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Scarlet Road With One “T”

Recently Pat W. sent this inquiry:

Good afternoon Verna. Our family owns this Clara Harris painting.

I took a picture of the front and back. There is a piece of tape on the back with the word “Scarlet” I don’t know if that will be of any help. No location information was visible. It is painted on canvas. I really love the feeling you get from the child walking on a country road in a time and place during simpler times

Scarlet Road Back of Canvas

Pat, the composition of the painting resembles Royal York Road (Blog January 19, 2015 A Cache of Clara’s)

but the "word "Scarlet" on the back of the canvas gives an important clue to the real location: Scarlett Road in Toronto’s west end. Besides Clara's Farm House on Scarlet Road, Toronto, Morning, January 1937, this is the only other painting I've seen of that street. In both cases Clara spelled "Scarlet" with only one "t". The correct spelling is "Scarlett".

How did you acquire it?

The painting was part of my husband's grandfather's collection. I have it in a shop to be reframed. The original frame was plaster with gold paint.

If it’s not too late ask the framer to give you the original frame. You should keep it as Clara chose certain frames for a reason. I’d like to see it. It’s all part of how Clara wanted her work to be presented.

We didn't keep the frame that the picture was in when we obtained the painting. I don't think that it was the original one either. All the pictures from my husband’s Grandpa had the same frames. I think they must have changed them to match.

Read about the importance of keeping the original frame when possible, the blog of January 27, 2016, Framed.

Would you be able to give us an estimated value of this artwork?

Provenance and monetary value are addressed on Clara's site: and provide some principles of value as well as "sold" prices for Clara's work. As you can see over time the values have gone up and down. There's not a lot of consistency. However more exposure of her work increases the likelihood that the value will increase especially with the awareness that women's art was undervalued and suppressed. Exhibits past and future enhance this. and are described on the site:

I’m receiving more inquiries about the monetary value of Clara’s work and although I’ve probably seen more of Clara’s work than anyone other than her husband Fred, I am not an appraiser. Clara's paintings deserve to be evaluated professionally. In June 2012 I took Clara's Port Hope Summer Art School to the Antiques Roadshow in Boston and Alasdair Nichol appraised it. For a full description here's the link:

And here are some other suggestions:

The Canadian Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers; Toronto auction houses such as Waddington’s, Consignor and Heffel; and many of the fine art galleries offer appraisal services such as the Odon Wagner Gallery.

Pat now has her newly framed painting back.

I just picked the picture up last week. The framer was able to clean it, as well, and it looks beautiful. I would love to have it included in the Clara site. I think Clara might have liked that too. Let me know if you would like an updated photo.

The answer’s “yes”. Stay tuned…….


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