Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Francis Quirk at RISD an Interest in Industrial Design

In our ongoing quest for information about Francis Quirk, we were surprised to see that we missed something in the archives of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). (It may be that they are adding content to the digital library.) Francis Quirk was listed in the departmental staff of the Student Designer for Art. 
Student Designer 1930 Rhode Island School of Design  Francis Quirk on Staff
Cover of a 1930 Edition of the Student Designer Published at RISD

When we went through the publication we could not find any byline or accreditation to him. At the time he would have been completing a post-graduate year. 

This is the second reference to his becoming involved in a Student Publication. The other was a more eclectic piece called the Salamander.  The Salamander was a short-lived student publication released monthly during the 1925-1926 academic year at the Rhode Island School of Design. Originally printed one-sided, in January 1926 the paper began to be printed on both sides of the page. Its contents were mostly comprised of fictional gossip and humor. Hand drawn illustrations are also included.  You can read more about the Salamander in an earlier blog post here. 

Francis Quirk,   Student Designer,   Publication Rhode Island School of Design
Staff Page of The Student Designer 1930    Image Complements of RISD Digital Commons

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Beautiful Quirk Painting of Seagulls Comes to Light

The second painting that recently came to light from a relative of Francis Quirk is a beautiful watercolor of seagulls. Quirk carefully worked the images of many birds in different alignments and positions on a sky blue background. It appears that he decided to work on his depiction of the waterfowl as an exercise and sought to paint them in a variety of postures as an exercise to improve his hand and master painting the creatures.

Seagulls Image, Painting of Seagulls, Quirk Art, Quirk Watercolor, Francis Quirk Painting, Francis J. Quirk Watercolor Painting
Seagull Painting by Francis J. Quirk

We had always known of Quirk's love of the sea, sailboats and coastal Maine. However, we had not seen a painting quite like this one before. Late in his life, he painted several landscape paintings as part of his Ossabaw Island Foundation Fellowship. Birds appeared in these paintings, but they were largely accents to the image adding a bit of action and life to placid scenes. There was one exception to this which is his painting of glossy faced ibis which we highlight below.  Thus, we were a bit surprised to see the "42"date which indicated that the work was executed when Quirk was in his mid 30's.

Ibis image, Ibis painting, bird ibis image, Quirk Art, Quirk Painting From Nature
Glossy White Faced Ibis by Francis Quirk

Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Quirk Art Surfaces From a Relative

Two new Francis Quirk paintings have surfaced from a relative of Francis Quirk. This post will focus on the first; a nautical painting. Quirk's summer home, Peterspen North was in Kinney Shores, Maine and he looked forward to spending time there after his retirement from Lehigh University. We suspect that this painting was executed during one of his many summers on the rocky maritime coast. 

We were particularly excited to see this painting of two fishermen heading to sea for two reasons beyond adding it to our growing image library. The first is that it is an attractive painting with an ethereal quality to the sunlight that is particularly pleasing. The ocean has not yet taken on a blue color, but is still reflecting the light of the rising sun. 

Quirk Art, Francis Quirk, Quirk Artist, Quirk Painting, Quirk Painter
Francis Quirk Painting of Fishermen Heading Out to Sea
The second reason is that we have an image of a companion painting. It is a darker composition of a boat heading in the opposite direction. Yet in this companion painting, the sky has become fully blue and the outboard engine powered boat is riding much lower in the water.  There also appears to be cargo in the front. 

Quirk art, Quirk painting, Quirk artist, Quirk painter
Francis J. Quirk Painting "Boat in an Ocean"
We display the paintings below in smaller format side by side for comparison. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Francis Quirk Curates Stanley Woodward Show in 1964

Continuing in our series on artists whose careers were enhanced through the work of Francis Quirk we look at Stanley Woodward who had a solo show at Lehigh's Alumni Gallery in May of 1964.

Our research into Woodward's show was prompted by the print he signed and dedicated to Quirk that we found among the papers auctioned in 2016 in Maine. The print image is shown  below.

New Hampshire Farm in Winter by Stanley Woodward  

The inscription reads "
From Stanley Woodward 
To Francis J. Quirk
With Warm Regards August 1, 1965"

Quirk Art, Quirk Artist,  Quirk Curator
Inscription to Francis Quirk from Stanley Woodword

We assembled the biography below on Stanley Wingate Woodward from a variety of sources. But do read on further as we have quite a lot to show from this prolific artist. 

Rockport (Massachusetts) painter and illustrator, Stanley Wingate Woodward (1890-1970) was well recognized for his marines and seascapes. He was born in Malden Massachusetts. 

Woodward's education included studies at Eric Pape School Art, School of the Boston Museum Fine Arts, and the Pennsylvania Academy Fine Arts.

He was the author of "Adventures in Marine Painting" (1948) and "Marine Painting in Oil and Watercolor" (1961). He was an illustrator for Collier's and Ford Times magazines. Woodward also was an instructor at the Woodward Outdoor Painting School (1935 -); Ringling Art School (1937-38); and the Laguna Beach School of Art & Design (1963).  He served in the United States Amy in both World Wars. He held numerous exhibitions and one-man shows.

He lived for many years in Rockport, Massachusetts with studios there as well as in Ogunquit Maine. The distinctive natural beauty of the New England coast inspired his passion for nautical subjects, which comprise the majority of his work,

He was represented by Grand Central Art Galleries, NY and the Vose Gallery, Boston.

He was belonged to many organizations and won numerous prizes, National Academy, American Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society, the Concord Art Association,   Society of America Etchers, Boston Society of Water Color Painters, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists American, Guild of Boston Artists, Audubon Artists New York, Rockport Art Association (prize oil 1959, Charles H. Cleaves Memorial award 1965), North Shore Arts Association (past president, Gordon Grant Mmel. award 1967), Springfield Art League (honorary), Philadelphia Water Color Club, and Academy Political Science. Other awards include the Gold medal, Jordan Marsh, 1959, 65, 1st prize watercolor American Academy Artists, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1959, Gaylord Marine prize oils, 1960, Winsor Newton prize, American Professional League, 1962, Mitton Memorial prize, 1965.

He was a member of numerous organizations including  the Concord Art Association,   Society of America Etchers, Boston Society of Water Color Painters, Allied Artists American, Guild of Boston Artists, Audubon Artists New York, Rockport Art Association (prize oil 1959, Charles H. Cleaves Memorial award 1965), North Shore Arts Association (past president, Gordon Grant Mmel. award 1967), Springfield Art League (honorary), Philadelphia Water Color Club, Academy Political Science and the Salmagundi Club.

His paintings can be found in many Museums and Collections including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Bowdoin College, Amherst College, Fort Worth Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Fogg Museum at Harvard University and a host of other private collections.

Stanley Woodward in His Studio

Since both artists were active in the Philadelphia and Ogunquit areas, there is little doubt that Quirk and Woodward met on at least a few occasions. And the affinity might have been enhanced by their sharing an affinity for the sea and a representational style.  One key difference may have been the larger name achieved by Woodward and the long tail that remains in the art world.  For example, a quick search has revealed over a hundred images of Woodward paintings in collections or that have changed hands at auction. When we began this project of learning about Quirk, we were able to locate 10-15 images.

Below is the announcement in the Brown and White describing the exhibition. 

We have made the presumption that Woodward may have influenced Quirk as he was about 17 years older.  Below we present paintings of similar subjects by both artists for you to decide if there is artistic overlap or influence. 

Stanley Woodward

quirk art   Coastal painting
Francis Quirk

It may also be that the two artists were swimming in the same milieu and there are a few types of views that make better paintings. Thus by chance they may have painted the same subjects. 

Stanley Woodward 

Francis Quirk

We will close this post with two paintings by Stanley Woodward that both show the old barn. He painted it a number of times. 

The Old Red Barn by Stanley Woodward

New Hampshire Farm in Winter by Stanley Woodward
May 2018 update. We found the painting below going up for auction at the Sandwich Auction Gallery on Cape Cod. It appears that Woodward loved painting "The Red Barn." Although this one appears different from those above.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Carl Sandburg Portrait by Francis Quirk A Better image of the Pastel Study

Through a fortuitous event the owner of the pastel portrait of Carl Sandburg that we discussed in an earlier post was able to send us a newly taken image from a better angle. 

We were pleased to receive the image as it allows the viewer to gain a better appreciation for the quality of the likeness and its execution.  We are still seeking the final oil portrait. 

Carl Sandburg Pastel Portrait by Francis Quirk  Probably a study for the oil portrait.
Pastel Portrait of Carl Sandburg by Francis J. Quirk