Archive for June, 2009

Ray Grathwol’s “Busy Corner, Akron”

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

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.”

The Money Is Flowing

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Saw this sign earlier today at the entrance to Delacarlia Parkway, a one-mile stretch of concrete roadway in Northwest DC, badly in need of repair.