Watercolor on paper landscape typical of California, dirt tracks wandering through a sunny dry mountainous landscape, signed at lower left by listed California artist JOSEPH P. FREY (1892-1977). The work, measuring 6 3/4" by 9 3/4" inside the gold mat, and 14 3/4" by 17 3/4" in its old framing (no glass), probably is an earlier work of the artist, judging from the signature style. The work is affixed to a board at top edge; a tiny edge tear extends from backing slightly into the image area to right of signature. Frey was born in Walla Walla, Washington and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago at age 16. The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco found him working from a studio there. After World War I and a period working on the high seas, traveling, Frey settled by 1928 in Southern California, in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, working as a chef. Paintings in oil appear at auction today with some frequency. The present frame has a little wear but can be retained; acid free materials should be used when this is newly glazed and sealed up.
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