[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
DAOUR, Jeanne [born 1914]
oil on wood panel / 7 3/8 inches by 9 3/8 inches
Paris in the first third of the 20th century was a magnet for artists from Eastern Europe and the United States. It was in Paris, probably at the Atelier Bonnat—and, oddly, among a substantial percentage of Scandinavian students—that Jeanne Daour met Jerome Hill. She had been born in Romania and he in the Midwest of the U.S., a grandson of railroad magnate James J. Hill. Hill befriended Daour and acquired a few of her paintings, acknowledging that her talent exceeded his own. Little biographical material on Daour is available, however, so it is difficult to place this painting in a larger context. Painted in 1933, it is also difficult to accept “Plage Abandonnée” (Abandoned Beach) as the work of a nineteen-year-old!
A sticker on the frame suggests that the painting may have been purchased at the “Findlay Art Rooms“, a gallery established at Kansas City in 1870.* Findlay’s history is a curious reversal of the expected east-to-west and major-to-minor migration of American culture: From Kansas City, it opened successive “branches” first in Chicago, and then in New York City. Palm Beach, Beverley Hills and Paris completed the Findlay’s international presence. Family-owned, it also “went public” in 1969 and was traded for a few years on the New York Stock Exchange.
*It may also be that only the frame was acquired from Findlay.