Edward Potthast Oil Painting, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $25,000 (2011)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:42)
Paintings & Drawings
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
GUEST: My grandmother bought Potthast paintings for her son and daughter, and I've seen these paintings since I was about nine years old. My grandmother was a friend of Helen Potthast. Her husband was a nephew of...
GUEST: Edward Henry Potthast, yes.
APPRAISER: Potthast was an extraordinarily important early 20th-century American impressionist artist. And American impressionism is sort of based on the French style of broken brush stroke and light bright colors. And he was known for really capturing the light of outdoor scenes. While he was born in Cincinnati, he traveled the world, ultimately spending the summers on the coast, and it was the marine paintings, the coastal scenes, that became the most desirable examples of his work. Now, where do you think this painting is?
GUEST: My dad has always told me it was Laguna Beach.
APPRAISER: What I was able to do... Was to flip the painting over, and what we have here... Is the original artist label, and it says "The coast, Ogunquit." Ogunquit is in Maine. It's signed "Edward Potthast." So we have the original artist label here. Isn't that cool?
GUEST: I never knew that!
APPRAISER: And then we have it also written by the artist in ink. And we also have here a price of $250.
GUEST: You asked me if you could tear the back off and I hesitated, but I'm awful glad you did.
APPRAISER: Me too, me too. As I said, he is best known for his marine paintings, but he's really, really best known for his marine paintings with frolicking, turn-of-the-century kids in the waves. And I was looking really hard to see a bobbing blonde head in some of these waves, but no such luck. But it is a beautiful example of his coastal scenes. While the painting isn't dated, in terms of its style and subject matter, I would date it to the late 19th, early 20th century. He died in 1927. The condition of the painting, oil on board, is completely original. One of the other things that you brought with you is this wonderful listing from probably the early '40s of his paintings from the posthumous exhibition of his work at the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York.
GUEST: New York.
APPRAISER: And I'm suspecting that because he was so intent on putting the correct title on the back, we would find that title here were it in this listing, and I'm not confident that it's in this listing. There were about 70 in this show that came to a total value of $23,700. Potthast has become a very important artist, and for insurance, I'm going to value the painting at $25,000.
APPRAISER: Which is more than the value of 70 paintings in the '40s.
GUEST: Well, thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing it.
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