Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stanford Fenelle - WPA Minnesota Artist

I made an interesting find last week at an auction.  It is an original watercolor by noted and listed Minnesota artist Stanford Fenelle.  It was painted for the FAP (Federal Arts Project) which was part of the Depression Era work program called the WPA (Works Progress Administration).  The frame is chippy federal building yellow paint and the glass inside and out was filthy when I bought it.  I took the backing off to clean the glass. On the inside of the 2nd back board I found the original label, complete with yellow crunchy Scotch tape.

Fenelle was a painting supervisor for the WPA in Minnesota.  This painting, titled "Hulak's Farm" is a scene from the Steele or Waseca Counties area in South Eastern Minnesota.  A very similar painting "Road to Warsaw", that's Warsaw Minnesota, not Poland, is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection.  After WPA ended in 1942 Fenelle spent the next thirty years at Brown & Bigalow which was a huge advertising calendar publisher, where he perfected scenes of hunting dogs.

WPA art is very collectible.  Fenelle is very collectible.  This painting is going to look great in a Thomas Hart Benton style collection.

Mr. Flannery