When I was up at the ancestral home last, the Mother and I were doing lots of things around her house, like donating jumble, re-organizing her storage areas and closets, and doing a general sort out. You may recall I even cleaned the family silver which had been packed away for some time. Another of the things we came across were some paintings.
I had seen them before, as they did hang in the home, but my Mother likes to switch thing up. So some were packed away, but now they all hang in the hallway once again. I grew up with these paintings, and I never really noticed the artist. But this time I looked, and it was the name of Emile Gruppe'. I unfortunately have no idea how long they were in the family or where they even came from. Since father is passed, all my mother knows, she remembers my father's parents having them in their home. My father's cousin Marie Stobie was a famous artist on Long Island, so I think I assumed they were her work, till I saw Emile Gruppe's name in the corner. My father's side has always been artistic in some form. My grandparents both loved singing, and my grandfather also painted, as did my dad, but very informal. So I can only assume someone loved art. Since having a lot of extra time I did some research on the artist and found several tidbits.
Emile Albert Gruppé lived between 1896–1978 and was a American painter born in Rochester, New York. Funny part, my dad's family when coming to America, settled in this part of New York and stayed, till my father moved the PA to run one of his uncle's Wall Street Firm's branches in Harrisburg.
Emile lived the early years of his life in the Netherlands as his father Charles Paul Gruppe, painted with the Hague School of Art and acted as a dealer for the Dutch painters in the US. Since my grandfathers family all came from the Netherlands, Holland .... I wonder if someone was a fan of his work?
The family returned permanently to the states around 1913 when rumblings of World War I were brewing. All of Emile’s siblings established themselves in the arts. Gruppe's artistic career began in 1915 but was briefly interrupted in 1917, when he spent a year in the United States Navy. He made his permanent studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts and became a member of the Cape Ann school of artists. Although Gruppe is best known for his variety of impressionistic landscapes, he also painted figures and portraits. His modern style was largely inherited from the French Impressionist Monet. "Lily Pads," date and location unknown, one of Gruppe's landscapes, attests to Monet's influence; it is similar to some of the paintings in Monet's "Water Lily" series.He was the teacher of other famous artists including oil painter Otis Cook of Rockport, Massachusetts, and his work was an influence on Bill Wray, Nathalie Nordstrand, and other painters.
Gruppe's paintings are often seen in major auction galleries, such as Sotheby's, Christies, and Skinners. Auction prices have risen steadily and exceed most Rockport School artists. Gruppe is among the most prominent of Rockport, MA artists, a group that includes: Anthony Thieme, Marguerite Pierson, Antonio Cirino, W Lester Stevens, and Aldro Hibbard.
The top picture and the following are the ones we own.
Probably my favorite.....
Mother and I could never stand this one....it's eerie.
What's interesting when researching, his work always seems to be in these heavy gold frames. Now I'm thinking these are originals, but not sure. My pictures are horrible. From the photos you can see the texture of the oils. They also I know need a professional art clean because of dust. Most of these I do love the feeling they have. When I was little, I created a story for each one, as to what was going on in them. Trying to find pictures of the artist himself was hard, alas, the only two I found are above. My mother is now looking for a gallery or art dealer to come in and see what's the skinny on them. We may just show up yet on Antiques Roadshow. And then, just today, came across THIS interesting story. If anyone reading knows about Emile's work, I loved to know more.
On top of this, we also have what may be a Sheraton or Sheraton reproduction desk.....just more to ponder.....