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Pictor Ignotus


[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]

Pictor Ignotus [identity and dates unknown]

“Back Road”


oil on board / 9 inches x 12 inches

This small landscape has hung, off and on, in the Tennant Memorial Gallery since its arrival in the 1960s. But if it came with identification, that documentation has been lost. During the collection’s centennial in 2012, Fennimore county farmer Will Gorham attended one of the receptions and casually inquired why someone would have painted his parents’ farm! A quick trip to northwestern Fennimore county hints that Will may be right.

County Highway G does, indeed, make a graceful S-curve in its northwest track across Fenton Creek, where the old Willard Gorham farmstead nestles for protection today. Several candidates have been suggested as the painter, including Karl Wasserman, though none are definitive.

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