Just Waiting To Be Found!

Have you ever went rummaging through drawers, that hadn’t seen the light of day for a

This is one of Zula Kenyon's most popular paintings.

This is one of Zula Kenyon’s most popular paintings.

longtime, and found something you didn’t remember having? I did that recently and found, rolled together, some old prints. I couldn’t remember where they had come from, but then noticed the words “just a print” written on the back of one of them. I recognized the hand writing as that of my husband’s mother. In later years, she, the late Mildred Updyke, and her husband Fred, had begun collecting antiques and collectibles.When they passed away, among their belongings were still some of the things they had collected. That had to be where the prints came from. The one I like the best, shows a woman playing the piano and a young girl seated on the floor listening to her play. More about this print, later. It was time for me to do some researching on old prints. I was to learn that oftentimes these prints were given away, compliments of a business.

The second print is of three men in hats and coats, seated around a table, playing checkers Two of them have long white beards, one wearing his hat and smoking a pipe. The man wearing a vest and rolled up shirt sleeves is younger than the other two. This 20 x 18 inch sepia print was given away by Fred Hoch, dealer in wall paper, paints, etc, who was located at 77 West Main St., Somerville, N. J. This I know because of a large imprint on the back of the print. Except for finding the mention of his name, I could not find any information about him or his business.

What I did find was a listing of this print under the works of an accomplished photographer,

Doris Ulmann, photographer.

Doris Ulmann, photographer.

Doris Ulmann. who was born in New York City in 1882. She was widely respected for her photographic work and her subjects often included many intellectual and literary leaders, such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sinclair Lewis and Albert Einstein. Because of mine and my husband’s interest in dulcimers, I was surprised and delighted to see a listing of John Jacob Niles seated with an older man holding a dulcimer, a Mr. Ritchie, of Viper, Kentucky. The description says that he was the father of a large family, including Jean Ritchie, well known as an accomplished dulcimer player. How fortunate we would have been to have found this print, but that is not the case.

I was unable to find any information on the third print. It is a copy of a painting of a young boy and girl possibly of Dutch descent. The boy, wearing a hat is holding a ball and the girl sits with her head resting on his shoulder.

“Love’s Melody,” is the title of the print that’s my favorite. It is a reproduction of an original painting by Zula Kenyon and was given away as a supplement to the Grit, “America’s Finding prints 5Greatest Family Newspaper.” Many of you will remember the Grit being delivered to your home each Saturday by a neighborhood newsboy. It was founded in 1892 as the Saturday edition of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Daily Sun and Banner. However, in 1885 a 25 year old German immigrant, Dietrick Lamade purchased the name and was distributing  4,000 copies the first year. By 1932, it had a circulation of 425,000 in 48 states. It stayed in the Lamade family for many years and it was Howard J. Lamade who helped found Little League Baseball in Williamsport and build it into a national institution. The Grit was sold many times throughout the years. It left Williamsport after 111 years and moved its offices to Topeka, by 2006 it was converted to an all-glossy, magazine format and a bi-monthly schedule.

My research led me to the name of the artist of the painting I like so well. Zula Kenyon was

This is the Zula Kenyon print I found.

This is the Zula Kenyon print I found.

one of the most successful artists in the history of the United States. She was born in Deansville, Wisconsin in1873 and died in 1947. It was during the 1920’s and early 30’s that much of her work was accomplished. She produced over 250 Calendar and post card prints for the Gerlach-Barklow Company. She took up the serious study of art at the Chicago Art Institute, though in large measure she was self taught. Her favorite medium was pastels and this is the medium of the original painting of “Love’s Melody.”

This print was not rolled up and put back in the drawer to be found again someday. No, I bought a frame for it and my husband took down an enlargement of the Nicholson viaduct he had photographed and in its place now hangs the long, lost print, on our living room wall, above the piano.

Finding these prints led to a research of people’s lives that left me feeling enlightened and, yet, rather melancholy. How long has it been since you checked out that old trunk in the attic or the drawers of the old dresser? There may be an surprise waiting there for you.

This is the photograph taken by Doris Ulmann, circa, 1920's

This is the photograph taken by Doris Ulmann, circa, 1920’s

This is the lovely print that I could not find any information on.

This is the lovely print that I could not find any information on.

This print will be enjoyed much more here on the wall in our living room.

This print will be enjoyed much more here on the wall in our living room.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Just Waiting To Be Found!

  1. That is a beautiful print!! And so appropriate above your piano. I’m sure it will be inspiring to you as you play. I had fun recently going through our son’s artwork that I saved looking for a piece to use in 3D printing. It brought back all kinds of memories. You are finding out such wonderful facts about fascinating people!

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  2. I love to rummage and find unexpected items. I have been sleuthing all week in hopes of finding your mystery print…unsuccessfully. But during my sleuthing I found a pic of you with your porcelain dutch boyand girl and also a post of this entry of shirlandyou…you’re out there…I will keep sleuthing.

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    • I can hardly wait to learn out what you find. I’m glad you haven’t given up. The picture with no information is so pretty and what a great find it would be to be able to identify it. Thanks for writing, Karen.

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  3. I also enjoy looking through drawers and boxes that hold things that haven’t seen light for a long time. I found the Grit newspaper mention interesting because I delivered that paper while in high school. Somewhere around here in a drawer there might be an old newspaper bag just like the one pictured in you story.

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