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dorsey doniphan Painting

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Posted 3 years ago


(15 items)

Hi, I just found this oil painting in antique store. The oil painting is of a girl in a white dress signed dorsey doniphan 1928 in the top right hand corner. THe frame has metal plate with Geo F Muth & Co Washington DC. The painting size 30"L x 23"W frame is 35" L x 27 1/2" W. Please give me information and value on the item. Thank you

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  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, what an exciting find! I can't see the painting well enough to rave over it, but I can certainly say that find it appealing and arresting, and suspect that I'd rave over it if I could see it better. Do you think that you could get a better photo of the subject of the portrait? I suspect that your posting will generate a lot of excitement.

    The name of the firm that framed this is "Geo. F. Muth & Co", not "...Smith..." A venerable Georgetown firm that were purveyors for the Smithsonian Institution. A cursory google search (No criticism! - I looked for Smith, too, until I was confounded and revisted your label.) yielded accounting evidence of same.

    Now that you have the correct name, I'm sure that you can find lots more.

    Now, for the artist: I've copied the text from the link directly below because it's so exciting that I don't want anyone to miss it. It's a direct quote. :

    Born in Washington DC, Dorsey Doniphan lived there during his art career as a painter, illustrator, and teacher. He conducted an art school from his studio for several years and participated in the Public Works Art Project during the Depression.

    He studied at the Corcoran School of Art and the Boston Museum Fine Art School, where he was a student of Edmund Tarbell. His work is at the Historical Society of Washington DC and the US Navy Department.

    This is an exciting find! I look forward to reading more about this. Thank you. miKKo

  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, thank you for the new photos. Time to rave: magnificent and arresting painting! Do you have any provenance on this? It would be interesting to see if you could find evidence of a commission.

    As for the Muth address, this is closer to the White House than Georgetown. Sorry, I haven't been to DC in 2o years. miKKo

  3. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    Thank you for all the information. How do you go about getting provenance or commission information on a painting? Thank you
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, hellokitty6811!

    As for provenance, I would ask the Proprietor of the antique shop where you purchased this beautiful painting for any information on provenance. Now, the Proprietor might know information that she/he doesn't feel appropriate to divulge, but it is perfectly legitimate to ask for provenance. A Proprietor of an anique shop will receive these requests routinely, and won't feel imposed upon by your inquiry. When one purchases a fine art object, one usually asks for any provenance as (among other things), it enriches understanding, helps establish authenticity, and enhances commercial value. So don't hesitate to ask.

    As for researching commission, that could be very difficult, and your search might prove fruitless. When I saw your posting of this morning, I emailed the Historical Society of Washington DC and asked them if they had an suggestions as to how one might proceed with this. They supposedly have Dorsey Doniphan holdings - or, at least one work. I suspect that your painting might well have been commissioned because of the age, attire, and demeanor of the portrait subject. Observe the child's frock - for want of a better word, it looks as if she's wearing a cape, or an 'evening dress' with a dramatic shoulder drape. The first photo doesn't enlarge, so I enlarged the entire page, and thereby got a bit better view. To me, the image looks more representational than idealized, and more like an authentic portrait. There's a good chance that it was commissioned.

    I'll stay tuned in on this project.

    I love your portrait. I admire many paintings, though I have very few in my home. If I had yours, I would surely hang it. I never find things like this! miKKo
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, again. Please forgive my piecemeal contributions. I am working on many things and am preoccupied.

    I have another avenue you can follow. Since Mr. Doniphan was a listed artist, his works will be of interest to collectors, and his work tracked at auction. In hard economic times, many collectibles and works of fine art come to market, and many dealers will buy at auction. I don't have a subscription to an organization that tracks these auctions and offers a "for hire" searchable database online. I have used them in the past, but am not current on the range of available services, or know which are the best. Follow the results from a simple Google search. I'll let you investigate. I think that they will offer 'limited access' reduced rates if they charge, so they shouldn't be too expensive. Certainly, your painting is worth the expenditure. If you painting is authentic, in good condition, and as beautiful as the photos indicate, it should be of significant value. So, $10-15 is worth it.

    What would you be looking for? The name of this painting, or the subject of same. Who bought or sold it. If this painting has recently been sold at auction, you might be able to get the name of the dealer who purchased it so that you can ask him/her what provenance the painting had when they purchased it. They will have been searching for that provenance as eagerly as you are now.

    The Historical Society of Washington DC has already responded. They are searching for a new Librarian, and so they have forwarded my request to their Volunteer Researchers, for their followup. The beauty of asking the HSWDC is that they will at least once have pursued a provenance for a Doniphan painting, or at least documented the provenance of the one (or more) painting(s) in their holdings. Doniphan was also a Washington artist, and there will be trails in Washington. I'll post any updates from HSWDC.

    Last, BUT NOT LEAST!, please check the Collectors Weekly site for tips on buying, authenticating, selling, collecting, ordering appraisals on fine art objects. (I should have thought of that a long time ago!) If this were my painting, after all this research, I'd want to have this appraised and authenticated by a professional art appraiser. Thanks. miKKo
  6. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    You have been SOOOOOOOO helpful. Thank you so much for helping me.
  7. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi! It's my pleasure. Thank you for letting me help. I very seldom see such beautiful art outside of an art museum exhibit. I think that this is an exceptional painting. I can't see really well, but my provisional opinion is that the expression on the child's face is complex, her bearing dignified, and there is a certain intangible poignancy in the 'sitting'. As far as I can see, this young child is shy, but being brave, grave, and perhaps deliberately dignified.

    This was painted approximately one year before the great stock market crash of Oct. 1929 that ushered in the Great Depression. I am eager to know who this child was and to know that she and her family fared well. Perhaps we'll find this information....miKKo
  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811! I have been busy with the dreaded taxes. I haven't had time to do intensive research - just clicking "Love it" on CW website and related cursory searches in my breaks. However, I expect to be back in the saddle by late this coming week, and will devote some considerable effort to this item. Of all the items I have yet seen on CW, I find this the most beautiful, and it is more beautiful than any painting I own....

    If you've made positive or negative discoveries, I'd love to hear of them - if you've time and inclination. FYI, next week, I plan to concentrate on the Corcoran School of Art (Smithsonian). Thanks a lot! Have a splendid weekend. Regards, miKKo
  9. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811. Hope you are well. A professional Art Researcher is working on this task and wishes to know which sources you've consulted, and what you've discovered. This will help him in his search. I am sending him an email on my researches from my personal email account. When you can find time, would you please let us know what you've found? Thanks a lot! Regards, miKKo
  10. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    Hi Mikko I have not found any information on the painting. I did try contact auction house that had sold one of his painting did not get a response. Not having very much luck. I really do Thank you for all your help and any help that you do give. Take care
  11. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811. Thanks very much for the information! We'll soon have more info on Mr. Doniphan, and perhaps this painting. I'll post it as soon as it arrives. Regards, miKKo
  12. flowerrose, 3 years ago
    This is very interesting because I have had my eye on a painting in a charity shop that looks a bit similar to this for quite some time - I have been waiting for them to lower the price. The face of the child looks the same but she is wearing a cape with hood in forest. I think I am going to have to go back and ask them to take it down off wall so I can see if it is same artist.
  13. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, hellokitty6811 and flowerrose! Hope you are well and enjoying a beautiful Spring day.

    Heard this evening from a Researcher at the Corcoran Gallery of Art/School, and have some great information. By return email, I requested his advice on the permissibility of posting the open PDF files to this entry. When I have his response, which I expect will be within a day or two, I will post the findings. FYI, they were unable to identify the subject of the portrait. I had hoped that since Doniphan was better known for his landscapes than for his portraits, we had a better chance of discovering the little girl's identity, but no. FYI, we are indebted to a Corcoran Diretor and to once of his research associates for the information I will be posting. Thanks a lot! More soon! Regards, miKKo
  14. flowerrose, 3 years ago
    Hello miKKo and hellokitty - I went back to the shop where I saw the picture of the little girl - very similar to this one. I hauled the framed picture down and on the back it has "The Medici Series" and I think the name Sir (someone) Thompson. I forgot his name!!! I'll have to go back again!! So I don't think it is the same - but the little girl - looks exactly the same! - just dressed differently. I am going to try and sneak a photo at the shop to show you both.
  15. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, flowerrose! How interesting. Will look forward to this! miKKO
  16. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    Hi Thank you for still looking into the painting. I am so excited that I found it and so interested to find out more about it. Take Care
  17. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811 and flowerrose!

    hellokitty6811, I have been advised by the Corcoran not to publish some PDF documents I wanted to publish. So, I will be paraphrasing them for the Collectors Weekly site. I also have some more research to do at Georgetown University and the Dept. of the Navy. Please pardon me if I take a little longer with this project. Thank you very much.

    When I'm finished, hellokitty6811, I want to send you the documents and correspondence, with the names and titles of persons who've participated in this search. I can't post names and titles to CW. The Corcoran scholars prefer to be identified online as "librarians". I don't know what's the safest way send you these things. I should prefer to email them to you. Having electronic copies of these documents would prove invaluable if you pursue further investigations, or if you should ever wish to sell (No!) this painting. (They'd also make it just a little easier for you to insure this item.) That said - woman to woman - I don't want to ask you to post your email address to the CW website. What do you suggest? Perhaps a P.O. Box? Or, does CW ever act as an intermediary?

    Thank you so very much for letting me share in this wonderful project! It has been hard to find information on Mr. Doniphan, and I very much appreciate your kind patience. I will post my findings to CW shortly. Regards to you both, miKKo
  18. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811! Thanks very much for the email address! I've got in noted, and for safety, you can take it down now. Won't be long now. As soon as I've got everything together, I'll post to CW and email you all the supporting electric files I have. Many thanks! Regards, miKKo
  19. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    I look forward to the information. Thank you
  20. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, please be advised that I am awaiting information from the U. S. Department of the Navy and Georgetown University Law Archives. I will publish as soon as I get the needed information. Dorsey Doniphan, the painter of the portrait in this posting, also painted the portrait of Charles Francis Adams III, commissioned when Adams served as Secretary of the Navy. Adams was the great-grandson of the sixth President of the United States and the great-great-grandson of the second President of the United States. Adams could have chosen any artist to paint him; the commission was awarded to Dorsey Doniphan. Doniphan is little known today, but he was a fine painter and won significant critical honors in his day. We will be highlighting these as soon as we have the information we need from Navy and Georgetown. Navy is moving its art collection, and there will also be a wait for the Georgetown information. Thank you for your patience! Regards, miKKo
  21. flowerrose, 3 years ago
    Hello all, I am just posting up a picture of that little girl I saw in the charity shop. Hope you can see it - I will put your mikko & hellokitty in title so you know which it is.
  22. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago

    I post better pictures on photobucket please check them out. Thank you
  23. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty6811! Thank you for post these excellent photos!!!! of this exquisite painting! I'm sorry, I didn't see this. Busy with the research....Regards, miKKo
  24. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    PLEASE NOTE THAT Hellokitty6811 has posted some excellent photos of the portrait on photobucket, and has provided above a link to same. She was unable to post such large files to the CW site itself. PLEASE CHECK OUT THESE GREAT PHOTOS!

    Hi, hellokitty6811 and flowerrose. I am happy to report some significant progress was made this week. I will continue the hunt this Thursday and Friday, and I this weekend I will post the information I have on Dorsey Doniphan and his work. I will then detail what further research objectives I envision, for the state of the evidence is such that it is not possible at this time to cover to my satisfaction all the bases, and indeed, even the results of months of research might well not satisfy us in the end. I would not have hellokitty6811 waiting interminably on what will be in the end a valuable but sketchy report.

    In closing, I must report that I have discovered that it was Secretary of the Navy Curtis Dwight Wilbur whose portrait Doniphan painted, not Secretary Charles Francis Adams III. I am grateful to the Head Curator of the Navy Art Collection for providing me with this information, which she found in the Navy records. Adams succeeded Wilbur, and this is possibly the source of the confusion. Thank you. See you this weekend....Regards, miKKo
  25. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello. By courtesy of the Head Curator of the U. S. Navy Art Collection, we are pleased to provide you with an image of the portrait of Secretary Curtis Dwight Wilbur that Dorsey Doniphan painted. (It takes a few moments for the image to load.)

    We think that Secretary Wilbur's portrait is important evidence of Dorsey Doniphan's skill and reputation.

    Please check back with us Sunday evening, when we will have posted to this Show and Tell entry the body of our research on Dorsey Doniphan. Many thanks! Hope to see you Sunday! Regards, miKKo
  26. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Thank you kindly!! See you Sunday evening! Regards, miKKo
  27. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Sunday evening, 7 pm. Hello, all. I apologize!!!! and ask your forbearance. My draft is complete; however, my text is not proofed well enough to post. I fear that my weariness tonight might lead me to plagiarize someone, so I reluctantly ask your forbearance once more. Thank you very much! miKKo
  28. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, hellokitty6811! I am going to start sending you the electronic documents tonight. Thank you for your great patience!!! miKKo
  29. flowerrose, 3 years ago
    WOW miKKo you are a great detective!! Getting the Navy onboard!! Good on you! :-) I like reading about all your findings.
  30. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Oh, flowerrose, your kindness is a gift from God this evening! I have egg on my face for missing my self-imposed deadline! I am sorry - I just don't want to plagiarize someone. Many, many thanks to thee! God bless you!!! Regards, miKKo
  31. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, all! I just got a call from Interior Dept. in ref to my inquiry about Doniphan holdings that they might have. Ha! A most gracious Registrar at the Office of the Secretary of Interior just telephoned with news that they have a small painting by Doniphan. Her predecessor discovered it at Interior and said, oh, we need to conserve this. Painting is marked 1934 P.W.A.P, and Treasury was involved in its genesis. Registrar is sending me an image, which I'll post next to the Secretary of the Navy as soon as it arrives. This just might be the first time this particular painting has been published on the internet! So, maybe it's a good thing I coudn't make my deadline! I've got a number of inquiries still out yet, and am now on one hot trail, and prepared to embark on another promising path. Vale! Regards, miKKo
  32. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hello, all! Wow, my head is spinning from all the info I've gathered in the last 48 hours, and there's much more to gather before I post. The information is too good to pass up for a later post, though I've no doubt that long after I've lost the interest of most long-suffering CW members from posting Doniphan info ad infinitum, there will be even more to come. From old "Washington Post" articles, census records, obituaries, and etc., I am weaving together a (sketchy) sketch of the personna, which I think will fascinate - Doniphan has definitely taken hold of ME. Also, learned more from a Federal Registrar today re Treasury's holdings, so more paintings to come. Please hang on -- Old Texas is due to visit here mid-next week, and I hope to post the body of my work before then so that I can fuss over my guests properly, though once again I might not make my own deadline. FYI, from my research, we now have info on a number of Doniphan portrait commissions. I've already advised hellokitty that Doniphan painted the daughter of an Admiral. I have read no account of Doniphan's personal life before, so it would be worth your while to wait a bit. He was a facinating creature - one might be tempted to call him an Impressario, but that would be quite premature. I suspect that the good Southern manners his parents fostered in him were part of his great charm. I've discovered that his good father was a Washington D.C. street car conductor, that his father died when Doniphan was about 10, and yet Doniphan rose to become a Washington power player, of sorts. That was a rather remarkable achievement in the stratified society of 1920's and 1930's Washington D.C. Thanks for your patience! regards, miKKo
  33. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Kind, kind scandinavian_pieces, many thanks to thee!!! Your words are a potent balm. Hope your sweet woofie feels better soon, and that your evening stroll togther is splendid! Regards, miKKo
  34. hellokitty6811, 3 years ago
    I just wanted to say to miKKoChristmas11 Thank you so much for the time and research that you put into finding information on my painting. You have been awesome.
  35. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 3 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty! Many thanks for your kind words all. You've been wonderful to work with, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on this!

    I'm not done yet! I am awaiting an updated list of the paintings that Mr. Doniphan painted for the Federal Government. I have been waiting for perhaps three weeks. I will post the four Treasury paintings when I have the list from GSA. I also hope to speak with a family member of the artist. I planned to telephone him as soon as I had the list of government paintings. I just received word from the Washington Post about my request to publish in full a Dorsey Doniphan letter to the WP art critic, and about other uses of WP archived articles. I'm afraid that I won't be able to quote the Doniphan letter to art critic in full - a very large fee, and could only be viewed for six months, then would have to be deleted. Personally, deleting my comments wouldn't bother me a bit, but I assume that you'll want to print our findings to keep with your painting. I don't understand the delay on the list of paintings that Doniphan painted for the government, but it is very often easier to make a request than it is to fulfill a request. I want to ask the Doniphan family member for permission to publish the details of the artist's WWI service and other personal details. I want to ask him if he can identify the subject of your painting - unlikely, and the subject of the Georgetown portrait - possible. I don't know if I sent you a private email on the matter, but I discovered the source of the misidentification of the Secretary of the Navy portrait. An art dealer had purchased a Doniphan painting, and the seller had informed the dealer that Doniphan had painted Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams III; then that error was repeated on the internet. I also might consult someone else at the Smithsonian. My out-of-state visitors have departed, and I planned to conduct a telephone interview this week. I do apologize for the delay. May I continue on this project? Thank you! Regards, miKKo
  36. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty! Just reporting that I'm still working. I have perhaps 50 pages of typewritten commentary so far, and more is one the way. Thank you very much for your patience!!! I will post as soon as I can - it will be a while longer. I am still awaiting word from GSA....Regards, miKKo
  37. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, hellokitty! More info over weekend, but still waiting on GSA. I am going to telephone this week if I don't hear from them by Thursday. I have inquiries out in California, and on New York exhibition long ago - at a gallery now closed. Much new info found this weekend! Fascinating and fine man! Regards, miKKo
  38. Bootson Bootson, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the running report on your research, it is a great window on the machinations of a super sleuth. I am learning active imagination, attention to detail, audacity and tenacity = answers.
    Audacious and tenacious in the best sense of the words. :)
  39. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, Bootson. Many thanks for your kind words and good cheer! Mr. Doniphan was a most unusual man, and I love this painting, so it is easy to be enthusiastic. As for the rest - tenacious and audacious?, my elder brother claims that I'm really a Scottish Terrier.

    Hope your Memorial Day is a blessed one. Regards, miKKo
  40. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Thank you so very much, kind! scandinavian_pieces! Great to see you're back! Warm Regards to thee and Louis! miKKo
  41. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Greetings, all!, and thanks for your patience. Received a veritable loot of information late yesterday afternoon from a most kind person at General Services Administration (GSA). I am downright thrilled by this bounty, but I do not have permission to publish it. I will be working on acquiring the information from another source that has already cleared the info for publication - that is, if I can find it somewhere else. [The National Archives (NARA) is enormous, and growing every day.] I also received this afternoon some bountiful information from the most gracious Registrar at Treasury Dept., so I this weekend I will be uploading photos and descriptions of all four paintings that Treasury currently has or once had in its possession. Stay tuned, and you will view a painting that was once assigned to or chosen by a former Director of the FBI, i.e., J. Edgar Hoover. The current disposition of this painting is unknown, but I have a photo of it and its accompanying description. See you shortly on these four Treasury paintings. FYI, hellokitty, I have forwarded GSA and Treasury emails to you with my responses. Best wishes for a splendid weekend! Regards, miKKo
  42. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hello, all! Just a note to let you know that I'm working hard, and that I've posted another Doniphan painting to Show & Tell. Regards, miKKo
  43. flowerrose, 2 years ago
    You are the legendary reserarcher miKKo!
  44. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Thank you so much, flowerrose! You are very kind. miKKo
  45. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hello, all! Just a note to tell you that Dorsey Doniphan painted a portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hope to learn more about this shortly - hope to!!!
  46. Kathycat Kathycat, 2 years ago
    WOW such a pretty painting
  47. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, Kathycat, BELLIN68,! In case hellokitty6811 doesn't see your posts for a few days, thanks much for visiting this painting. I'm sure that hellokitty appreciates the "love" verdicts. I love this painting!, and it is very good to see that others do, as well.

    Please check back here in a few days. We might then have a photo of the portrait that Doniphan painted of Dwight D. Eisenhower for comparison. Thanks! miKKo

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