1923 Joseph Francis Kernan Oil Illustrations
I'm the president of the local historical society, and they belong to the historical society. For as long as anyone can remember, they hung in a country schoolhouse. The school finally closed in 1975. I believe they hung in the courthouse for a while. And then, when the historical society was formed in the mid-'80s, they just moved across the street to the historical society. They were painted by this J.F. Kernan, and he was an illustrator, and he painted a lot of pictures, mostly action pictures, sometimes with a little humor in them. And these two particular ones ended up on the cover of "Country Gentleman" magazines in 1924 sometime.
They're wonderful examples of his work, and Kernan was an illustrator during the golden age of American illustration, roughly from 1880 to the, the '20s. They were painted in 1923, and as you said, these were used as cover art for "Country Gentleman" in 1924. The artist is interesting in that he paid for his way through art school in Boston by being a professional baseball player, and he was always a sportsman. And you can see that, especially in the happily unsuccessful hunting scene, and also in just the very sportsmanlike scenes that he does in general. The piece on my right is titled "RFD Delivery," I believe, is one of the titles. And the piece on the left is titled "Rabbits." They're in very good condition, they're oil on canvas, and they're both signed lower right. They're wonderful examples of his work. Well, have you ever had them appraised?
Well, about 20 years ago, someone sent us an appraisal, said they sold them-- similar ones-- for a couple of thousand dollars. But that was 20 years ago, so I have no idea what they're worth now.
That was 20 years ago, and I think a little under the mark. And belonging to the historical society, I know you have no intention of selling them, but in this market, I would insure them individually at $20,000.
Hm, that's more than we thought. (both laugh)
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