Thursday, November 24, 2016

FOUND! Francis Quirk's Portrait of Robert Strider, President of Colby College

The Colby College Museum of Art staff graciously tracked down the painting, which is technically owned by the College. We are grateful to Beth Finch, The Lunder Curator of American Art, for her gracious assistance with obtaining the image and sharing it with us. 
Quirk painting of Colby College President Robert Strider
Robert Strider, President of Colby College Oil Portrait by Francis J. Quirk   Image courtesy of Colby College

While seeking information on Francis Quirk's retirement from Lehigh University, we came upon an old issue of an Alumni Magazine for Colby College from 1964 that had a reference to a donor providing a portrait of Colby College President Robert E. Strider. Quirk's son James attended and graduated from the College.  At the time James was the youngest graduate ever from the institution.
Quirk Artist, Quirk Maine Artist, Quirk Artist, Quirk Painter, Quirk Portrait
Colby College President Robert E. Strider painted by Francis Quirk
Compliments of Colby Alumnus 1964 Colby College Archives

In our quest for this painting, in an earlier blog post we had included a possible image, which we now know is not by Quirk.
Colby College President Robert E. Strider Standing  Compliments of Colby Alumnus 1964 Colby College Archives


At the moment, we only have a black and white Image, but we will not rest until we have a better color version. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lehigh University Graciously Provides More Painting Images By Pennsylvania Artist Francis Quirk

Through some recent communications with Lehigh University we received images of two more paintings in their collection by Francis Quirk. We are greatly appreciative of their thoughtfulness and cooperation.The image quality is not the best. However, we will seek to get better representations down the road. Perhaps when we visit the Institution to comb through their archives. 

The first painting is interesting in that it uses his cubist, ethereal style and depicts a maritime subject- sailboats. Perhaps he executed it while in Maine.

Great Pennsylvania Painter Francis Quirk Lehigh University
Sailboat Painting by Francis J. Quirk
Photo courtesy of Lehigh University
The second is a rather standard portrait of an unnamed academic. The gentleman could be a University official or Professor.
Francis Quirk 'Great Pennsylvania Artist' Portrait Painter
Portrait painting by Francis J. Quirk
Photo courtesy of Lehigh University

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Francis Quirk at the Woodmere Art Museum

Woodmere Art Museum Quirk Pennsylvania Artist
Woodmere Art Museum

Francis Quirk was affiliated with a number of prominent institutions throughout his career and we have profiled several of them.  One biography listed Quirk as a member at Woodmere.  Recently, we had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Woodmere Art Museum located in the Philadelphia suburb of Chestnut Hill. Beside the Barnes Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there are many worthwhile places to visit in and around the City of Brotherly Love.

Painting of Charles Knox Smith Founder of Woodmere Art Museum
The Woodmere Art Museum was established by Charles Knox Smith, a successful oil and mining business man in 1940. He built a special wing in his house to display his art collection. Today the Museum continues with a core collection on display and rotating exhibits. They recently added a lovely and noteworthy sculpture Free Interpretation of Plant Forms,a fountain designed by Harry Bertoia that was most recently in storage. It once graced the entrance of the Philadelphia Convention Center. Having seen it there many years ago sandwiched by the entrance in a sea of concrete, I can firmly attest that the current location on the Museum grounds is far superior; allowing the work to be enjoyed in a most pleasing environment.

Bertoia Fountain Sculpture "Free Interpretation of Plant Forms" During installation

In the core collection are two particular paintings of note.  The first, Morning in the Kaaterskill by Edmund Darch Lewis depicts the famously beautiful New York waterfall. The Catskills attraction is reputed to be a showstopper and is now on my agenda to visit on a lovely spring day when the leaves are popping and the water is flowing at high volume. Or perhaps on a hot Summer evening when we can enjoy a swim at the bottom pool.

Morning in the Kaaterskill by Edmund Darch Lewis  Woodmere Art Museum
Morning in the Kaaterskill by Edmund Darch Lewis  Woodmere Art Museum

The second is Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Spirit of Peace, which was executed after the Civil War. The famous Hudson River School artist wonderfully executed this placid scene.

Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Spirit of Peace Woodmere Art Museum

When we reached out to the Museum they could provide us with no further information on Quirk. But perhaps over time additional information will surface as Quirk was once one of the most prominent artists in Eastern Pennsylvania. He also was active in the area when Knox was still alive so there may be some connection waiting to be unearthed in the archives. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Quirk and Cubism

Francis Quirk was a master of many different media; oils, pastels, charcoal,water colors and pencil. He also could paint in different styles beside the realism that he is well known for. Below are a few images in the cubist style. The two paintings below were auctioned in Maine in the September 2016. The boy has a Western flavor to it, so it may have been executed while in Prescott, Arizona.

Quirk Painting of Boy in the Cubist Style

Quirk painting "cubism" "cubist art" "Quirk Painter"  girl with dog
Quirk Painting of Girl and Dog in the Cubist Style
While we cannot confirm that the painting of the baseball player is by Francis Quirk as we were not able to enlarge it enough to see his signature, The dimensions and style certainly indicate that it is handiwork.
Quirk painting "cubism" "cubist art" "Quirk Painter"  baseball player painting
Francis Quirk discussing a painting with wife Anna(?) and another gentlemen. Photo Courtesy of Lehigh University Library Archives 

We have since learned that the two portraits are of Quirk's children and dogs.  We also have obtained better images of the portrait of daughter Ada-Lee.

image Cubism, cubist painting young girl
Close-up of cubist image of Ada-Lee Quirk by Francis J. Quirk