Edward Grant: Delaware and Maine Artist
About 10 years ago I went to our recycling station (dump) here in Lamoine as I do every Saturday. We have a “swap shop” containing books and other items which folks think might be of use to their neighbors, and I like to give it the once-over every time I go. On this particular trip I spotted four watercolor paintings which seemed nicer than the usual swap shop offerings. I brought them home. Two of them ended up matted and framed on my living room wall. I sometimes get criticized for bringing things home from the dump, but these paintings were calling me. As they say, “I don’t know art, but I know what I like”.
Every few years I would do an internet search for Edward Grant to see if somehow my artist might be recognized. For years I turned up nothing. I had nothing besides his name to go on. Last week I was watching Antiques Roadshow (PBS) and I decided to give it another try. Immediately I struck gold; up popped the Biggs Museum of Modern Art in Dover, Delaware which had had an exhibition of his work.
I wasted no time in contacting the curator and explained to him that I might have some Edward Grant paintings and wondered if he could help me verify the style and signature. Admittedly, the paintings I have are of Maine landscapes, and those on the web are more of sandy Delaware, but the curator eventually replied that he thought the style and the signature looked genuine.
Edward Grant was born in 1907 in Delaware and painted prolifically throughout his long life. He was friends with famed Maine artist N.C. Wyeth and that’s where I think the Maine connection was established. Edward had a summer place in Round Pond, Maine. His “day job” was as artistic director of the Hercules Powder Company, an explosives maker. Over his 70 year artistic career his style changed many times, morphing from illustration art, Social Realism, Abstraction, Photorealism and finally moody landscapes until his death in 1998.
The Biggs curator referred me to an art dealer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware who specialized in his paintings to put a price tag on my treasures. Of course, it was a little awkward when we came to the subject of provenance, that word which means the chain of custody. It would have been best if I could have shown him a photo of Edward handing me the paintings. Instead I had to settle with, “I found them at the dump”. The art dealer returned with a minimum price (and an offer) of $2,000 for the four paintings. No great fortune, but I think I will no longer be criticized for lingering at the swap shop!
More on Edward Grant can be seen here.
Edward Grant’s paintings can be purchased at the AerieArt Gallery.