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Phyllis Brodsky [20th century]

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

BRODSKY, Phyllis (20th century)

Room with a View

oil on canvas / 26 7/8 inches by 21 3/4 inches

We have been unable to learn very much about 20th century artist-teacher Phyllis Brodsky. And so must let the work speak for itself.

Stephen Brook [born 1957]

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

BROOK, Stephen (British; born 1957)

“The Execution of Lady Jane Grey”

oil on board / 6 inches by 6 inches


British artist Stephen Brook is the most recent artist to join the Community Collection with a small but powerful glimpse of the art experience: viewers in London’s National Gallery admiring Paul Delaroche’s 1833 painting “The Execution of Lady Jane Grey”— a framed view of a framed view. And as viewers of Brook’s painting, we add one more layer to the telescoping experience.

This work was an anonymous gift to commemorate the student-faculty exchange program between Northwest Iowa Normal School and Millstone-Jennings College, Greenbridge, Essex, UK.

Pictor Ignotus [ca1920]

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

MIN<unreadable> (ca1920)

“Magere Brug” / Skinny Bridge

oil on wood panel / 8.75 inches by 12.75 inches


A bridge has been at that site in Amsterdam since 1691, though the current iteration was built almost two hundred years later. It may be one of the most photographed of the city’s five hundred spans in the center city alone. This late impressionist sketch was painted about 1920 by an artist whose signature cannot yet be read.

magere brug 02.jpg

The painting is on loan to the Collection from the van der Rijn family, owners of the Bijenkorf Department Store.


Tanaka Ryohei / 田中良平 [born 1933]

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

TANAKA Ryohei / 田中良平 (born 1933)

etching /

During the 1960s, the Ferdinand Roten Galleries of Baltimore, Maryland promoted the more affordable collecting of prints on paper — etching, engraving, lithograph, silkscreen, and other media — particularly by college students across the United States. Before Roten died in 1972, his vans criss-crossed North America, stuffed with artwork, much of it comissioned by Roten himself and offered in low-priced editions to college students. Tanaka was then in his thirties and a staple in the Roten catalogue.  Other works in the collection (by Robert Marx and Walter Cleveland) were acquired this way.

Tanaka’s prints represent the traditional arts and crafts of Japan, especially the vernacular architecture one find in rural villages and the countryside.

Willis Fahnstock [1862-1928]

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

FAHNSTOCK, Willis Chalmers (18621928)

Western Landscape


watercolor on paper / 6.5 inches by 10.5 inches

Elias Fahnstock and his son Dr Rudyard Fahnstock are the better known members of that early Fennimore county family. Less familiar is the younger brother Willis, who spent little time in the community. Willis studied briefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and then settled at the old homestead outside New Castle, Delaware. This painting of about 1920 dates from a rare trip to Iowa – and beyond, apparently – late in Willis’s life.

It was a gift from Dr Rudyard Fahnstock, MD.

Fred S. Haines [1879-1960]

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

HAINES, Frederick Stanley (1879–1960)

“The Golden Hour”


etching and aquatint / 9 inches by 12 inches

Frederick Stanley Haines, or more commonly Fred S. Haines, was a Canadian artist who produced both prints and paintings, primarily landscapes. Sadly “The Golden Hour” was damaged some time during its life, trimmed, apparently, to fit an existing frame; too much attention is taken by the tree trunk while the overstory is lost. Yet, the composition is classic, practically a “golden section”, with subtleties of color enhanced on closer inspection by intricate line patters akin to the fingerprint. For reasons of its color palette, we date it closer to 1930.

Here is another example of Haines’ skill as a painter (not in our collection):

fred s haines.jpg

George Lytle Beam [1868-1935]

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

BEAM, George Lytle (1868–1935)

“Cliff Palace Ruins — Mesa Verde National Park”


silver gelatine photographic print / 7 15/16 inches x 10 1/16 inches (image)

George Lytle Beam was born May 18, 1868 in New Paris, Ohio. In 1873 his family moved to Lawrence, Kansas where he grew up and went to school. During these early years his mother and two siblings died. When he was twenty-one years old he established himself as a used foreign and domestic postage stamps dealer. He and his father moved to Denver, Colorado around 1890.

In Denver Beam worked for Chain Hardy & Co. as a stenographer, but soon there after he began working in that capacity for the Chief Storekeeper and Purchasing Agent of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad until 1893. In 1894 he became a secretary to Shadrach K. Hooper (the general passenger and ticket agent) for the Rio Grand. George was skilled with photography and was well established as the Rio Grande company photographer by 1905 when he photographed President Theodore Roosevelt in the Royal Gorge. He became a well known, respected photographer, taking photographs for the Denver & Rio Grande company along with other scenic views of the Western United States. At the age of 62 he married Fay L. Kuellmer in Colorado Springs on June 7, 1930.

George L. Beam died March 16, 1935 at the age of 66 in Denver and was buried in Lawrence, Kansas.

The photograph was acquired by the Tennant family during their 1912 trip to New Mexico. It is on long-term loan from the Arts & Crafts Society which currently occupies Anson Tennant’s former studio-residence.

Watanabe Seitei [1851-1918]

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

WATANABE Seitei (Shotei) (1851–1918)

“Starling and Karasu-uri”


five-color woodcut / 7 5/8 inches by 11 3/4 inches (image) / unnumbered edition

Watanabe was among the first Japanese artists to visit the West, initially to Paris and then the United States. “Karasu-uri” (烏瓜) is Japanese for a crow’s gourd or what in English is a snake gourd.

This uneditioned print was a bequest from the estate of Tadao Ito.

Frank Crawford Penfold [1849-1921]

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

PENFOLD, Frank (Francis) Crawford (1849-1921)

Portrait of a Man / The Advocat


oil on canvas / 20 inches by 14 inches

Frank Penfold was the son of William Penfold and was brought up in Lockport, New York. Trained under his father and having successfully exhibited two paintings at a Buffalo Society of Artists exhibition, Penfold emigrated to France, settling in Pont-Aven in Brittany, among a growing colony of anglophonic artists. He also attended the Académie Julian in Paris and became known for genre paintings and portraits.

For two decades, Penfold commuted between France and Buffalo, NY. But distraught by the 1915 death of his wife Marie Jeanne Gloanec (a very Breton name), Penfold drowned himself on 2 April 1921.

There have been several credible proposals for the subject of this handsome painting but it is commonly referred to as “The Advocat”, a 19th century French title for a lawyer.

François-Louis Schmied [1873-1941]

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

SCHMIED, François-Louis (1873–1941; Swiss–French)

“Jean Monnier”


color woodcut with gold leaf / 5.75 inches by 7.25 inches (image) / unnumbered edition

Swiss-born, F. L. Schmied became a naturalized French citizen before being exiled to Morocco, where he died. Schmied was a multi-talented artist working as a painter, wood engraver, printer, editor, illustrator, and bookbinder. His illustrated books are highly collectible and became the subject of a study published by the Book Club of California in a limited edition by Ward Ritchie.

This image of Jean Monnier is unexplained: too large for a bookplate; too small for a poster. “Domaine Jean Monnier & Fils” continues today as a provider of French wines, which is how he may have been connected to the Sobieski family, in-laws of Kurt Bernhard.