Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Oil on canvas, circa 1918, inscribed to verso "Along the Perkiomen. / Painted by Ben Austrian. / Summer Studio 'Clovelly' Mt. Penn. near Reading Pa. / Winter Studio Royal Poinciana Palm Beach Fla. / Sold to Mr. E. F. Albee - Keith's Theater / New York. April 1918," faint signature at lower right, presented in a period Barbizon style frame.
Stretcher size 28 x 40 in.; Frame dimensions 41 x 52 1/2 in.
Edward Franklin Albee II, New York and Palm Beach, Florida
Ben Austrian was a well known Jewish artist, born in Reading, Pennsylvania. As a child, he faced several health issues that limited his ability to play outside, so he found entertainment and solace in painting and making works of art at home.
As a young man, he sought painting commissions and sales from local collectors. He was awarding prize money for his painting, "After the Race," on exhibition at the National Horse Show in 1895. His paintings of animals, especially hens and chicks, and rural county subjects found a ready market in the urban Philadelphia area.
Edward F. Albee was the mastermind behind the great rise of vaudeville and the Keith Theatre empire, which eventually became R.K.O.
Slight yellowing to varnish; minor rubbing to frame.
$2,000 - 4,000