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Fine Art/Edgar Melville Ward

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Question
I own a 20 X 24 inch oil on canvas signed, lower left by "Edgar Melville Ward" and it appears to be of an Adirondak/Catskill landscape. I believe it is in an original frame, although it has been compromised by a coating of paint.

The provenance is from my family, originally from the Kingston, NY area. (My great grandfather's collection--he was the owner of the Hudson River Dayliner, Mary Powell)

I want to be sure it is insured properly, and am interested in learing more about the artist, and an assessment of value, for insurance purposes.


Answer
Edgar Melville Ward  (1839 - 1915)
Edgar Melville Ward was a highly skilled artist, trained in Paris, who depicted many genre scenes including images of craftsmen at their trade or interior scenes.  His paintings are highly refined, with great detail.   At auction they have commanded prices in the $10,000-$15,000 range.  He was an art instructor and rose in stature to assume the position of Director at the National Academy of Design in 1889, a role he served in for twenty years.  

However, given the subject matter, it may be that you have a painting by his son, Edgar Melville Ward, Jr. who was born in 1887, and is primarily known for his landscapes and murals.  I can easily find several images of what look like early twentieth century landscapes by Junior.  I can find no images of any landscapes by Senior.  There is only one recorded public auction of a landscape by Junior and it sold for less than $500 in 2001, but was a small 7 x 10 work.   

My recommendation would be to seek out a local gallery owner who might be able to take a very good look at your work.  Sending good visuals of your picture, including close-ups of the signature block, to an auction house like Gene Shannon of Connecticut might make sense, too.

Best of luck.
Stu

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Stuart Cartwright

Expertise

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: www.artoftheprint.com and www.philaprintshop.com

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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