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Fine Art/19th Century Oil Painting

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Question
Dear Mr. Hynes
I have an original oil painting dated 1897 from a Frances Miller Mumaugh and I am trying to get an appraisal.
I was originally referred to a woman in Nebraska who studies her work and she is very interested in the painting.  My husband and I are very skeptical on these types of things because she is stating that the painting may be from someone other than her.  She visited my home 2 years ago to view it personally and she is convinced it is of someone other that Ms. Mumaugh of very importance.  Is there anyway of getting someone to Xray the painting for free.  I do have photos that I can e-mail to you if interested.

Thank you for your time.


Answer
Dear Donna, I have no idea what a painting by Ms. Mumaugh would look like. I find no images in my art reference library or online, and no auction records anywhere. Evidently this is an artist of little national reputation, but perhaps collected in Nebraska.
Askart shows an entry from a Janet G. Smith of Omaha , Nebraska seeking Mumaugh art for a future catalogue. If this is the same woman you mention she probably knows what she is talking about, especially regarding Ms. Mumaugh.
I do not understand what you are skeptical about, at this point the artist has little or no value, as far as the U.S. market is concerned. I also do not understand why you would want an Xray, what would it tell you ? And it could only be interpreted by a very sophisticated art conservator. If you want to send images follow my standard instructions below.
If you would like to send jpeg images to me please keep each image of a reasonable size (not too large), and send them as “attachments”, do not embed them in your email. If you are looking for identification or opinion regarding your painting best would be an image of the front (just the painting, don’t include your lovely living room or pick-up truck), the back, and remove any paper covering (90% of respondents do not send me images of the back, I can obtain nearly as much information from the back as from the front), and close-ups of the signature, details of the brush-work, and any inscriptions or labels (use the macro setting on your camera for these close-ups). You can send this information to my email at damnfineart@yahoo.com and make your subject line “allexperts” so I do not bounce you as spam. It would be nice to receive feedback as I do this on my own time with no remuneration, free, no charge, nada. I do NOT research prints or artwork post-1940 (in other words if it does not look like your grandfather or great-grandfather would have owned it, don't proceed). If you have found my instructions somewhere on the internet, do not email me unless you go through allexperts.com
Cordially,
Dan  

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Daniel A. Hynes

Expertise

Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.

Experience

35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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