A vintage still life oil painting, unframed, 24" by 30", signed at lower right by listed Southern California artist BERTHA TOWNSEND COLER (1865-1948). Coler was born in Ohio and studied with Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase in New York City. By 1928 she had moved to Santa Monica, California and for the next two decades was a prolific painter in watercolor and oil, concentrating on portraits and still life, with some landscapes in the mix. Coler was a member of Women Painters of the West; she exhibited at the Santa Monica library in 1933, at the Santa Monica Art League in 1934, and at the prestigious Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1939. Recently, a large group of her oils and watercolors were offered in a sale at the Pacific Palisades home of her descendants, and I was fortunate to have acquired a number of these works, which I will be offering in my shop. A restorer evaluated the painting and did some test cleanings; she estimated $300/400 in total for the work that would need to be done. The circa 1940 painting could benefit from a cleaning; the white spots at top in the photos are actually canvas from another work that is stuck to the surface of this one. There is general soiling, stretcher bar show-through at bottom and tacking edge loose there, some drips at right, which will come off, and a meandering short old tear at upper right, patched long ago and quite hidden in the busy design. I will leave this restoration work to the final owner.
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