Vintage charming pastel on old paper, 12" by 8", the scene a quiet city street or lane with 19th century buildings, signed at lower right by the artist, E. R. VAN DEMAN, and dated 1901. Rather little information on the artist appears on the net, but a member of the board of the Delaware County Historical Society in Ohio contacted me to say that the organization has seven of her pastels in their collection, the subjects local places circa 1900. The artist was from a prominent Delaware, Ohio family, among the original settlers of the area, dating back to the early 1800's. The scene depicted here is not an identifiable scene but it is obviously very likely from a Midwest location. The drawing is unframed and is in surprisingly good shape considering that it has been so exposed. Two old corners are clipped or missing, and the corner where the signature is (well below the signature/date) is brittle but still attached; to the right of it near the edge is a little more creasing. At left, pretty much visible only when held up to the light, are a handful of old tack holes. All this sounds more troublesome than it is; this could be framed so that all the corner issues are hidden, and at that point, it would be quite a presentable little piece of turn of the century American art. There is a hint of a second drawing on the reverse, some chalk marks. .
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