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Fine Art/Alex Dzigurski Sr. painting


QUESTION: I work for my family business in Minnesota. We cleaned out our warehouse and I found this painting that NO ONE wanted. I really want to know if I have the real thing or not???? Here's how I describe it:

Artist: Alex Dzigurski

"After the Storm"

On the back it's stamped "This is a canvas art print reproduction"

In the lower corner it's signed "Alex Dzigurski".  

The painting looks to me, to be in the original frame, but on one of the pieces of wood there is a stamp that reads “made in Mexico” ????  Does this mean the frame was made in Mexico??? Does this lessen the value?

What I really would like to know is this:

Is this an original painting?

What does “canvas art print reproduction” mean? Does this have any value??

Any information you can give me would be appreciated! I just want to know if I’m wasting my time trying to research this painting if it indeed is a fake and has no value.

ANY information would be helpful and really appreciated!

Thanks, Angela

ANSWER: Angela,
You first need to establish if this (1) this is actually canvas (flip it it canvas with a weave?)   and (2) if this is oil paint upon the front side.  (texture, and brushstrokes and inconsistency)  

The stamp that says it is a reproduction is the most damning evidence that it was reproduced, perhaps ink jet on canvas...this is the modern technique for reproduction.  

The stretcher bars themselves may have been manufactured in Mexico, that means nothing.  The elder Dzigurski lived in Southern California and his art supplies may well have been sourced from Mexican manufacturing sources.  

There were two Dzigurski painters.  Alexander and his son of the same name.  The elder almost exclusively painted marinescapes...waves...lots of waves.   The younger is still alive and tends to paint majestic mountains.  

If what you have is an original by the elder, it could be worth from $1,500 - $3,000 depending on many variables (size, quality, condition).   I find the reproduction stamp very troubling though, and your first course of action might be to visit a frame shop or local art gallery where a knowledgeable art purveyor could see this picture and tell you what you have.  

Best of luck,


Here is a bio on the elder Dzigurski:

Alexander Dzigurski, who is known for his seascapes, landscapes, and some portraiture, is associated with the art of California, although he was born in the farming community of Backa, located in Stari Becej, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The son of a wheat farmer, he was one of four siblings. Alexander's father considered his son's artistic desires an unproductive pursuit; contrarily, his mother was most interested in her son's talent, and understood her son's wishes to extend his abilities beyond the farm.

With assistance from the Serbian Church, he went to Belgrade, where he lived at the Rakovica Monastery and attended the School of Art. He painted portraits for private families and did restorations of old iconostases as means of support. After graduating at age 18 in 1929, he continued his studies at Munich's Academy of Art. Then, for two years he volunteered in the King's Navy (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) beginning in 1939. His experiences provided his first works of his sea paintings.

After this military period, he married his high school sweetheart. A daughter was born in 1933, and he soon opened "Zograf", his first studio. In 1941, Dzigurski was activated into the Yugoslav army, communications division. Several weeks later, Hitler's army took most of his unit prisoner. Dzigurski managed to escape. Yugoslavia continued to be dissolved by the Germans, thus forcing Dzigurski to relinquish his successful studio and he departed to Italy. In 1949, the Dzigurski's departed Naples and arrived in New York harbor aboard the "Marine Jumper".

His former Yugoslav professor introduced the family into the Serbian Orthodox Church community. Familiar with Alexander's work, the Bishop had him paint icons (traditionally Byzantine) for a small memorial chapel in Pennsylvania. He would later be commissioned to paint the altars and interiors of nine Serbian Orthodox churches between 1951 and 1960. His beautiful works were not signed, remaining anonymous like most of the orthodox ecclesiastical painters before him. Dzigurski viewed his art as a sacred craft, excluding the intervention of human inventions.

By about 1952, Alexander settled his family in California and began to paint seriously, particularly along the coastlines of northern California and Oregon. In 1968, a period of depression followed the death of his wife, and he lost interest in life and his painting. While recovering from a broken arm, however, Dzigurski became fond of, and married his nurse. Renewed optimism appeared with the birth of his son, Alexander Jr., spawning vigor that could be seen in subsequent works.

His seascapes and landscapes are most realistic and have broad appeal. His extensive US travel can be seen in his works from the Smokies, the Grand Tetons, Mt. Shasta, the Rockies, Glacier National Park, New England, and other coastal areas. His paintings can be found in the Franklin Mint Museum of American Art in Pennsylvania, the Republic Bank of Dallas, The Michigan Bank of Chicago, Illinois, the Ravenswood Bank of Chicago, Illinois, and at the Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Illinois. Having become one of America's well-known artists, Alexander Dzigurski died in 1995.

Source: Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Stu, So I checked the painting again this week-end and am more confused than ever now. The Canvas is weaved and you can definitely see brush strokes going in all different directions! I felt the painting and can feel minimal texture when I run my fingers over it.

Good work!  You probably have the real McCoy!  Next step> go visit a reputable art dealer near you.  Here are two I can find in Minnesota.
If they aren't near you, send them a picture as you did with me.  Elicit their opinion of what you have.  If they are not interested in selling it for you, you can at least get some info from them perhaps about where they would suggest shopping your painting at auction.  

That is, if you intend to sell it.

Art is puzzling a lot of the time, and that makes it interesting!

Best of luck,

Doubletake Gallery
12550 West Frontage Road
Suite 206
Burnsville, MN  55337
Phone: 952-224-8333

Vern Carver & Beard Art Galleries
2817 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55408-1907
Phone: (612) 339-3449

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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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