Here at the store we get a lot of art, and it is our good fortune to research each piece for provenance and price, but not every piece will catch my eye such as this one has. When I first saw it hanging on the wall at Good Find Stores, I was overwhelmed with curiosity. I knew this artwork had an interesting story behind it, so I dug a little deeper to share another installment of our blog post segment called ‘What Do You Know About That?’.
The painting in question is by Violet Parkhurst, a wonderful woman that led a full and vibrant life. She sadly passed away in 2008 but she left behind a rich legacy. This painting is very rare, as Violet mostly painted seascapes. This work depicts two burros in what we believe to be the famous California ghost town of Bodie. Bodie was an old gold mining town, now a historical national park.
I wanted to learn the name given by the artist for this painting, and spent hours trying to find the name of this piece, but it came to nothing. We were able to validate the signature as belonging to Violet easily enough, comparing our item’s signature with other, known works sold at auctions, or on the Parkhurst galleries website. Alas, we were not able to find mention of this piece online, and we have not found any good image match either. At Good Find, we consider the image rights to an artwork as a component of that piece’s overall value. This painting seems to have been only viewed privately since it was first painted. To have a painting of this subject, so uncommon to the artist, is a special delight.
Much of what I learned about Violet Parkhurst was found on parkhurstgalleries.com. According to the website, Violet believed that before someone could become a great artist they had to see the world. So she did just that, going everywhere from Canada to Mexico City where she briefly studied with Diego Rivera’s wife. After her short stint in Mexico, having received a scholarship to the Rio de Janeiro Museum, she went to Brazil. Violet's stay in Rio was also brief due to a revolution, so she moved to Natal Brazil where she wrote and illustrated a book titled “Jaguar By The Tale”. Her stay in Brazil was what transcended her fabled career to stardom. She soon became a foreign correspondent for movie magazines back in America. Violet got to meet all kinds of celebrities and movie stars. She ended up having a relationship with “The King of Hollywood”, Clark Gable. Violet later moved away from writing to painting, making works of art of her neighbors, local market, and huts in her neighborhood in Natal, Brazil. Violet was a specialist in genres women seldom ventured in painting which were seascapes and nudes. She is famed for her glorious seascapes. A host of celebrities and even President Nixon had her paintings in their collections. Her art is displayed in the Great Hall of the People's Republic of China and China National Museum of Fine Art. Parkhurst is the only westerner to have accomplished such a feat. You can read more about Violet’s civic achievements and see more, beautiful examples of her work at parkhurstgalleries.com
Photo from parkhurstgalleries.com
Violet would usually stick to her wild seashore, but every once in a while would flex a different artistic muscle. The result is the fantastic yet elusive painting of the two Burros. Having the work of an artist of the caliber of Violet Parkhurst is an honor and privilege to us here at Good Find. We love to be able to share truly fine art like our featured piece this week, and to be inspired by it’s excellence and rarity. We hope that you can appreciate this wonderful piece of artwork like we do. Take a look at all the other gems and other special items we have listed on our online store at www.goodfindstores.com
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