I bought this picture at an estate auction in the early 70s. I really liked it and the old frame it is in.
Great painting. Love the log truck.
I have the same picture, but in a different frame.
Very nice old paintings..
I love old photos of scenes like this, but have a real problem with art, because
the concentration of "cutsie" is often excessive, and the amount of period details
left out, or gotten wrong is often glaring. As an example, this is a railroad scene.
The depot size clearly indicates a high traffic through route, yet there are no telegraph
lines. Instead, we see what looks like a triplex power wire, strung on C-bracket
spools ... a construction style not adopted until the late 1960'sm and something
not seen along railroads until the advent of block signals abd radio coms caused
the abandonment of the old telegraph lines ... something that began in the late 70's
and became more common in the 2000's.
Kinda like when we watch an old movie set in 1910, yet they are driving 20's cars,
or the "wild west" western where the cowboy has a 1940's lantern.
The 50's car scene is rife with stupid fantasy "art" set at the drive-in burger stand
with too many cliché cars, overblown neon, and the nauseatingly everpresent references
to Route 66. A nice period photo of a Route 66 scene would be great, but the over-
done cliché fantasy "art" just fills me with the urge to defecate.
Don't get me wrong. I love good art. But the over-specificity of select details and
omission of others can make an otherwise good work into just plain silly.
I try not to be a nit-picker, but tonight I was watching a cable TV program on WW2 and when they had the Germans flying B-17s, I got a funny feeling in my stomach. They also had Junkers Tri-motors (the German equivalent of the DC-3, but not nearly as good) as German bombers. Yuk!
I guess to some, it doesn't matter. I'd just rather hunt down a real photograph and
bask in the reality that was at hand. And why not ? There are SO many great old photos
out there to be found, enlarged, framed, and you have a real piece of history to study.
Not some cotton candy version of something that never really happened.
Jay and Herb and others often tease us with these great old photos. Good stuff.
Burger, To go on a rant about the power lines in this painting is just bogus. I can't vouch for the authenticity of the paintings age but it is in a very old frame with a non removable back and has an old sticker on the back dated 1933. I do apologize for posting something that has raised your tension level. I guess this just comes back to the old saying ( If you can't say something nice,don't say anything at all.) Harv
Thank you Harvey and i enjoyed the picture!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Neat artwork Harvey, Thanks for sharing!
I second that Harv, who cares about a damn telephone pole or a railroad scene, it was a really neat print, liked it !!!
Burger, note that Harvey said he purchased this in the early 70's, and it was presumably somewhat old then. Maybe Minnesota was ahead of its time using "C-bracket spools", whatever the heck those are.
Subtlety is the nice thing about illustration. "Art" happens when the piece asks you more questions than it answers for you. If this piece had no telegraph lines at all, along with the train tracks, that would be too obvious, like no steam from a horses guts in the recent frontier movie. But it looks damn cold in that print to me. Sky is beautifully rendered with very succinct technique, everything's in perspective, and the electric lines that are there work very well to carry the viewer deeper into the frame. Seems like the T's are all pretty correct as well, so this may have been made by tracing right off of a photograph on a light table, or projected onto the canvas for reference, or a straight up painted photo, all of which would be re-photographed for separation by the printer.
All in all, I'd say better than average job on checking reference and getting things correct by the illustrator, taking some viewers right to that time and place, and making them wonder, "What in the the hell are all these suit guys doing at the depot, in the middle of the night, with their cars shut off standin' around staring?" "Will the train be there soon with a shipment of...?" "Was the train delayed into the night or scheduled to stop at a closed depot overnight?". See? It's easy for this to work well and easy to pick it apart too, that's just always been a matter of perspective I guess. Boils down to - how much time does the viewer have with this piece. Should it say "Waiting, on a frosty night at the depot, back in the day." or "Check out the new telegraph lines at the depot carefully, you will be quizzed!".
I personally look for, and am uncompromising about the technical accuracy of an illustrations' subject, especially my own work, and agree with Burger that it can ruin an otherwise good piece if something insults your intelligence, and your'e expected to skip ahead. I don't even bother watching movies or t.v. at all anymore for that reason, among others of course.
Note please, Mr. Eagles' fantastic swap meet flyers. They start with an awesome black drawing, with accurate details in just the right percentage to open space, and can, from there, be colored with any number of techniques to accomplish any "mood" he wants or to accommodate any printing technology necessary. These illustrations are soooo goooood that they might take you, in your mind, right to the swap meet, if you daydreamed a sec while looking at it stapled to a telephone pole, but they don't expect you too go on a fantasy ride where Fords are all squished and puffy, and all the parts touch each other. You already know what you're in for and what you're gonna see there. That is "practical illustration", for commercial use at it's finest. I should have commented on that thread as well. Thanks for posting those!
This painting of the Fords at night was probably intended or commissioned for a commercial setting too, like a lobby or office wall and would have been available nationwide, already framed if so desired (anyone else ever see this one?). It would be, theoretically, only glanced at, and only long enough to kill a little time, not necessarily to change the viewers attitude about the subject, or inform a viewer of new ideas. Considering the period it was made, or at least framed, I'd say Model T's were a thing of the past already in most peoples minds and the prints intention is more of a nostalgic look at a more difficult time, thus giving the viewer a sense of comfort and warmth because they "have it much better" than the subjects in the scene. Almost the same painting as "the Tragedy" by Picasso, only light hearted. A classic theme for sure though, and a good example presented here, as it is still doing it's job very well at 74 years old! Can we say that about most of us?
The only thing I've learned for certain, after thirty years of study and work as a designer, is that people can tell you what they don't like, better than they can articulate the subtleties of what they do like. This leaves the "artist" forced to take liberties, and create an image that "looks right". Sometimes you fudge the facts, sometimes the fun gets trimmed back for the sake of accuracy. You always have to let the circumstances of the job decide that, or make an abstraction that appeals to the senses in other ways strictly for the sake of "Art". The best thing about it is that you normally blend the two aspects together in a way that's effective and pleasing. We have fun.
I am defense non-stop lately of proper, timeless artwork in all forms, against a constant onslaught of ill-trained, mouse wielding graduates with no reference in their heads. It's bad out here right now, be glad these old prints have survived in garages and basements. As insipid, or "milk-toast" subject wise, as these types illustrations are, they still carry a sentiment that is valuable to those of us who appreciate nostalgic behavior, tools, equipment and lifestyles our families knew in generations past. we are connected to them. We know how it is in the world now, for real, why not relax your mind a little, leave for just a minute and then return after a bit, with a slightly more informed perspective.
I, for one, hope members will continue to load paintings and illustrations and photos, of T's and from the T era. Hell, experts picking them apart for accuracy seems to create a very informative atmosphere. I've learned more about telephone poles this month than ever, as a crew just came and loaded one in my yard with gaseous rot preventative, and Burgers' comments got me lookin' them up!
Thanks everybody, and please remember, art history can be the most accurate and unbiased window to the politics and lifestyles of the time in which it was created, and can also be the most entertaining of pastimes, somehow, while just standing there.
Whoof- sorry to those who don't like to read, just bad weather this morning for workin' on cars in the driveway, but I think its' warmin' up now. Later!
Chris, in Boulder
I guess to some, it doesn't matter ...
Yes to an artist it doesn't matter! Look at Picasso's depiction of the human body. Very distorted, yet some think it is great art. This picture is not distorted.
This picture looks very authentic and whether every detail is correct, to most people viewing it, it would depict the artist's point of view. There are people waiting for the train. It looks like a cold winter's evening about this time of year. People either waiting to take the train to visit someone, or waiting for a loved one to arrive for the holidays.
Pako Corporation was alive and well in Minneapolis into the 1980s. By that time, it was one of the largest suppliers of photographic equipment in the U.S.
Pa-Ko Photo Service, its retail arm, was well known, at least among Minnesotans including me, until it was bought by Brown Photo in the early 1980s.
Just an opinion from a Minneapolis guy who has seen a lot of Pa-Ko developed vintage photographs and other Pa-Ko related items over the years:
The artwork in question is from the 1960s. Who ever originally purchased the print recycled the frame. The frame would have originally held a photograph, not a commercial print/illustration. If you remove the back of the frame, there is a chance that the photo is still there.
By reading the label, it appears that Pa-Ko was running some type of photo contest.
(Message edited by Erik_johnson on December 05, 2016)
Erik, That's great information. I may try to carefully remove the back or at least a portion of it to see what's under. Thanks Harv.
Like a pulley cover like this for a Pako dryer unit? I got it (and the gearbox behind it) from the local photo studio when we were tearing it down for a new Hardware Hank store in the 70's.
Erik, I saw but didn't see the reference in Harvey's photo.
Nice photo Harvey!
I've stared into similar prints hanging on the wall before. :-)