We frequently get asked about the art in the house, so we thought we would share some details for our art loving friends on the key pieces that we have hanging on the walls.
First off [pictured above] is the most frequently asked ‘who is the artist’ piece. The piece was purchased from Trilogy Antiques in Three Oaks, MI about 7-8 years ago. It is titled Birds and was painted by Albert K. Pounian, a local Chicago artist and art professor who served for a decade as the corporate curator for Continental Bank’s art collection in its branches throughout the world. He died Oct. 25, 2000 at the age of 76 after battling with Parkinson’s disease. Here is a little more detail found in his obituary that appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Mr. Pounian began to excel in art at a young age, said his brother, Arch. While a teenager studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was recruited by the Army to draw maps for military operations during World War II. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1946, attaining the rank of second lieutenant and receiving a Bronze Star Medal and four battle stars.
After the war, Mr. Pounian received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Art Institute, specializing in drawing, painting and illustration. He began teaching at the institute and other local art leagues and schools, including Barat College in Lake Forest.
Franklin McMahon, a friend of Mr. Pounian’s and a fellow artist, said his friend painted in the social realist style and later moved into abstraction–although his works continued to feature recognizable objects.
Mr. Pounian’s brother said he had a strong social conscience that led him to create paintings with social themes, such as his opposition to Vietnam War, and also to participate in marches in Selma, Ala., during the height of the civil rights movement.
Mr. Pounian was also known for his pen and ink drawings of landscapes and street scenes, and he traveled to England, Ireland and Wyoming to paint and teach. His work was exhibited at local galleries, schools and other public buildings from the 1950s through the 1980s.
He held leadership positions for local art programs, exhibitions and galleries, and was well-known among artists in the Chicago area.
From 1979 to 1989, Mr. Pounian was the corporate art curator for Continental Bank, managing the artwork the bank exhibited at its headquarters in Chicago and at branches worldwide. He also helped organize an association of local corporate art curators, serving as its chairman from 1981 to 1982.
When we purchased the house, we acquired this original piece that was hanging in the formal dining room [pictured above and below], it was created by a local artists Chiquita Mueller and it is titled ‘Muted Sun‘. It is a mix of oil and what we assume is local gravel & sand. We are doing some searching to see if we can find out more details on this artist. It came with the original receipt even.
Next up [pictured below] the ‘Jack + Queen + King + Joker‘ pieces came to us through a instagram follower that alerted us to the story of the artist Mark Coomer. We loved the connection to the area and knew immediately we had to buy some pieces to add to the house. Most of the homes items that remained when we purchased the home were noted: to be made in America; and frequently sourced ‘locally’, so we saw these as an appropriate addition to the walls.
Mark Coomer was born in Bay City, MI in 1914. He studied in Chicago and Detroit.
Mark Coomer visited La Porte, Indiana with his wife Sally in 1952, and the relationship with our company to sell his serigraphs began. They would only do 100 of each subject, to make these truly limited edition pieces of art. All but the last 24 subjects were done on Masonite. The larger ones were done on paper. Mark and Sally loved each other and loved the art they created together.
He lived in the Chicago suburb of Prospect Heights for a while, and later in Arizona while exhibiting his paintings and limited edition serigraphs nationally. Coomer passed away in 2004.
All the details can be found here at Midcentury Serigraph where you can also buy some of his serigraph pieces too.
This piece [pictured above] was added to the collection in 2017, purchased from an instagram account called The Art of Object. We do not have a great deal of information other than: it is titled ‘Sadness’ and it was painted by Paul Werth. From some brief research it appears that he was born in Germany in 1912 and died in 1977. He is said to be a Work War II camp survivor. The piece has since moved from the family room into the dining room, to create a gallery wall.
We also purchased the following additional pieces pictured above: Far Left – from The Art of Object in 2017, a 1950’s French cubist still life, the medium is oil on board and the piece is ‘untitled’ by Jean Wullaert. We have searched for details on the artist and so far have come up with nothing; Top Right – this piece was picked up locally in Michigan in early 2018, from one of our favourite stores – Trilogy Antiques, actually these came from their outpost in Harbert, written on the back is Lappen Zimmerhan; Bottom Right – came from Dial M for Modern, it is from 1972 and by R.Ball we have no other details.
The final piece we are sharing for now was also spotted on instagram. It joined us in August 2017 and came from an Atlanta store – Distinct Modern. It is an abstract piece by T.Webb created in 1964 and is also ‘untitled’. We stare at it daily in the family room.
We have some other bits & pieces, and loads of sculptural pieces hanging on the walls – we will share those another time.