Thursday, September 15, 2016

Quirk's Painting of Carl Sandburg-- Oil Study Found in Maine, Pastel Study Found in Pennsylvania

April 2018 Update

The owners of the pastel have provided us with this better image of the pastel protrait study of Carl Sandburg.

Carl Sandberg Portrait by Francis Quirk- a  study for an oil portrait.

May 2017 Update

Through a Pennsylvania friend of Francis Quirk, we have found a pastel study for the painting of Carl Sandburg. It still does not solve the riddle as to the location of the final painting. But it does provide us with a bit more context.

Carl Sandburg  Pastel Portrait

Carl Sandburg Portrait in Pastel by Francis Quirk

The pastel is a profile, while the oil portrait study below has an angled approach.

The Original 2016 Post

Among the paintings and paintings due to come up for auction in the coming days we found this painting which is clearly a study for the missing portrait of Carl Sandburg. We reached out to decendents of Abby Sutherland Brown, but have had no luck finding it.

Francis J. Quirk study for Carl Sandberg
Study for Portrait of Carl Sandberg Found in Francis Quirk's Maine Auction

Amelia Earhardt and Abby Sutherland Brown of Ogontz College

While this is a bit off-topic, it is an interesting side item. While seeking the possible location of Francis Quirk's portrait of Carl Sandburg, we conducted a search on information related to Abby Sutherland Brown. She was the primary force driving Ogontz College and commissioned the portrait of her friend, Sandburg. 

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). 

The main Sandburg portrait we found is the work of William Smith from 1961. It is not the work of Francis J. Quirk.

Portrait of Carl Sandburg by William Smith

In a Dictionary of Literary Influences we came across this write up of Ogontz College student Amelia Earhart and her relationship with Abby. 

You can find the original text of the book here.  

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