Four Anna Richards Brewster Paintings

Value (2005) | $8,000 Auction

GUEST:
I found these at, um, a thrift store, actually, outside San Francisco, in a little town called San Leandro. And I just instantly loved them, and so I bought them for under $10 total. And I've been carrying them around with me for the last, I'd say, four years everywhere that I go.

APPRAISER:
Now, when you purchased them, did you know what they were?

GUEST:
No, I had no idea. I just knew that I thought they were really beautiful. And in the last four years, I've tried to do some research on her-- Anna Richards Brewster.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
And I haven't found out a lot. I found out that she was an American painter and her father was also a painter, but other than that, I haven't been able to find out a lot about them.

APPRAISER:
Okay, well, she is an artist in whom there is a growing sense of interest. Her name indeed was Anna Richards Brewster, and really the important part of that is the Richards part, because her father was indeed a very noted American artist: William Trost Richards, one of the foremost American marine, seascape and landscape painters of the latter part of the 19th century. She was taught initially by her father, and she was apparently a very prodigious painter even at a very young age. She exhibited at the National Academy in New York in 1884, which would have been when she was 14 years old.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And exhibiting along with a lot of very prominent, prestigious artists. She was also a student of William Merritt Chase. She was also taught by John La Farge and probably by some other noted American artists, as well. She would never have had the opportunity to become a painter like this were it not that she was born into this incredibly artistic family, where the guys around the dinner table every day were, you know, major American painters of their time. She also studied at an art school in Boston. And then she went off to Paris, and she studied classical art at the Academie Julienne, which was the place where traditional academic artists in France were trained. And after that, she studied in a number of other European capitals, so she had the benefit of this exposure to this very cosmopolitan artistic background. She was extremely prolific. She painted for 55 years.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
She painted all over the world, which I think is also fascinating. I mean, this American woman traveled from Europe to Asia to Palestine, and she painted everywhere she went. One thing that I think is great about your collection of pictures here is that you happened to get a little group of pictures that kind of chronicle her international career. You've got a scene in England here. This is obviously a continental town street scene in Europe somewhere, and this is probably a European view, as well. And all the way over here to this view on the Nile, so it's emblematic of her career. Now, she was not a very expensive artist until quite recently, and I wouldn't say that she's hit meteoric heights in terms of value, but these pictures, at an American painting auction, would probably fetch somewhere in the area of $8,000 for the group.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So $10 for the lot. I think they're great little pictures.

GUEST:
I love them.

APPRAISER:
That's the most important thing. Thanks for bringing them in.

GUEST:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
South Hadley, Massachusetts
Appraised value (2005)
$8,000 Auction
Event
Los Angeles, CA (August 13, 2005)
Period
19th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Paint

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