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“It’s Almost Embarassing To Tell You Where I Found These Paintings”

Hi Verna,

My name is Eve. I am not an art collector but found these two paintings a couple of weeks ago. It is almost embarrassing to tell you that they were leaning against a dumpster close to my work in North York. It was almost as though the person who left them there wanted someone to find them, otherwise, they would have tossed them into the dumpster. These paintings intrigued my interest and that is when I stumbled across your website. I had no idea about the artist Clara Harris, but after viewing your information can definitely see how talented she was. I have attached pictures of both them for you. These are painted on 20” x 16” canvas board and look like original frames. Both are signed by CLARA HARRIS and have names on the back. The first one does not have any date and only has the name Humber River on the back.

The second one has a date by her signature 1959 and the name Bailey Island Maine.

It would be interesting to know what you think these may be worth?

"The valuation of art is described in the Provenance and Valuation section of the website. Eve’s information showing the fronts, backs of the canvases, enlarged versions of each scene and measurements helps. And although I’m not an appraiser I’ve probably seen more of Clara's work than anyone but Clara and her husband Fred. So this what I told Eve:

"Your photos show the details of Clara’s work adding information about her travels and painting sites. I agree with you that Clara was talented but like so many women artists of her time her work was unknown and subsequently undervalued. Clara exhibited with some of the best known artists but remained obscure.

"The Humber River was Clara's favourite site to paint. She could walk from her house and often took her students there. Consequently there are many Humber River paintings on the site. Like yours they are mostly in oil but there are two watercolours that belong to one of the collectors. However your Humber River painting stands out as Clara included figures in the scene. If you study her work many of her landscapes are devoid of figures.

"Your Bailey Island painting with the date provides information on when Clara was there. There are other paintings of Bailey Island but without dates. So it's probable that Clara was there more than once and 1959 was one of them. You probably saw "Summer At Bailey Island, Casco Bay, Maine which is approximately the same size as yours.

"If you look at "Ocean Point, Boothbay, Maine, Afternoon, July 16,1930" it's probable that Clara was at Bailey Island in 1930 too as there's only 60 miles between these two places.

"You might have seen that a Bailey Island painting was sold but that was a few years ago.

"Clara’s work is being included in more exhibits and this exposure can enhance value. My “guesstimate” is $400.00-$450.00 for each of these works."

It is quite fascinating to learn so much about Clara’s paintings and it was my lucky day to have found these two Clara Harris paintings in North York, Toronto.


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