(ONE OF SEVERAL BY MERRIAM IN MY SHOP) An oil on canvas, 30" by 40", unframed), the subject a Southern California desert mountain wash and canyon, a cluster of desert palms grouped towards the center of the composition, the painting unsigned by undoubtedly by the talented California painter JAMES MERRIAM (1880-1951). This brushstrokes, size and subject matter of this particular example is very typical of the artist's work; I will stand by its being "a Merriam". Merriam was born in Canada and was studying in Detroit, before arriving in Southern California. He traveled the Southwest and California, painting the deserts, the missions, redwood forests, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and Yosemite. As he was said to have abused alcohol later in life, his work can be uneven, and this unevenness has hurt his auction footprint. The artist's better works are highly undervalued by the present market. There is some light stable craquelure, a few chips missing at center left, as is often found in paintings by this artist. A cleaning would be advisable, but not urgently needed.
JAMES MERRIAM (1880-1951) California plein air art large oil painting of desert canyon wash