Oil on canvas laid on board, 19 1/2" by 14 1/2" (22 1/2" by 17 1/2" in simple wood frame), the subject a courtyard of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter) of old New Orleans. The painting is a fine impressionist rendition and is larger than many of Kinsey's typical courtyard and street scene studies. The artist, ALBERTA KINSEY (1875-1952) is considered one of the founders of the New Orleans art colony. Born in Ohio, she undertook formal study at the Art Institute of Chicago, then became an art instructor at the University of Ohio at Lebanon (near Cincinnati, where she was an active member of the Cincinnati Women's Art Club). Changing circumstances in Ohio brought about by World War I led to a move to New Orleans in 1918. Kinsey remained there for the remaining thirty plus years of her life. She was fond of the warm climate and fascinated by the old city's buildings, architecture and history, and immediately took to painting it. The newly arrived artist received some instruction from the established New Orleans artist Ellsworth Woodward. Over the years, Kinsey came to be something of a specialist in painting the many intimate, hidden courtyards of her adopted city. Her promotion of the French Quarter and its charms has led to her being considered as a founder of the art colony. After a trip to Europe in the 1920's, Kinsey experimented with some more modern approaches to these familiar scenes, some even approaching abstraction, but it is her impressionist scenes for which she remains best known today. Some paintings of her time in Taos, New Mexico are known, as well as scenes of Louisiana outside of New Orleans. Kinsey is credited with inspiring Clementine Hunter to take up painting; Hunter went on to become a painter well known for her naive take on the local scenes and inhabitants. CONDITION: The painting was found in as-is condition in California----very soiled, with no varnish, and the board warped. The work was offered at auction at Neal Auction in New Orleans in April 2015 without benefit of any restoration. When it was bought in, I belatedly decided to have it professionally cleaned. Cleaning not only revealed new colors, transforming the work, but also revealed that some pink flowers in and around the pot at lower left, and a mustard-colored patch at right center near the banister, were in fact later overpaint. The restorer easily removed the pink flowers and mustard patch, restoring the scene to what the artist herself painted. The slight bow of the board is reduced but still present. A new frame will complete the transformation of this fine southern painting.
ALBERTA KINSEY (1875-1952) Louisiana art impressionist painting of New Orleans courtyard by art colony founder