John George Brown
JOHN GEORGE BROWN, N.A. (British 1831 - 1913)Daydreaming (The Shoe Shine Boy), 1885Oil on canvas24-1/4 x 16-1/4in....
Auction amount: $31,070.00
Sold: Nov 10, 2006
John George Brown
J.G. Brown’s sentimentalized portrayals of street urchins, reproduced and published by the thousands, made him the richest and most celebrated genre painter in turn-of-the-century America. Emigrating from England to New York in 1853, Brown trained as a glassblower in Brooklyn before studying fine art at the National Academy of Design. His 1860 painting His First Cigar launched his national reputation as the “Bootblack Raphael,” and lithographers quickly began copying his images of young white shoe shiners, vendors, and servants. Although Brown claimed to paint truthfully, like a reporter, he in fact falsified the grim reality of urban immigrant life and, catering to Victorian tastes, showed his subjects not as sad, emaciated, and hungry, but as cheerful, spunky, and resourceful; their ragged clothing was meant to be picturesque, their grime, cosmetic. Brown’s paintings of street juveniles were so desirable that toward the end of his career, his yearly income averaged $40,000. Original works sold for $500 to $700, while royalties from just one lithograph totaled $25,000.
Brown was equally adept at rendering rural pastimes, pictures he painted for pleasure, and which possess a straightforward and distinguished quality over the commercial look of his shoeshine subjects. Much like his contemporaries Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson, Brown romanticized country life, showing pigtailed girls in gingham dresses and boys in dungarees and straw hats waiting for the train, picking berries, pouring water at the well, or swinging on farm gates.
Brown’s paintings are featured in numerous prominent institutions, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
John George Brown Original Art Values Sold at Auction
JOHN GEORGE BROWN, N.A. (British 1831 - 1913) Daydreaming (The Shoe Shine Boy), 1885 Oil on canvas 24-1/4 x 16-1/4in....
Friday, November 10, 2006
JOHN GEORGE BROWN (American, 1831-1913) Blackberry Picking Oil on canvas 30 x 25 inches (76.2 x 63.5 cm) Signed lowe...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
JOHN GEORGE BROWN (American, 1831-1913) Waiting for a Bite, Central Park, circa 1886 Oil on canvas 12 x 16 inches (30...
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) Shoeshine Boy, 1903 Oil on canvas 24 x 17 inches (61.0 x 43.2 cm) Signed, da...
Friday, May 4, 2018
John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) Pegged Out Watercolor on paper laid on canvas 24 x 16 inches (61.0 x 40.6 cm)...
Friday, May 4, 2018
PLEASE NOTE: All prices realized reflect the final hammer price PLUS the buyer's premium in auctions that charge a buyer's premium. Each item has a notation at the top of the listing indicating whether that lot included a buyer's premium. All information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, but errors are possible. Please use this guide carefully and inform us of any inaccuracies.
How do you know what's valuable?
Our Art Value Guide provides free information about how to value your John George Brown artwork.
Get a FREE auction evaluation
Our experts will evaluate your John George Brown artwork for auction or private treaty sale.
Want More John George Brown?
Be the first to know when more items from this artist are available by adding it your wantlist.
Interested in selling or consigning?
Learn more about selling or consigning your John George Brown artwork with Heritage Auctions.