Kevin's Art Collection
copyright Kevin Daniel 2007-16

    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.

Unknown Artists

Sidewalk by unknown linocut

"Sidewalk", unknown, 6" x 4", Artists Proof, linocut on paper

    Not much I can say about this one. I found this at a Habitat for Humanity thrift store in Bloomington, IL in April 2018. I paid $.25 for it. I am pretty sure that I have seen another one like this floating around, unless this is the same one and it migrated to this thrift shop. It is signed and titled and marked as an artist proof verso. I can't make out the signature, though... "G. A....."?

Sidewalk inscription

Inscription, verso


Closeup of signature

unnamed by Laura Lewis

unnamed, Laura Lewis, 8" x 10", oil on canvas

    Still trying to identify this artist. It is very clearly and distinctively signed, but I have found several artists by this name. A couple of folks have pointed to this Laura Lewis' web site, but I contacted her and she says it is not her work. Her signature IS similar to this artist's signature, though. Any help appreciated.

Laura Lewis signature

Laura Lewis signature

unnamed by unknown Russian artist

unnamed, unknown, 20" x 28", oil on board

    Here is an ebay find for which it is possible I will never know more about than I do right now. Here is what the Lithuanian seller, D. Vabolio Enterprises had to say about it:

"I bought it in Latvia Riga. The owner said what here is Riga art academy interior view, was created by Russian artist, but not signed."

    The seller probably meant the Riga Art School. I sent an email to the school to see if anyone recognizes the work of this artist and received the following reply from Dr. Kristiana Abele:

"In response to your inquiry about the studio scene reputedly created by a Russian artist at the Academy of Art in Riga the form of the window niche let me suggest that it could have been painted by a student of the Riga City Art School between 1912 and 1915 when this institution had its provisional premises in St. Jacob's Barracks (Jekaba kazarmas, Jakobs Kaserne) at Torna Street in Riga. In the summer of 1915, the school was closed and evacuated to be continued as the Latvian Academy of Art already in the independent Republic in Latvia from 1921 when it got housed in a building with windows of a very different type. Unfortunately, the lack of additional information makes it impossible to establish the identity of the artist."

    Jacob's Barracks is still in existence, having been converted to commercial space and residential housing. I contacted the real estate agents who are the agents for the building and received a reply that said they believed the image to be from the building. They sent me some stock photos of the interior and exterior.

Jacob's Barracks

Jacob's Barracks

    I paid only $10 for this painting, which I really like, but a subsequent offering of another view of the same building by this same artist fetched several hundred dollars. The second, smaller painting was not as good as this one. I made a "Buy it now" offer that was accepted shortly after the works were offered. I suspect I got lucky on this purchase. Too bad it is not signed. There were several other works by this artist from this seller, including two or three more that depicted scenes similar to the one in my collection, several landscapes and figurative works.

verso Lithuanian mystery painting


    The back of the painting shows it has some age, though maybe not the 1900-1940 estimate of the seller. It is in very good condition, so it may have been stored in a favorable environment for some time.

Paoli painting

unnamed, Paoli, 12" x 10", oil on board

    This was an ebay find. It was presented as the work of Italian artist Bruno Paoli (1915-2005), but it bears no resemblance to his most widely known style and the signature is very different than any other example of his signature that I can find. That makes this attribution very suspect. The seller included several printouts of previous auctions of landscape works attributed to Paoli and one does have a signature that bears a resemblance to the one on my painting, and is from an Italian auction. I cannot say whether or not the style of this painting is similar to those in the printouts as the images are too small and indistinct. It does not appear to be dated, similar to my painting, though Paoli seems to have routinely dated his work from the 1960s onward, using a very distinctive signature. According to a biography in a gallery catalog in my possession, Paoli originally worked as a sculptor and only started painting in the 1950s, so this leaves a very brief window of time for a change in his signature. 
    Paoli is a very common name, with over 700 people by that name in the 1930 census and many more in the current national telephone listings. The seller of this painting was located in San Diego, CA. I suspect this identification was the result of a Google  or on line art site search for prominent artists named Paoli, especially since the seller quoted a biography from the Internet for Bruno Paoli. I contacted the source for this biography, a gallery owner who knew Paoli and represents the largest remaining collection of his work, and she agrees that it is doubtful that is by Paoli. This is a common ebay scenario.
It is an interesting work and the frame had more value than I paid for the painting and frame combined, though, and in a frame size that can be difficult to find used.
    This led to a few hours of pleasant research regarding artists named Paoli. I restricted my search to artists by this name in the United States, since those are the resources that I have available. While there are several men listed with the occupation of "painter" in the genealogical records that I have access to, only one, Peter Edward Paoli, was listed as an artist. There are many kinds of painters, and several of these men were obviously working in occupations like house painters, etc. Peter Paoli, on the other hand, was listed as an artist in many records from 1910 through the 1940s. He was listed as an "artist", "artist, scenic", "artist, commercial", etc. That is not to say that Peter Paoli is the creator of this work, but I find no other records of his work as an artist, and I believe his life and career are worth documenting.

Paoli framed

Framed work

    Peter Edward Paoli was born on 22 February 1880 in Chicago, IL, a son of John and Mary Agnes Hunter Paoli. John was employed as a "Huckster" in the 1880 Chicago census.
John was born in Italy of Italian parents and Mary in Ohio of Irish parents. John died before 1900 and left a widow, one son and three daughters. Peter was living with his mother and sisters (Rose, Addie and Irene) in Chicago during the 1900 census and his occupation was given as "painter". Still living with this mother and two sisters in Chicago, one sister (Rose) having died before the 1910 census, he was employed as an "artist, scenic". Paoli traveled to Europe and returned on 21 August 1914 from Havre, France. He was living in Wilmette, IL on 27 January 1917, when he applied for a U. S. patent for a theatrical device. The device was used to quickly change scenery backdrops on theatrical stages, by queuing several suspended backdrops and using a rope and pulley system for displaying the desired scene. The design was complex and included several features, including lighting.  Paul was again living in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration card in 1918, and he gave his occupation as "artist actor", if I read it correctly. His mother was listed as someone who would be able to contact him, if needed. Mary Paoli was living in Wilmette, IL with her daughter Irene and son-in-law John Anderson during the 1920 census. Paul has not been located in the 1920 census. Paoli's mother died in Wilmette, Illinois in 1921. Paoli was living alone at 2003 Sedgwick St., Chicago during the 1930 census, an address he would be associated with for several decades. His occupation was "artist, commercial". There is a gap in records until Paoli completed his WWII Draft Registration card in 1942. He was still living at 2003 Sedgwick in Chicago and his employer was given as "own business". For a contact he listed E. Wherle of Chicago. Peter was still living at 2003 "Sedwidge" St. in Chicago, when he returned from a trip to Europe on the ship Constitution on 7 November 1951. The ship departed from Gibraltar. This is the last mention of Paoli that I have found in records.

Paoli SAIC work

Paoli's SAIC work

    According to The Art Institute of Chicago School of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Designing, Architecture. Circular of Instruction for 1902-1903, with Catalogue of Students for 1901-1902, P. E. Paoli was a student in the Life Class, Evening Life Class and the Antique Class. That these entries are for Paul Edward Paoli is confirmed by the address for him that is included in this book, 592 27th St., Chicago. This is the same address where he was living with his family during the 1900 census. Included in this book is an image of an oil painting by Paoli, "Still Life in Color.  Interior, oil". A list of instructors by class taught is included in the book, but it is not possible to tell who his instructors were as there were more than one instructor for each of the classes he took. Some of the instructors are very well known artists. A request for more information about Paoli's attendance at the School of the Art Institute prompted this response:

"Our records show that Mr. Paoli attended SAIC from 1894-95 & 1901-04. There is no mention of a degree."

    The World, a theatrical magazine, published 9 April 1921, P. E. Paoli was the scenic artist for the Pepple Agency, a Chicago theatrical booking agency, that was originally called the Unity Vaudeville Agency. This is the only professional reference located for Paoli, so far.
    There is no record of Paoli in the Social Security Death Index.

Paoli signature

Paoli Signature

Roberts vase

unnamed, Roberts, 12" x 4" x 3", ceramic

    Here is a nice vase, a thrift shop find. Looking inside, it can be seen that this vase is was constructed using the coil method. It is decorated on both sides, with similar, though not exact images of what I think are blue iris flowers. There is also a triple line around the bottom and what I read as the signature "Roberts", on the bottom. This is so well done and striking that I am certain that it is by an established artist. It does not appear to be too old, perhaps later than 1990. Any help in identifying this artist would be appreciated.

Roberts front    Roberts
                  side view    Roberts
                  side two   

Views of vase


Roberts bottom


N. Bell drawing

unnamed, N. Bell, 14" x 8", pen and ink drawing

    A thrift shop find. Nicely done pen and ink drawing that has been framed multiple times. There is residue of tape from two of the previous mountings verso, and a piece of folded scotch tape at the top which is on both sides. The multiple mountings may be an indication of age. The last time it was mounted and framed was by a Bloomington, IL framer who went out of business in the late 1980s. The only record of an artist named Bell with the first initial of "N" was a British artist named Norman Martin Bell (1907-1970). This artist was listed as a painter and was also an author. I have not been able to find any examples of his signature or work. Coincidentally, at the same thrift shop, about the same time, I acquired an etching done about 1925 by the British artist Dorothy F. Sweet.

N. Bell signature

N. Bell signature

    An interesting thing about this drawing is that there is a number written verso on the drawing that was transferred to the framer's label on the back of the drawing. I am not sure of the significance of this number.

Bell number

Number on back of drawing and framed work.

unnamed by George Meldrum

unnamed, George Meldrum, 24" x 20", oil on fiberboard

    These paintings appear to be the work of a trained and talented artist named George Meldrum. They were purchased from a seller in Roseville, Michigan. No artist by this name is listed in any art reference resource I have examined. There was an artist of this name who was part of a Southern California group known as the "13 Moderns" in 1951. He was from Laguna Beach, CA. There are very few mentions of this group, but the group included some well known California artists; George Meldrum, Leonard Kaplan, Netter Worthington, George Brown and Elizabeth Whipple from Laguna, Milton and Mabel Hutchinson, Rex Brandt, Joan Brandt and Ramona Douglass from Corona del Mar, David Vaughn from Costa Mesa and Phil Dike from Claremont and Everett MacDonald. This group may have only assembled for one exhibition.
    There was also a British artist by this name, but it seems unlikely that he was the creator of these paintings as all mentions of him indicate that he was a sculptor.

unnamed by George Meldrum

unnamed, George Meldrum, 24" x 18", oil on fiberboard, 1958

George Meldrum monogram

George Meldrum monogram

                Meldrum signature

George Meldrum signature

George Meldrum inscription


Meldrum restored

    This appears to be a painting worth saving, so I used the Gimp to do some touch ups and show what it might look like, if restored. Anything with a cat in it is worth the effort.

W. Gertrude Walker abstract

"Marine life #13", W. Gertrude Walker, 5" x 5", oil on card

    This painting is unsigned but bears a label verso, that has the artist's name "W. G. Walker" and her address, 9213 Alden Drive, Beverly Hills. This label permitted tracking her to two other addresses, a condo Los Angeles in 1991, and a retirement home in Palm Desert, CA in 1993. Unfortunately  her birth date was not given in the on line directory, as is often the case. There were two women named Gertrude W. Walker in California Death Records and the Social Social Security Death Index, both dying on Orange County, CA in 1994. One of these women had a middle name that would be unlikely to be used as a first name, so can be eliminated. The other woman was Gertrude Winifred Walker, who was born on 4 January 1910 in Uhrichsville, Ohio, a daughter of Clinton S. and Gertrude White Walker. Clinton was employed as a "merchant, tailor shop" in the 1910 census of Uhrichsville, as an "upholsterer, r r shops" and "tailor, tailor shop" in the 1920 and 1930 censuses of Columbus, Ohio. Winifred appeared as both Winifred G. and Gertrude W. in census records, but was listed only as "Gertrude" in the 1910 census. The true order of her first and middle names, is not certain, which makes tracing her more challenging. Winifred Gertrude did not have an occupation in 1930. Clinton S. Walker amd wife "Dent", were living at 1002 1/2 Larrabee St. in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles in the 1940 census. The census shows that he had resided in California since 1935, was a high school graduate and his wife had attended two years of college. His occupation was reported as "Tailor". Gertrude W. Walker was not with her parents, but may be the woman who appears in the 1940 census of Coshocton, OH, where she was employed as a "painter, art factory". Miss Gertrude Walker was living with her parents in 1946 and 1948 at 1002 1/2 Larrabee St. She was not with them in earlier city directories. Mrs. Gertrude Walker died in Los Angeles in 1948 and Clinton died there in 1951.
    Our artist is possibly the W. Gertrude Walker who, in 1955, was living at h332c North Palm Dr., Beverly Hills, CA. Her occupation was "writer". A copyright was recorded on 30 June 1931 for Winifred Gertrude Walker, AKA W. G. Walker, for a play in three interludes called "Immortality". Her address was given as 4770 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA.   Dramas and Works Prepared for Oral Delivery, 1947, credits Winifred Gertrude Walker with writing a satire titled "The Clown". The entry also gives her name as "W. Gertrude Walker".  Winifred Gertrude Walker next appears in records in the 1960 Beverly Hills city directory, living at 9213 Alden Drive, the same address that is on the label on the back of my painting. In 1964, 1973 and 1975 she was living at the same address in Beverly Hills, CA. The 1972 city directory reported her occupation was "writer" also at the same address. By 1991 she was living at
1745 N Gramercy Pl Apt 616 in Los Angeles. She was listed as Gertrude W. Walker in 1973 and as W. Gertrude in 1975, while living at the same address. No other information about her life or work as a writer or artist has been found. Two works by her are known to exist, though the title of one suggests there were numerous others. The two known works were signed or labeled verso, but not signed on front, so there may be works by this artist missing their backing, that would be difficult to attribute. There was also a British artist named Winifred Walker, who could be confused with this artist.

"Trees" W. Gertrude

"Trees", W. Gertrude Walker, 5" x 7", oil on card, 1971

W. Gertrude Walker died on 15 December 1994 in Palm Desert, Riverside, CA.

unnamed by unknown artist

unnamed, unknown artist, 8" x 10", oil on masonite

    This painting came from the estate of a local woman, Kathryn Ruka Willis in Bloomington, Illinois in 2011. Her husband, Edwin Roy Willis also lived in Bloomington and died there in 1987. He was a professor of zoology at Illinois State University. It could have belonged to either person. It is well done and in a striking frame of some soft wood, perhaps pine. Unfortunately, it is not signed and attempts to contact family members has failed.

unnamed by

O. B. Dye painting

unnamed, O. B. Dye, 10" x 8", oil on board

    I believe these two small paintings to be the work of Olive Bagg Dye, based on the signature. Olive Bagg Dye was born on 19 August 1889 in Lincoln. She studied with her father, Henry Howard Bagg, at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Although Lincoln was her main residence, she was active in Los Angeles during the 1930s. After the death of her husband, Milton Dye, she settled in Los Angeles and remained there until her death. Mrs. Dye was an art teacher had many art students, operating a studio in Lincoln, Nebraska and Los Angeles. She was one of the organizers of the Palette Art Club in Lincoln. She worked as an interior decorator and was a highly skilled painter of landscapes, western genre and mountain scenery similar to that of her father's. She also painted murals. Her work was widely reproduced by the Murphy Calendar Company in Red Oak, IA.  She exhibited at the Nebraska State Fair, 1930 where she won an award. A lengthy biography for her appears in the 4 March 1959 edition of the Lincoln Evening Journal and Nebraska State Journal. Dye is listed in Mallett's Index of Artists, the American Art Annual (1933), Who's Who in American Art, Whos who in the South and Southwest by Larkin (1947), Artists of the West by Dawdy, California Artists 1935 to 1956 by McCall, Dictionary of Women Artists by Pettys and Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide.
    These paintings are obviously extremely dirty, and looking at the edges it is easy to see how bright and striking they would be if cleaned. They are not varnished, so I am not sure how well they could be cleaned, though.
    Olive Bagg Dye
died in Covina, California on 22 February 1977.

                    B. Dye painting

unnamed, O. B. Dye, 10" x 8", oil on board

    There is a partial label on the back of one of the paintings, that might help to date them.


Label, verso


Dye signature


Dye signature

W. Bartsch oil painting

"unnamed" by W. Bartsch, 15" x 18", oil on canvas

    This painting was offered as a "very early work by Wilhelm Bartsch". I am very dubious about this attribution, for a couple of reasons. First, the painting is on an American made canvas and bears a stamp that says "The Pfleger Pat." with an 1886 date and a Chicago, IL address. I have found no indication that Wilhelm Bartsch ever traveled to the U.S.  Second, all of the paintings that I have seen that are attributed to Bartsch are signed "W. Bartsch" in cursive. There is some similarity in the "B" in Bartsch on several of these paintings, in that the bottom of the letter is open. One painting, dated 1941, bears a very ornate signature that is unlike any other signature claimed for Bartsch. What I can say about this painting is that it is a very old painting, judging by the toning on the back of the canvas and the age of the stretchers. Another thing that makes it seem certain that this painting is by an American artist named W. Bartsch is that the size of the canvas is indicated on the stretcher as "15" on one bar and "18" on another bar. I purchased this painting because I love bleak winter scenes. My guess would be that this painting dates to the early part of the 20th century, or a bit later. It does appear to be in a European style, but there were numerous Bartsch men of German extraction in the U.S. in censuses in the early 1900s whose first initial was "W" who might have been the artist.

Bartsch frame stamp

Stamp on stretcher. Note the number 18, indicating the stretcher length in inches.

    This stamp, or some variation of it, was apparently used for several decades. I have seem paintings created in the 1940s that are noted to have a similar stamp on the stretcher. Most of the works by Bartsch that I have seen offered for sale either sold for or were offered in the low thousands of dollars. I paid $40 for this painting and noted that it had previously been offered for $100 with not takers.

W. Bartsch signature

W. Bartsch signature

"Casa Sondriendo" by
                Laura J. Armstrong

"Casa Sondriendo", L. J. Armstrong, 16" x 20", oil, summer 1963

    I found this in an antique shop in Atlanta, IL. The shop owner told me that he found it in a local auction. The artist added a very informative set of inscriptions verso, that give the title and date, along with information about where the artist sat while painting the work. The artist, Laura J. Armstrong, also fully signed the work on back. All that being said, I have found no mention of this artist. It came in a particularly nice pickled oak frame. There are only three women with this name in the Social Security Death Index. Only one lived in Florida. She was born on 11 April 1898 and died on 30 August 1994 in Saint Cloud, Osceola County which is some distance from Ft. Lauderdale where this painting was done. Her Social Security number was issued in Missouri.



Laura J.
                Armstrong signature

Hottingh or Nottingh painting

unnamed, Hottingh? Nottingh?, 18" x 24", oil? acrylic?

    Found this at the local thrift shop. It appears to have been painted with a knife. I think it is an oil, but it could be acrylic. The signature is very close to being readable, but I just can't make it out. Very colorful. I originally bought it for the frame, but soon began to really like it, especially once I saw it in good light. It would be shame to not identify this artist.

Hottingh signature

#612 by Geo. Wood

unnamed by Geo. Wood, 8" x 10", oil on card, #612

    This is one of a pair of paintings by George Wood that were offered by an ebay seller in Palisades, New York in April 2011. Both paintings were numbered verso, #612 and #615, and in identical frames. This leads me to believe that this was more than a casual artist. The other painting was better done, in my opinion, but was sold before I spotted them. The other painting was signed "G. Wood", and mine is signed "Geo. Wood".

#615 by G. Wood

unnamed, G. Wood, #615

    The seller estimated these paintings to be circa 1920, but I think they may be a bit earlier. Both paintings also had the letters "E D" in pencil verso. I suspect that these paintings are the work of George Albert Wood 1845-1910, but I am still researching this possibility.

                      Wood signature    George Wood

Signature from my painting

                      Wood signature

Signature from my painting

                      Wood framed    George Wood
                      verso    George
                      Wood signature

Other painting framed, verso and signature

    Here are some artists whose work I really like but have not yet added to my collection:

    Michael McKee      Michael does beautiful work with pastels.


Some Helpful Links
  • On line appraisal service from John Sewell well known Canadian expert on fine art and antiques. This is a very reasonably priced on line service from a well respected expert. Fill out an on line form and send images of your art objects. No need to send your art objects through the mails. I am a satisfied customer! Highly recommended!
  • Here is a list of common British art society abbreviations.
  • Images of art works by 29,000 artists. I use this site to compare works that I am interested in or own to other works by the same artist. A good place to spend some time just cruising, too!

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