DescriptionBEULAH BARNES WEAVER (American, 1879-1957)
Ellicott City, Maryland, 1930
Oil on canvas
25 x 36 inches (63.5 x 91.4 cm)
Signed lower right: Beulah Barnes Weaver
Dated verso: 1930
Private collection, Virginia;
Estate of the above.
This remarkable painting of the picturesque town of Ellicott City, Maryland, located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., is the work of Beulah Barnes Weaver, a painter, sculptor and art educator from Washington, D.C. Painted in 1930, the scene of undulating hills, houses and winding red brick streets straddles Modernist and Regionalist idioms in almost perfect balance and harmony. Despite Beulah Barnes Weaver's impressive exhibition history and affiliations with major artists groups in the Washington area throughout the 1920s and 30s, her work is quite scarce and rarely appears at auction. She trained at the Art Students League in New York and the Corcoran Museum School in her hometown, as well as with the Italian Peppino Gino Mangravite who made his career in the United States, and the German emigre Karl Knaths. The present work owes an enormous debt to Mangravite. Biographies of Beulah Weaver do not identify where she encountered him, but it seems probable that she got to know him in Washington during the three-year period (1926-28) he taught art courses at the Potomac School, and was an active part of the Washington art scene. One of the hallmarks of his style from the late 20s and 30s is a highly sculptural treatment of form with elaborate modeling, which characterizes this highly realized work by Weaver. The naturalism is subordinated to the overall structure, imparting an almost surreal quality to the image, notably in the repetition of shapes, and the careful and insistent delineation of every brick in the road.
Beulah Weaver was a member of the Society of Washington Artists. Her exhibition history included shows at the Anderson Galleries, New York; Washington Women's Club; Salons of America (1925, 1927-30); Corcoran Gallery biennials (1930, 1932); Independent Artists Exhibition, Washington, D.C. (1935, purchase award); and the Society of Washington Artists (1935, prize; 1948, prize). She worked for three decades as art director and teacher at the Madeira School in Greenway, Virginia.
There appears to be a few areas of faint craquelure with a few tiny flakes of paint loss; light overall surface grime with a more notable area of surface grime at center bottom edge; canvas is slightly buckling; minor edge wear in upper right corner; under UV exam, there are a few areas that fluoresce, particularly in the shadows of the buildings; signature slightly fluoresces, most likely added later by the artist.
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