Ray Grathwol’s “Busy Corner, Akron”

Last year I added this painting by Ray Grathwol (1900-1992) to my collection of urban snow scenes.  Grathwol was a self-taught painter who depicted primarily landscapes and other Ohio scenes.











This week’s mail brought an unexpected letter asking me to donate the painting to an Ohio museum.  The letter, signed by the museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and forwarded to me by the auction house where I bought the work, provides interesting details on the painting.  It reads in part:

“Dear owner of Ray Grathwol’s fabulous painting of downtown Akron: 

*  *  *  The work you own, Busy Corner, Akron, shows […] the city’s prosperous commercial side: a downtown corner with a drugstore (it was a Walgreen’s).  It makes an amazing pairing with another painting owned by the museum, Raphael Gleitsmann’s Winter Evening, produced around 1932.  Both men show the same stretch of Main Street during a snowstorm, but from opposite sides of the street (the Grathwol was made one or two decades later).  Both artists contrast nature’s fury with the built environment.  The two paintings are like bookends.”

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4 Responses to “Ray Grathwol’s “Busy Corner, Akron””

  1. Mike, My name is Jim Jefferys and the artist James A. Jefferys was my grandfather. He had two sons and a daughter. My father and Uncle are deceased. My aunt is alive and well. She could answer many of your questions much more accurately than me or my sister or for that matter all his grandchildren. All of us have paintings and I would add my grandfather was very generous with his works. I have fond memories of my grandfather picking me up on a thursday back in the middle 50’s and taking me to Wildwood to my Uncle Jims rental house where my grand father painted seascapes and portraits for people. i have info from newspapers on my grandfather that gives a biography of his life which we can send to you. Let me know if you would like the info and if you would like to talk to my Aunt I will contact her to see if she would make herself available for questions. Thanks Jim Jefferys

  2. Mike Ettner says:


    Thanks for your comment providing additional information about your Grandfather, James A. Jefferys. I’ve sent a message to your email address and hope to hear from you soon.

    Mike Ettner
    email: mikeettner@aol.com

  3. Rea Taylor says:

    I picked up a Ray Grathol today. As I goggled him your blog came up. Hubby doesn’t like the painting. Would you like to see it?

  4. MikeEttner says:

    Hi Rea – I no longer own this Grathwol painting and am not looking for his work now. Thank you for your note.
    Best regards,

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