"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.

But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not."

He stole all Who presents - he took the Who trees.

He tried to make Christmas disappear with the breeze.

But each Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,

Kept singing - and hopeful - without presents at all....

Their joy touched old Grinch, and thrice grew his heart -

And "himself" returned every toy and plum tart!


"So welcome Christmas. Bring your cheer.

Cheer to all Whos - far and near.

Christmas Day is in our grasp

As long as we have hands to clasp.

Christmas Day will be

Just as long as we have we.

Welcome Christmas while we stand

Heart to heart and hand in hand."



   (With thanks to Dr. Seuss and Michelangelo)




And do remember...

When you look with your eyes at all that is art,

The best began not in head, but with wide open heart.

By hand it was made and by hand often touched -

A token of passion, of history and such....


The paintings & drawings below are from our 2011 acquisitions.

Click on the images for more information.




William Gilbert Gaul, (American / NJ & Tennessee) 1855-1919

"Southern Farmscape"

Oil on Canvas

Provenance : Oceanside Museum, Oceanside CA

Image Size : 12” x 16”



William Gilbert Gaul, the most important painter to work in Tennessee during the 19th century, was a native of New Jersey.  Gaul moved in 1881 to Van Buren County, Tennessee - located  in the rugged Cumberland Mountains - where he had inherited about 5,000 acres from his uncle.  Conditional to his inheritance was that he live on the property for 5 years.  Prior to that time, working in NY, Gaul had become the highest-earning artist in America. To accept the terms of inheritance, he gambled, leaving all he had built behind him, and coming to rural Tennessee.  He converted a barn into a studio, brought his wife, and later built a cabin on the land.  During that period, he painted many natives of the region, in indigenous clothing as well as Civil War uniform.  Gaul is probably most famous for his illustrations depicting the Civil War, and later World War I.  He was also commissioned as a special agent of the United States census of 1890, to visit the Cheyenne and Standing Rock Indian Reservations in North Dakota.  There he executed some very lyrical and haunting paintings.


Gilbert Gaul was the youngest full-time student ever admitted to the prestigious National Academy in NYC, and studied at Art Students League (NY) with well-known painter John George Brown. 


 The landscape depicted is probably Van Buren, Tennessee.  The Jack Pines and type of architecture both typify the area surrounding and east of Nashville.  The condition is excellent and provenance from The Oceanside Museum, California.




Oliver Dennett Grover, (American / Illinois / England) 1861-1927

"Hillside in Summer, 1919"

Signed and Dated

Oil on Canvas

Image Size : 12" x 16"



Oliver Dennett Grover was regarded during his lifetime as an art authority in Chicago, which he believed would become "a leader in the world of art" The year after his death, The Art Institute of Chicago organized a memorial exhibition for Grover.  In 1879, Grover enrolled in Munich's Royal Academy, studying with Frank Duveneck, traveling further to study with him in Venice and Florence.  At the young age of 19, he was already exhibiting at Munich's International Exposition.


After additional studies in Paris with Boulanger and Laurens, he returned to Chicago and was a major force there for the rest of his life. He was awarded the Yerkes prize in 1892 for a large work, Thy Will Be Done, which he again exhibited at the World's Columbia Exposition.  His work resides in many museums, collections, and public institutions, including The High Museum, St. Louis Museum, Cincinnati Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Art Institute, and the Union Club of Chicago.


Hillside in Summer, 1919, is quite French Impressionist in its feel, as are many of his viewed works.  The short broken brushstrokes in this work dance back and forth across the canvas foreground, the tree trunks weaving a vertical latticework in lost-and-found values against a sunlit hillside and farmhouses, reversing how a less creative painter might have depicted the scene. It is an exceptional example of his work that we are pleased to offer.




John William Hilton, (American / California) 1904-1983

"Desert Afternoon"

Oil on Panel, Original Frame

Image Size : 16" x 20"



The Sonora Desert was the setting for most of John William Hilton's paintings.  The works depict the fleeting desert light and atmospheric conditions - often quite delicate.  But many painters do that. There is something more hypnotic about Hilton's works - just as there is in the desert itself.  His technique employs a combination a beeswax mixture with the oil paints, giving his landscapes an encaustic quality and a luster that enhances the soft colorations. The foreground strokes are often almost three-dimensional, set against a flatly painted background, recreating the dimension of the vast spaces visible at once in the desert.  The colors range from "on-fire" to a soft evening glow.  The overall effect is one that is hard to take your eyes from.


Hilton led a rich, imaginative and colorful lifetime. Not only did he paint with notables in the art world (as Maynard Dixon, Nicolai Fechin, Jimmy Swinnerton, Orpha Klinker, and Clyde Forsythe), but with friends Dwight Eisenhower and James Cagney.  He selected the California site for a base for General George Patton, with whom he also remained friends. Howard Hughes visited him from time to time.  Each New Year's Eve, Hilton used to burn his "lesser" paintings in a huge desert bonfire, leaving behind ashes and tequila bottles - the ritual intended to make him strive for "greater" paintings. I guess it worked, as his work hangs in 6 museums - and while Eisenhower was President - hung in the Oval Office at the White House.







Richard Hayley Lever, (Australian / American), 1876-1958

"Paddle Steamer Mark Twain, Mississippi River Eads Bridge, St. Louis"

Oil on Canvasboard

Signed Lower Right, and Inscribed Verso "Mark Twain Ha.........."

Image Size : 10" x 14"



Richard Hayley Lever remains one of my favorite painters.  He stated during his lifetime:

"Art is the recreation of mood in line, form and color.  If I were confined to my own backyard for the rest of my life, I'd still have more pictures in my mind than I would have time to paint.

Art is nothing but having a good time."

This attitude is evident is most of his works - his almost child-like pleasure in putting paint to canvas was always apparent, whether a misty harbor scene or the exuberant color of nature. 


This year we have three excellent additions of Lever's work - the first being a very rare painting not only for Lever, but for American history - that of the St. Louis Paddle-Steamer "Mark Twain", and the historic St. Louis Eads Bridge, that when built employed such new techniques that an elephant was forced to precede humans on the first crossing in 1874.  In 1902, the Chicago Tribune documented a rare afternoon on this boat, when, beneath the flags of France and America, with the descendants of Lafayette and Rochambeau, Mark Twain steered the harbor boat up the Mississippi for his final ride.  The boat was subsequently named after him:


There was cryin' and cursin', but Mark yelled out,
Over all the infernal roar:
"I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last galoot's ashore!"


Through the thick, black smoke of the harbor boat
Mark Twain's loud drawl was heard,
And they all had trust in his cussedness
And knowed he would keep his word.


But soon as they run the gang plank out
They hurried to git ashore,
Fur they knowed Ole Mark hadn't steered a boat
Fur forty years or more.


I can only imagine a meeting of the two - the painter and the “penner”.  This painting may be as close as they could come.  Mark Twain died in 1910, just two years before Hayley Lever immigrated to America.





Robert (Cozad) Henri, (New York / Pennsylvania) 1865-1929

"Seated Nude"

Sepia Ink & Watercolor on Paper

Image Size : 17" x 11.5"

Bearing labels verso : Chapellier Galleries, New York; Maynard Walker, New York;

Irving Brenner Fine Paintings, Pelham, New York



Robert Henri remains one of America’s most important painters.  He was a founder of the New York group of painters - “The Eight” - later known as The Ashcan School. He was a highly influential teacher at New York’s Art Student’s League, as well as several other schools, including the New York School of Art (formerly the Chase School).  His merits, museums and literature are far too vast to attempt in a few words.  His collection of lectures, published as The Art Spirit (1923), greatly influenced the course of American art because he encouraged many students towards independence and personal expression, urging them, in particular, to pay close attention to their feelings and reactions to subject matter and to translate these directly into their paintings. As a teacher he also stressed self-reliance and self-respect.


Most know Henri for his strong portraits, lit usually with classical three-quarter lighting, producing powerful contrasts, enhanced through slashing directional brush strokes and the use of strong color. The equally powerful drawings are executed with the same spontaneity, strength and immediacy found in his finished paintings, including, in this instance, 3/4 directional lighting. In addition, drawings often show the artist actively thinking on paper - the exploration, losing and finding what is important - with a minimum of description.  It is akin to the 3-minute speech - sometimes more effective than the full-blown depiction.  We are please to present this very strong drawing in ink and watercolor.





Elisha Kent Kane Wetherill, (American / NY) 1874-1929

"Back Lot with Laundry Lines"

Oil on Canvas,

Estate Stamp verso

Image Size : 13" x 14"


This year we added another work by Philadelphia and New York painter Elisha Kent Kane Wetherill - a simple but whimsical scene of laundry lines stretched above green grasses that doubtless no longer exist in this New York back lot.   The vibrancy of the clothes-pinned vermillion shirt stands out with both dimensional brushwork and color in this luminous but quiet genre painting of a city setting at the beginning of the 20th century.


Wetherill studied with Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in the late 1890s and from 1906-09, with J.P. Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris, 1902, and with James Abbot McNeill Whistler, also in Paris. He specialized in views of New York, including figural work as well as landscapes and seascapes.  He was a member of the National Academy of Design, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists of America, Brooklyn Society of Etchers, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club.  In 1915, Wetherill received a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and in 1926, won a silver medal at the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  He also exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, and at the National Academy of Design in 1925.




Richard Hayley Lever, (Australian / American) 1876-1958

“Autumn” (Marblehead Pool), c1925

Oil on Canvas

Image Size : 25” x 30”

With accompanying essay by noted early 20th century American art curator Valerie Ann Leeds

Provenance, Kennedy Galleries NYC



Also offered this year by Australian-American painter Richard Hayley Lever, is a rich and lyrical landscape entitled verso "Autumn".  When purchased, we knew only that it had come from Lever's estate to New York's Kennedy Galleries, who handled much of the Lever estate.  It went thence to a corporate collection.  But we did not know when it was painted - or where After purchasing "Autumn", quite by accident, I happened upon the watercolor below, with the same Kennedy Galleries label, titled and dated "Marblehead Pool, 1925".  The watercolor is obviously of the same setting from a different vantage point, and most likely a study in preparation for this outstanding oil.


"Autumn", as said, is quite lyrical for Lever's larger works.  While many of smaller Lever's works are free and playful, some of the larger ones often become somewhat more structured and linear. In "Autumn", the branches' curved lines dominate the structure, rather than the straight lines he often favored - lending a quiet grace as opposed to angularity. With the oil paints, Lever mixed Damar Varnish, enabling each single brushstroke to build a dimensional layer of paint, providing not only linear motion to the stokes and what they depicted, but also a hint of sculpture  This same technique is used on Lever's painting, The Port of St. Ives, Cornwall, chosen by Carol Lowrey for the cover of her monolith Hayley Lever.  She describes this technique as applying "his pigment in a dense impasto to produce a crisp, tactile surface".  With this tactile surface, he combined a myriad of greens - olive to cobalt and viridian - played against earth tones, and complemented with triangles of  vibrant blue to the sky - all mirrored in the pool. The entire composition is unusual for Lever and extremely successful - so successful that Ashcan School and Robert Henri curator Valerie Leeds asked if I would like for her to write an essay on it. Ms. Leeds' essay is included along with both the watercolor and the oil "Autumn". 



Richard Hayley Lever, (Australian / American) 1876-1958

"Marblehead Pool, 1925"

Watercolor on Paper

Image Size : 14” x 22”

 Provenance: Kennedy Galleries NYC



This watercolor on paper, entitled "Marblehead Pool, 1925", depicts the same setting as "Autumn", but from a different vantage point.  The handling of the setting is similar, with the water reflections and sparing use of blue in the water.  If you look closely, you can see the change of vantage point from this image, to the artist's position in "Autumn" - across the pond, to the left of the two large trees, looking across to the small row of sketched trees and road on the right in this watercolor. 


It is an extreme pleasure to offer both of these paintings at the same time. Together, they show not only the thought process of the artist, but one of the better fully developed oil paintings available by Hayley Lever.




Norwood Creech, (Arkansas / Tennessee) Contemporary

Floodway View, Oil Sketch 2011
Oil on Luan Panel,

Image Size : 11" x 14"


Norwood Creech is the third in a family of female painters, all well schooled in the classical traditions in both painting and drawing.  Yet Norwood's style has emerged distinctively her own, combining the best of classical aspects with best of the contemporary spirit, energy and brevity.  She has already attained a strong auction record and had noteworthy honors and exhibitions.  These honors include a Master Program with Wayne Thiebaud, at Santa Fe Institute; an exhibition for the Lincoln Center Institute for Aesthetic Learning; and a residency at Dorland Mountain Artist Colony,


Temecula, California.  She has had numerous exhibitions, including the University of Memphis Museum, Southern Tenants Farmer's Museum, and The Butler Center for Arkansas Arts.  She is represented in some leading collections throughout the United States. 


In January, Norwood has the privilege of curating for The Arkansas Center for the Arts, Little Rock, an exhibition from the Center's collection entitled "Horizons Interrupted".  She has selected works in which the horizon line is a critical element of the composition, as she finds that this element, whether high or low, provides an important founding spatial reference for works of all genre.


One has only to live in or drive through the flat flood plains of Eastern Arkansas to fully appreciate the importance of her vision. The current landscape, with its seemingly endless horizon, was created by the floods following the New Madrid Earthquakes in 1811-12, and again disastrously flooded in the Spring of 2011 - shortly before this painting was executed.  That horizon is the foundation of the land's culture and even its industry - interrupted only by periodic tree-lines (as above), buildings, and water and agricultural towers.  The exhibition runs January 13 - March 11, 2012.



For more fine art, please see

(Fine Art Page :  https://www.mfordcreech.com/Fine_Art.html )

For additional 2011 Fine Art Acquisitions, click below :



Please also see :

Christmas Catalog 2011, Part I - Ceramics & Glass

Christmas Catalog 2011, Part II - Silver

Christmas Catalog 2011 - Part IV



Should you have further questions, please email, call or come to visit.


Millicent Ford Creech


901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)



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