For your consideration is a vintage 1948 Mid-Century Abstract Expressionist oil painting. This original American abstract painting was completed on canvas. It was signed and dated by the artist on the lower right front, Howard John Besnia 48 (see image). This painting descends directly from the artist's estate in Massachusetts. There are several estate stamps from the artist on the back stretcher bars of the painting.
Additionally there are two vintage tacks still in place on the top left stretcher bars. The location of the tacks are a clue to me, I believe the tacks were most likely in place to attach an exhibition label identifying the painting and the artist at a juried exhibition.
The painting is in overall good vintage condition. Under a black light it shows no signs of paint loss or in-painting.
Due to its age there is some slight stretcher bar marks (see image). I consider these a testament to the paintings honest history! Unframed the painting measures 24" in width x 30" in height and together with the vintage wooden frame it measures 30" x 36". The frame is in good vintage condition with some minor surface abrasions consistent with its age. As for the artist, Howard John Besnia was born on January 24, 1921 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
He was an Army veteran of World War II, and earned a Bachelor's Degree from Clark University in Worcester and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Yale University. He lived most of his adult life at his hilltop home/studio that he built in Sterling, Massachusetts in the early 1950's. He referred to his homestead as the "Skycrest".
He was known as a skilled artist and teacher. Among his many talents, he was a portrait painter, sculptor, photographer, graphic artist and bookmaker. His work was exhibited regionally and records indicate his paintings were exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.However, it seems Besnia was more concerned with teaching others that seeking attention for his own art. One of his passions was printmaking, and his studio included a variety of historic lithography, letterpress and etching presses. He founded Scarab Press, publishing his own prints and art books and worked with regional artists to produce editions on his presses. He designed and published five fine art books in 6 years, one of which was an award winner at the New England Book Show. He even sketched the stars from his own observatory. He taught art for over 60 years, beginning at Auburn High School and ending with decades of service at Fitchburg State College. Upon his retirement, he continued to teach classes from his home studio. Skycrest included several rooms devoted to art production, including a large classroom where Professor Besnia taught painting and lithography to hundreds of students. Howard John Besnia passed away in 2014.
The Biographical information is courtesy of Bruce Wood and the the Woodshed Gallery. Judge for yourself from all the detailed images provided. Please take a moment to browse the several pages of. The item "Vintage 1948 Mid-Century Abstract Expressionist Oil Painting Signed Dated" is in sale since Thursday, May 31, 2018. This item is in the category "Art\Paintings".
The seller is "auntiegmg" and is located in Johnston, Rhode Island. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion.