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MICHAEL LENSON (1903-1971) WPA American Scene era pencil drawing of woman
Pencil on thin tissue like paper drawing of a woman, 17" by 11 3/4", unframed, signed at lower right by noted WPA era realist American artist MICHAEL LENSON (1903-1971). The drawing is not dated but was likely created sometime during the 1930's or 1940's. With age and handling, the drawing now has some condition issues, such as heavy browning of the paper, a small puncture in the upper right arm area, and most notably a vertical split in the paper roughly 5 1/2" long, extending from the top of the forearm downwards to the lower edge. Fortunately this is not in critical area of the face. The flimsy paper has simply become so brittle that handling no doubt caused this. It could be minimized with professional paper conservation no doubt but that would not come without cost. I think that a good professional framer could lay this down in such a way as to minimize this, and thus properly framed/conserved it would be a viable work of art. Lenson, born in Russia, came to America in 1911. He exhibited in the early century and was a muralist during the WPA era. Who Was Who in American Art called him "New Jersey's most important muralist". I previously owned an oil painting of a black man, in that style. See askart and a growing website easily found with a google search. The site provides much more information on this talented artist. Lenson's place in American art history is now obviously undergoing a major reevaluation. .
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Jon Berg, Southern California, CA
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