. He was employed as the Head of Technical
Drawing at Wilkes-Barre High School in 1913. He was
employed at the Department of Architecture of the
University of Pennsylvania in 1934. Jesse was a
painter, working in watercolors and oils. There is
no information available about Ullrich's work as an
artist and he is not listed in any art reference
work. The seller of this painting and several other
works by Ullrich described him as a "University of
Pennsylvania Art Teacher (Long passed) and Science
Fiction Author". I have not been able to confirm
whether or not he taught art, but he did write at
least three short stories for "Amazing Stories"
magazine between 1929 and 1931. He also wrote an
article for "School Arts" magazine in 1921 and
another for "Popular Science" magazine in 1930.
Ullrich died in October 1907 at Ocean City, Cape May, New Jersey.
Eric Kahn was born in 1949 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a son of Louis Kahn. I
could find little information about this artist
until I contacted a dealer in his works who knows
him personally and has been a collector of his work
for ten years. The mentions that I did find were the
result of an auction of several of his works by the
Alderfer Auction Center on ArtFact.com in February
2010. Alderfer Auction Center is located in
Hatfield, PA. It was noted in the auction notice
that works not sold on ArtFact.com would be sold at
the auction center. My painting has an Alderfer tag
on it, and was part of the Alderfer lot of fifteen
Kahn paintings purchased by the dealer I obtained
this work from. Kahn is mentioned on several on line
art sites, AskArt, ArtInfo, etc. This work is signed
and titled in marker on the stretcher, verso, and
also signed "E. Kahn" lower right. A nice little
painting and it came nicely framed, too. The dealer
who sells his works told me that Kahn is still
active, painting almost every day in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. Kahn has studios in both New Jersey
and New England. Kahn is mostly self taught but
studied with his father, Louis Kahn in Philadelphia,
according to the dealer. Eric Kahn took classes in
Photo Illustration at Rochester Institute of
Nadine Karnow was born 7
December 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a
daughter of Paul and Anastasia Goregliad Karnow.
Nadine was a painter, sculptor, musician, dancer,
and illustrator. She graduated from the Tyler School
of Art with a Masters degree. She taught art at
Sarah Lawrence University and Penn State University.
After her death many of her works of art, paintings
and sculptures, along with a large collection of
musical instruments, were sold at auction. Probably,
since the works were from her private collection,
many were not signed. Many were marked "NFS", not
for sale, so likely had been exhibited. I found some
indication that she also collected art, so I do not
think it can be said with certainty that the
painting in my collection is her work, though her
name is written on the dust cover and the seller
acquired it as a part of a lot of her works, some
signed. I removed the dust cover and there is
nothing written verso. Interestingly, the painting
was done on a wooden board that was apparently run
over by some type of wheeled vehicle that left a
tire mark on the wood. It appears to be a very thin
plywood. I could not find any examples of her
paintings for comparison, or clear photos of her. It
is possible that this is a self portrait based on
the rather indistinct photo shown below. I like the
colors, use of light and shadow and general style of
the work. I would appreciate any information about
Nadine, her work as an artist, and would like to
find a better photograph of her.
Nadine's obituary appeared in the Philadelphia Enquirer:
Nadine Karnow, renown artist, illustrator, teacher and musician fell asleep in our Lord on July 8th 2009. Born in Philadelphia to Anastasia and the late Deacon Paul Karnow, her musical and artistic talents quickly emerged. She was a singer, dancer, and instrumentalist with the Saint Andrew Balalaika Orchestra for more than four decades. As a student, she attended the Tyler School of Art, earning a Masters Degree in Art. She than went on to teach Art at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and at Penn State University. She also taught in the local Philadelphia area. As an artist her art works and ceramics were exhibited at many art galleries in the Philadelphia area. She also worked as an illustrator, illustrating technical manuscripts and exhibits for the Philadelphia Museum of Natural History. She also illustrated Russian Costumes for various publications She was a member of the Balalaika and Dombra Association of America since its inception. and a member of the Saint Andrew’s Orthodox Cathedral Choir. Although her tragic accident in 1986 disabled her, it did not diminish her love of art, culture and all things Russian.
Nadine Karnow died on 8 July 2009 in Philadelphia.
I was able to locate one photo of Ms. Karnow on the Internet. The photo greatly resembles the painting in my collection. I suspect the painting is either a self portrait of Ms. Karnow, or was done of her by another artist. It is difficult to know if this is her work as there are few images of her paintings available for comparison. I would appreciate if anyone who knows if this is, or is not, the work of Nadine Karnow would contact me.
Weitershausen was born on 20 April 1879 in Allegheny
County, Pennsylvania, a son of Charles R. and
Antonetta Weitershausen. Charles worked as a fire
insurance agent. A. W. Weitershausen
is listed in the 1902 Pittsburgh and Allegheny
directory as an employee of the Commercial
Glass Co., of Millvale, PA. Albert was listed as
"prest" of the Commercial Glass Co. in the 1903-1905
city directories. This may have been an abbreviation
for "president". Albert is listed as the
secretary-treasurer of the Pittsburgh Art Glass
& Mosaic Decorative Co. 1906-1910. He appears in
later directories at the same company with various
titles, including Superintendent, etc. Albert
married a woman named Mary Bertha about 1907,
probably in Allegheny County. The couple was living
in Millvale, PA in 1910 where Albert was employed as
a stained glass designer. I have not been able to
discover where Albert received his training. Albert
received a patent
for an improved technique in creating leaded glass
constructions in 1914. He was an employee of the
Pittsburgh Art Glass Company at the time. Albert
completed WWI and WWII draft registration cards and
in 1942 was still employed by the same company,
which had been renamed Pittsburgh Art Glass Studios
in 1924. This company was founded in 1903, so Albert
was certainly one of its longest serving employees
by 1942. Albert's profession was given as stained
glass artist in the art glass industry in 1930. The
Weitershausens had one daughter, Mary H., born about
have found several references to Albert's work as a
stained glass artist, but he seems to be completely
undocumented as a fine artist. Several contemporary
stained glass artists in Pittsburgh, and the
vicinity, were also well known fine artists. Judging
by the monogram on the front, and label attached to
the back of this painting, his lack of recognition,
may be attributable to the fact that he signed his
work using a monogram. The fact that a special label
was printed for this painting would seem to indicate
that Albert routinely created fine art. I found the
following definition of thumb-box sketches using
Google Books: "They were such sketches as an artist
commonly makes in the field, with a small box of
colors held on the thumb, and arranged, when open,
to serve both as palette and easel - hence the name
'thumb-box sketch.'" It was also noted in various
sources that such paintings tended to be miniatures,
so this painting would be a rather large example of
such a work. Mussini Oil Colors are still in
George Knecht was born on 31
October 1926 in Philadelphia, PA, a son of Elmer and
Marie E. Church Knecht. He graduated from the
Hussian School of Art. Knecht was the founder and
Chairman of the Graphics Art Department at Temple
University until he retired in 1987.
George Knecht died on 15 January 1998 in Meadowbrook, PA. His obituary appeared in a local newspaper:
George Knecht died January 10, 1998 at his home in Meadowbrook. He was 71. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Marie E. Church and Elmer Knecht. He was a graduate of the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. An accomplished artist, he started and headed the Graphic Arts Department at Temple University until his retirement in 1987. Mr. Knecht was an Army veteran of World War II, having served in the Philippine Islands. He is survived by his wife, Henrietta W. Dotterer Knecht; a brother, William Knecht of Philadelphia; a sister, Betty Fidler of Philadelphia; stepchildren, Scott S. Dotterer III of Tokyo, Japan and Susanna E. Lipscomb of Catlett, Va.; and a step grandson, Thomas Lipscomb. A memorial service will be held Friday, January 16 at 1:30 p.m. in the Baron Rowland Funeral Home, 1059 Old Yord Rd., Abington. The family will receive friends after 1 p.m. Interment will be private. Remembrances may be sent to the charity of the donor's choice
He was also mentioned in the
Temple University staff and alumni publication:
George Knecht, a retired senior graphic artist and a founder and former chairman of the graphic arts department, died January 10 of a heart attack at his home in Meadowbrook. He was 71.
Knecht, retired since 1987 after 28 years of employment in Audiovisual Services, contributed countless and diverse works for use on Temple campuses—from portraits in oil or watercolor, to meticulous pen-and-ink illustrations of owls and campus buildings. From his basement studio in Annenberg Hall, he also produced brochures, posters, diagrams and notebook covers.
Outside of Temple, the multi-media artist’s work has received numerous showings and acclaim, including a commissioning to design and produce more than 150 directional and informational signs for the 1986 convocation of Bishop Tutu.
“A bit of love for Temple” was in each completed project, said Dennis P. Leeper, director of instructional services who once worked closely with Knecht.
“He was an outstanding and very talented artist whose absence was greatly felt” at Temple when he retired, recalled Leeper. “There was no media at which he wasn’t quick and proficient.
Knecht exhibited and sold
his work, as evidenced by the label on the back
of this painting. The Hussian School of Art web
site emphasizes that the instructors there are
also active professionals in the world of
graphic design. Knecht may have incorporated
this into the Graphic Arts Department at Temple
University. This work is not dated, and it may
also have been painted after his retirement. I
have not found many mentions of his professional
work and none of his fine arts work. Knecht is
not listed in any major art reference source.
from this painting
Robert "Bob" Karsten was born
17 April 1943 in New York, a son of Erna Karsten. At
22 Karsten earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree
from the Maryland Institute College of Art in
Baltimore, majoring in painting with a minor in
sculpture and intaglio printmaking. He graduated Cum
Laude in 1965, then in 1967 earned a Masters degree
at the Maryland Institute College of Art Huffberger
School of Painting, again majoring in painting with
a minor in intaglio printmaking. Karsten was a tall
man, about six foot four, and slender of build at
about 220 lbs. He was an Olympic-style weightlifter
and much of the information below comes from a
weightlifting acquaintance who met Karsten in
Louisiana and became a friend of both Karsten and
his mother for many years.
Karsten, 14" x 11", oil on masonite panel, 1965
Karsten was as an Associate
Professor in the School of Art at Louisiana Tech
University, starting in 1968, teaching painting and
including figure drawing and anatomy, as well as graduate courses in painting. About 1984 he relocated to Red Lion, Pennsylvania where he worked as an fine artist. Karsten was a painter in oils and pastels, and an illustrator. He had a "massive fascination" with trucks, trains, and horse racing and painted those things. Among other subjects, he created a series of semi truck paintings in pastels and lithographs that were created from his original oil paintings. He was commissioned by a hobby shop, Trainmaster of Montgomery, located in Montgomery, Alabama, to paint a series of paintings for lithographs of well known trains. These lithographs are now very sought after by train afficianados. He was also commissioned by Wither's Publishing to do covers for two books about trains, Norfolk & Western Volume 1 and Volume 2. Karsten did a book cover for a book about Seaborn Air Lines trains for an author named Warren Calloway. The first painting above reminds me a bit of the "flatscape" style of Harold Gregor.
"Study for 'In
Harmony'", Robert Karsten, 8" x 12", casein on
masonite panel, 1966
Karsten did not marry and his
only relatives were his mother and a childless aunt
and uncle on his mother's side. His mother and
sister came to the US about 1918 from Germany at the
end of WWII. They all settled in York, PA. Karsten
did not know his father. Karsten's aunt and uncle
died in York County, and later his mother died
there, too. Karsten lived with his mother for many
years both in Pennsylvania and Louisiana. Robert
Karsten apparently became despondent upon the death
of this mother and possibly due to a diagnosis of
macular degeneration which resulted in him taking
his own life.
Robert Karsten died 16 August 1996 in York, PA.
Examples of Karsten's signature
Nathan "Nate" Dunn was born 4
July 1896 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to
Polish/Russian parents, Israel and Edith "Ida" Dunn.
Israel Dunn was a dry goods peddler in 1900 and
immigrated in 1890, becoming a naturalized US
citizen in 1895. Nate was painter in oils and
watercolors and began his career in Uniontown, PA
and later settled in Sharon, PA before 1930. He
taught for ten years at the Girls Buhl School in
Sharon. He was an early member of the Associated
Artists of Pittsburgh and a member of the Royal
Society of Art. He studied at the Carnegie Institute
of Technology with Arthur Sparks, Alfred Taylor, and
George Sotter. Dunn was known as a Pennsylvania
Modernist and is thought to have been associated
with the Pennsylvania Impressionists of the New Hope
School. His teacher, George Sotter, was definitely
associated with the Pennsylvania Impressionists.
Dunn exhibited widely, including yearly at the
Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and his work
is part of the permanent collections of the Butler
Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and
the Carnegie Institute of Technology. His work was
included in the Vincent Price Collection.
Dunn is mentioned in Who's Who in American Art (1973-1984), Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, and Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide.
Dunn was in the habit of going to Cape Cod to paint for two or three weeks each summer. He was married to a woman named Beatrice who died in January of 1983. Nate Dunn died in November 1983 in Sharon, PA. I found a record of the arrival of Nate and Beatrice Dunn from Hamilton, Bermuda on 8 February 1926, a trip that may have been their honeymoon.
Harriett Curtin Ermentrout
was born 26 November 1915 in Philadelphia, PA the
daughter of Allen Sheldon and Theresa B. Ermentrout.
Her father worked in the leather trade for many
years. Her mother died between 1920 and 1930 and her
father remarried and moved to Bucks County, PA.
Harriet is an artist in watercolors, oils, pastels,
pen, and pencil but prefers watercolors. She studied
interior design at the Moore Institute of Art, and
also studied with Roy Nuse, John Pike, Ranulph Bye,
and Ed Whitney. Ermentrout is a member of the
Philadelphia Sketch Club and exhibited at the
Woodmere Art Museum and other places. She is a
resident of Bucks County, PA and best known for
painting Bucks County scenes of buildings and
landscapes. She was still exhibiting her work in her
nineties. Her signature is very consistent on all of
the paintings I have seen, and I suspect that she
uses a stamp.