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Interesting Watercolor /Signed Johanna Van Breeman /Titled Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany/ Circa 1937

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Paintings1944 of 2088Russell A. Swanson Acrylic on Canvas 26" x 36"/ Titled " A Study in Contrast" / Circa 1960-70's Beautiful Old Clipper Ship Oil Painting 16" x 20" / Signed / Circa 1930's
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (1145 items)

    Found this at Volunteers of America today. Told you it was a good day ! A nice impressionist watercolor of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The tag on the back says it was entered into the Cleveland Museum of Art's 19th Annual Exhibition of work by Cleveland Artists and Craftsman May show 1937. The artists name is Johanna Van Bre....... it's torn ! I had to take it apart and clean and tighten it up so I removed it from the matte. She didn't sign it ! So I couldn't find out her whole last name. If this tag hadn't been there it would have been completely anonymous. Nothing online from just the partial name. The title however was easy. The missing word is Partenkirchen. Maybe she was at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Germany and painted this when she returned home. There is a box on the tag that says "Accepted" it isn't checked. So she might not have made the cut. Poor Johanna ! She probably was crushed and never painted again. Why go though all the trouble of framing this so nicely for nothing. I bet it was shown but it's a mystery, and I love it. -Mike-

    Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany history courtesy Yahoo Travel

    As the hyphen in its name suggests, the chic skiing resort of GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN was originally not one alpine village but two, which faced each other across the Partnach stream and were united in a shotgun wedding in time for the 1936 Winter Olympics. The Games were an enormous success – so much so that the town was slated to host the 1940 Winter Games after the Japanese city of Sapporo withdrew. In the event, of course, war intervened and the 1940 Games didn't take place, but Garmisch-Partenkirchen has been on the international winter-sports map ever since, which gives the resort a relatively cosmopolitan air.

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    1. nldionne nldionne, 8 years ago
      Cleveland museum of art 1937, this could get interesting:) I love it!!!
    2. mikelv85 mikelv85, 8 years ago
      I forgot to mention I found old Cleveland newspapers and flyers inside used as filler. Two complete yellowed but perfect condition Taylor's Basement Dollar sale ad flyers circa 1935. Also two sections of the December 1935 Sunday comics with multiple pages of Little Orphan Annie, Elmer, Tillie the Toiler,The Van Swaggers,Professor Kindly and others. All in color perfectly pressed. The single sheet one has a 6" tear in the middle. The other is four pages and perfect. What a time capsule ! Wonder if there's any market or value to these. Mustangtony would love these :)
    3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 8 years ago
      The tag on the back of the watercolor shows it's from the Cleveland Art Museum 1937 May Show. Below is an excerpt of the May show description from the History of Cleveland website.

      MAY SHOW - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

      The MAY SHOW is an annual juried exhibition of the works of northeast Ohio artists sponsored every spring by the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. The first Annual Exposition of Cleveland Artists & Craftsmen, as the show was called before it earned the popular nickname "May Show," took place in 1919. The idea for an exhibition featuring works of Cleveland artists was proposed by museum director FREDERIC ALLEN WHITING† as a means of spurring artistic growth and development in Cleveland by providing an annual review of artists' works and an opportunity for art patrons in Cleveland to buy works. The first May Show allowed artists to display works created up to 10 years previous to the exhibition; beginning with the second show, however, only the previous year's work was eligible for submission.
    5. mikelv85 mikelv85, 8 years ago
      Believe it or not they actually have a May Show database. I found another painting by Johanna Van Breeman called "Winter Scene" which sold for fifty dollars in 1936. Looks like she entered the next year with this one in 1937 Maybe it just was never shown and went back to her. No other info though about her life or artistic career.
    6. hscsebd, 3 years ago
      Thanks for sharing, mikelv85 -- this painting was done by my great-grandmother Johanna Gaijkema van Breemen. I have no record of her traveling to the winter Olympics, but it's an interesting theory. A number of her descendants became artists and designers -- perhaps best known is her granddaughter Gwen Lux.
    7. nannshark, 3 years ago
      hscsebd, My great-grandmother was named Johanna van Breemen and she too was an artist. She resided in the Detroit, Michigan area. I have 2 of her paintings - one a watercolor of Lake Michigan as she would come to visit her daughter Winifred in Michigan City and would paint scenes of the dunes and another titled Lone Farm done in oils. I wonder if it is the same Johanna van Breemen and are we related? I traveled with my grandmother to Detroit area to visit relatives several times.
      I believe she passed away in 1955.
    8. cpbraun, 1 year ago
      This is an amazing find, for me personally... I believe this was painted by my great-great-grandmother. She was a somewhat successful commercial artist. Our records indicate, though that she died in 1936, which may explain why there was no other record after the 1937 show.
    9. nannshark, 1 year ago
      If this was done by great-grandmother, Johanna Van Breeman she lived in Detroit area so Cleveland would have been close enough to enter into shows. She died probably around 1953 to 55 - I was maybe between 4 and 6.

    10. hscsebd, 10 months ago
      Dear nannshark and cpbraun — we are certainly cousins. Johanna and her husband Bertus had lots of children. She was probably living with her youngest daughter Jan in the Cleveland area at the time this painting was exhibited. Please email me at so we can discuss family history as well as family art . . .
    11. Lois_La_Lucette, 6 months ago
      nannshark and hscebd, I am also related. My grandmother, Lois Luce (nee Wickerts) was the daughter of Johanna's daughter also Johanna. So I am the great, great granddaughter of the first Johanna. Both Johanna's were artists. This could be either a work of the older or the younger Johanna. The younger Johanna was an artist for the WPA. The elder Johanna did not start painting until she was in her 60's. She had a one-woman exhibit in NYC at the Bonestel Gallery in 1943 when she was roughly 75 years old, where her work was praised by The New Yorker Telegram May 15, 1943. They review starts: "A number of women painters are currently the recipients of solo shows in galleries about town. Not one of the lot, however, is more vigorous and personal than Johnna Van Breemna, 75, showing her work at the Bonestel Gallery." The review goes on "All [the works] are sophisticated, technically facile compositions indicating the painter's ability to express herself in a number of directions." Her paintings were described as something akin to Arthur Dove or Oscar Bluemner. The New York Times said the oils and watercolors "possess the strength and vigor of youth." Its hard to say if this is by the elder or the younger J. Van Breeman though.
    12. Lois_La_Lucette, 6 months ago
      cpbraun, I am also related to both Johanna Van Breeman's, the elder and the younger. I believe this is a work by the elder Johanna who died much later than her daughter, who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1938. The younger was a sculpter who worked for the WPA and did reliefs on many buildings. Her daughter Gwen Lux, my great Aunt was also a highly accomplished sculptor. As noted in my first comment, the elder Johanna had one woman show in NYC in 1948 when she was 75 years old at the Bonestell Gallery that was very well reviewed.

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