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Max Pollak [1886–1970]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

POLLAK, Max [1886–1970]

“Wien, Notsteg Uber den Donaukanal” / Vienna, Emergency Pier Over the Danube Canal

ca1917

mixed technique intaglio / ed. unknown

25 3/8 inches by 31 inches (image)

Born in Prague, while it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pollak was educated in Vienna. This print was done as part of the Austrian record of World War I. The Nazis destroyed much of Pollak’s work as “degenerate Jewish art”.

Henry W. L. Hurst [1865–1938]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

HURST, Henry William Lowe / “Hal” [1865–1938]

“An Italian Night”

watercolor / 13.5 inches by 8 inches (image)

“Born Henry William Lowe Hurst in London in 1865, he was the son of Henry Hurst, a well-known African traveller and publisher (Hurst and Blackett). He was educated at St. Paul’s School in London and soon after started recording the political instability of Ireland through drawings and illustrations. He travelled to the United States of America where he found work illustrating newspapers in New York City and Philadelphia. Hal returned to Europe studying art at the Royal Academy Schools and the Académie Julian in Paris. He exhibited extensively at all the principal London galleries and was elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1896, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1898, and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1900. He was a founder member of the Royal Miniature Society from its inception in 1896 and elected Vice-President, a position he held until stepping down in 1913 — he was given the distinction of Honorary member status the following year.

“Hal shared a studio at 23a South Audley Street, Mayfair, London with Alyn Williams founder of the Royal Miniature Society. A motivated, prolific and respected artist, Hal illustrated in excess of 20 published books including Mark Twain’s The American Claimant. In addition, his illustrations were published in Punch, Harper’s Weekly, Vanity Fair, The Idler and the Illustrated London News, amongst others.”

[Wikipedia.com]

Stephen Brook [British, contemporary]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BROOK, Stephen (contemporary British)

“Shaftsbury Avenue”

2022

acrylic on canvas / 12 inches by 12 inches

In the midst of this pandemic, with travel severely restricted, if not impossible, views of familiar places take on special meaning. This striking image of busy Shaftsbury Avenue in central London reminds us of a pleasant yet exhausting afternoon visiting its string of new and used bookstores. London artist Stephen Brook renders the subtle color differences of late afternoons in vignettes like this.

This was a gift to the Collection in memory of Agincourt’s dealer in out-of-print books, Hamish Brooks — no relation to the artist.

Seamus Tierney (1933-2011)

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

TIERNEY, Seamus [1933–2011]

“Templehof Hafen” 

watercolor on paper / 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches

1953

Seamus Tierney is known in the community primarily as a theatre director and playwright. But his local career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army. Stationed at various bases in West Germany during the 1950s, Tierney became part of an airlift to Berlin during its life as a divided city. He had time to make several quick studies of the city, in this case the harbor near Templehof Airport. Inscribed on the reverse in Tierney’s handwriting is a fuller explanation in German: “Industrieanlagen im Hafen vom alten West-Berlin, im Hintergrund das Ullstein-Haus in Tempelhof.” [Industrial plants in the port of old West Berlin, in the background the Ullstein House in Tempelhof.] Since Tierney worked as an artist in woodcut, he probably intended this as a study for the more tedious process of carving the woodblock.

Roma Mountjoy (contemporary)

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

MOUNTJOY, Roma [contemporary; Welsh]

“Tower Bridge” [top]

oil on paper / 2.05 inches by 2.05 inches

2020

“Tower Bridge” [bottom]

mixed media on paper / 6 inches by 6 inches

2021

Artists often return to a favored or familiar subject. London’s Tower Bridge is one of those subjects which has been recorded in every season and all times of day or night. Welsh artist Roma Mountjoy has returned more than twice to this iconic structure and captured impressions of its ever-changing character. In fact, bridges form a minor theme in the collection, which includes the Brooklyn Bridge and our own Gnostic and Cheshire bridges.

Karl F.J.M. Wasserman [1900–1972]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

WASSERMAN, Karl Franz Joseph Maria (attributed) [1900–1972; American]

Audience / Piazza

oil on wood panel / 11.7 inches by 10.2 inches

ca1925

Though unsigned, this small study is thought to have been painted by community artist Karl Wasserman. During the summer of 1925, young Wasserman interrupted his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy to take a two month study tour of Europe and Britain. Despite discrepancies in the building profile, the family have believed this was a quick oil sketch of the Piazza San Pietro in Rome. We have titled it simply “Piazza”, to be on the side of caution.

Florence Craig Phalen [1891-?]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

PHALEN, Florence A. (née Craig) [1891–?]

Winter’s Eve, New Snowfall

ca. 1915

oil on board / 10 inches by 8 inches / signed

The former Florence A. Craig married John J. Phelan in 1911 and established their family in St Louis, Missouri. Mrs Phelan was, apparently, self-trained, a hobbyist who painted solely for personal satisfaction, for family and friends. This charming winter scene came into the possession of an Agincourt family related to the Phalens.

The painting is an example of Arts & Crafts simplicity displayed in an Aesthetic Movement frame of twenty-five years earlier. Since one movement grew from the other, the relationship is entirely appropriate. This is on anonymous long-term loan to the collection.

Frank Burke [born 1947]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BURKE, Frank [born 1947]

“Garden Party”

ca2000

oil on canvas / 3.4 inches by 11.3 inches

A British artist from Northumberland, he paints mainly in oils. Burke’s subjects include seascapes, scenes of north east life and landscapes of the Tyne River valley. He also paints historical paintings going back to the English Civil War. The “Garden Party” is a recent gift in memory of Phoebe and Sophia Tennant.

Willis W. Fahnstock [1853–1920]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

FAHNSTOCK, Willis Winthrop [1853–1920]

Portrait of my Father / Elias Fahnstock

oil on canvas / 18.1 inches by 14.2 inches

ca1890

Willis was the son of early Agincourt investor Elias Fahnstock and older brother of the community’s earliest physician Rudyard “Doc” Fahnstock. Willis studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in Philadelphia — yet another connection between Agincourt and that renowned school — then returned East to the family place at New Castle, Delaware.

The portrait subject Elias Fahnstock was the first investor outside the original Founders in the Agincourt adventure, and also the founder in his own right of the village that bears the family name eight miles east. The portrait style is loosely reflective of the Newlyn School, a British artist colony on the coast of Cornwall, which Fahnstock may have visited.* A second Newlyn School began operation about 2010 but is devoted to Modernism.

Descendants of the Fahnstock family have only recently donated this fine piece to the Community Collection as a memorial to their name hereabouts.

* Faint markings on the reverse of the painting confirm the “Newlyn” connection: it is inscribed “James Lanham Ltd. / Frame Maker / St. Ives / Cornwall.” The Lanham Galleries were central to several artist colonies. It formed about 1887-1889 and remained in family ownership until 1911, which confirms to the dates Fahnstock was in England. [Information courtesy of Milton Yergens]

Val Hamer [active]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa.]

HAMER, Val [active]

“Bird Cage on White Stand”

pastel on paper / 22.7 inches by 15.6 inches

1997

British artist Val Hamer attended Bury Art School in the 1950’s, where she met her husband and fellow artist Rod Hamer. Val also studied Fine Art at Lancaster College of Art. Hamer has been inspired by the Euston Road School, especially Sir William Coldstream and Euan Uglow, as well as the works of Bernard Dunstan.

In 1967, Val Hamer was an acting and founding member of the Drama Group 65 in Bishops’ Stortford, Hertfordshire. Recently, the artist practised in her art studio in the Chilterns.