Q. This painting has been in my family for the past 50 years. It was painted by Canadian artist Adam Sherriff Scott and the title on the canvas back is “Old Philosopher.” The dimensions of the painting are 61 by 46 centimetres (24 x 18 inches). Can you tell me more about the painting and its value?
A. Adam Sherriff Scott (1887-1980) was born in Scotland. His initial studies included the Edinburgh School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. With his arrival in Montreal in 1912, his career blossomed. He captured much of life in Canada with landscapes, genre scenes and portraits of all kinds. This often included winter scenes, Indigenous cultures, cityscapes, still lifes and interiors. Much of his portfolio was exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He also made a great contribution, teaching art and opening up his own school in Montreal. This striking portrait was painted circa the late 1940s or early 1950s. It certainly invokes deep thought. It is worth $750 today.
Q. I inherited this pair of 29-cm-high (11.5 inches) vases from my great-grandmother. They were a wedding gift and she was married in 1890 in New Glasgow, N.S. They have no cracks or chips. There are some painted underside markings. I would be delighted if you consider these for your newspaper column.
A. The 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. of Chicago advertised your vases as “made of Bohemian glass of a milky white colour and beautifully decorated. This makes a handsome ornament, and would be appreciated as a wedding or birthday gift. There is nothing nicer to give as a holiday present.” The vases were offered individually for 27 cents or the pair for 50 cents — a saving of four cents that, at the time would buy either a loaf of bread or a half-pound (225-gram) rib roast. Bohemia harboured some of the major glass-making centres of Europe. The markings on the base are those of the artist. Your vases are hand-blown opal glass. The hand-painted fruit, flowers and foliage might represent a member of the nightshade plant family, which includes plants used for ornament, food or even drugs. Your stately pair is worth $125.
Q. I have this blue glass lamp I found in the basement of an old house. It is 24 cm tall and 16.5 cm wide (9.5 by 6.5 inches). The house owner said it had been in her family since before hydro came in. I am wondering what you might know about the lamp and its value.
A. You have a kerosene oil lamp in one of the most popular selling patterns of its time — “Princess Feather.” It was made primarily by the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company in Coraopolis, Penn., from 1894 to 1900. The lamp is found in clear glass and several colours — sometimes just the founts (the oil reservoir) are in colour. But cobalt blue, as in your example was, by far the most popular colour sold. The proportions of your lamp are distinctive of the “sewing” size, which holds the largest amount of oil of any in the several sizes in which this pattern was produced. Originally, it was sold complete with a chimney for less than one dollar. It is one of the most elaborate patterns in glass stand lamps of this era. “Princess Feather” is still quite popular in this colour and it is very difficult to find examples that are free of chips since the foot edges are quite prone. It is worth $250 today.
What Makes Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square (1915) Not Just Art, But Important Art
Who created the first work of abstract art has long been a fraught question indeed. Better, perhaps, to ask who first said of a work of art that a kid could have made it. A strong contender in that division is the Russian artist Véra Pestel, whom history remembers as having reacted to Kazimir Malevich‘s 1915 painting Black Square with the words “Anyone can do this! Even a child can do this!” Yes, writes novelist Tatyana Tolstaya a century later in the New Yorker, “any child could have performed this simple task, although perhaps children lack the patience to fill such a large section with the same color.” And in any case, time having taken its toll, Malevich’s square doesn’t look quite as black as it used to.
Nor was the square ever quite so square as we imagine it. “Its sides aren’t parallel or equal in length, and the shape isn’t quite centered on the canvas,” says the narrator of the animated TED-Ed lesson above. Instead, Malevich placed the form slightly off-kilter, giving it the appearance of movement, and the white surrounding it a living, vibrating quality.”
Fair enough, but is it art? If you’d asked Malevich himself, he might have said it surpassed art. In 1913, he “realized that even the most cutting-edge artists were still just painting objects from everyday life, but he was irresistibly drawn to what he called ‘the desert,’ where nothing is real except feeling.” Hence his invention of the style known as Suprematism, “a departure from the world of objects so extreme, it went beyond abstraction.”
Malevich made bold claims for Suprematism in general and Black Square in particular. “Up until now there were no attempts at painting as such, without any attribute of real life,” he wrote. “Painting was the aesthetic side of a thing, but never was original and an end in itself.” As Tolstaya puts it, he “once and for all drew an uncrossable line that demarcated the chasm between old art and new art, between a man and his shadow, between a rose and a casket, between life and death, between God and the Devil. In his own words, he reduced everything to the ‘zero of form.’” She calls this zero’s emergence in such a stark form “one of the most frightening events in art in all of its history of existence.” If so, here we have an argument for not letting young children see Black Square and enduring the consequent nightmares — even if they could have painted it themselves.
New Spider-Man Art Features Web Slinger in Various Activities
Being Spider-Man is about so much more than webbing up bad guys. Spider-Man is the neighborhood guy. He gives back to the community. He protects the community. There’s swinging, there’s fighting, there’s dangling, and sure, sometimes he has to traverse the multiverse and see all his alternative versions.
In a new print series from artist Oliver Barrett though, we focus on the simple stuff. Spider-Man just being Spider-Man. Seven prints, available individually or as a series, each showing Spider-Man at his ground-level best. The pieces are from a collaboration Barrett did with Restoration Games/Unmatched and are being released via Bottleneck Gallery and Acme Archives on October 3.
Each piece is a hand-numbered, 10 x 10 inch giclée in various edition sizes and they’ll be available individually (for $30 each) or as a set (for $200) on the Bottleneck Gallery site at noon ET October 3. Check out all the images in our slideshow.
Kelsey Grammer Curates an Exquisite Art Collection New ‘Frasier’ Reboot Posters
Dr. Frasier Crane has always been an admirer of the finer things in life, and artwork is no different, which is why it feels fitting that, in preparation for his return to our screens, television’s most renowned psychiatrist poses alongside striking pieces of art in new posters designed to promote the launch of Paramount+’s upcoming reboot series, Frasier. The series follows Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) as he enters the next chapter of his life. Viewers will see him return to Boston which will come with its own set of challenges, relationships, and even dreams. Frasier has finally re-entered the building.
While the first of two newly-released posters show Grammer next to a striking collection of statues, the second poster emphasizes the start of the new chapter in his life. In addition to Grammer, the new series stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son Freddy; Nicholas Lyndhurst as Frasier’s old college buddy turned university professor Alan; Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, Alan’s colleague and head of the university’s psychology department; Jess Salgueiro as Freddy’s roommate Eve; and Anders Keith as Frasier’s nephew David.
The new iteration of Frasier comes from writers Chris Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Joe Cristalli (Life in Pieces), who executive produce with Grammer, Tom Russo and Jordan McMahon. The series is produced by CBS Studios, in association with Grammer’s Grammnet NH Productions. The first two episodes of the new series are directed by legendary director and television creator James Burrows, who is best known for his work as co-creator, executive producer, and director of the critically acclaimed series Cheers, as well as the original Frasier series, Will & Grace and Dear John. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution outside of the Paramount+ markets.
The Legacy of Frasier Crane
The original series, which aired from 1993 to 2004, had an impressive 11-season run and earned numerous awards and honors. It was a major success at the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning an incredible 37 Emmys throughout its time on the air. This accomplishment set a historic record for the most Emmys ever won by a TV show at that point in time. The awards covered a wide range of categories, including recognition for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor (Grammer), Supporting Actor (David Hyde Pierce in the role of Niles Crane), and Supporting Actress (Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith Sternin), among others.
The upcoming series will premiere in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, October 12, with two episodes, and on Friday, October 13, in all other international markets where Paramount+ is available. New episodes will then drop weekly on Thursdays, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Canada, and on Fridays, internationally. In addition, the CBS Television Network will broadcast a special airing of the first two episodes back to back on Tuesday, October 17, beginning at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT. Until then, check out the new posters below:
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