CLARA HARRIS ART
'Artist Leads Trend" , "The Telegram", Toronto, Wed., Jan. 3, 1962, 5W.
This article was found amongst Clara’s notes and correspondence that my mother had saved. It reveals much about Clara’s personality, private life, training, artistic skill and motivation. Clara was shy; used her home as an art showroom; attended prestigious art institutions and travelled in every season to capture the scene.
"Globe and Mail", October 3, 1987, p.C16. Of the women artists listed, Emily Carr had a close association with the Group of Seven. Henrietta Mabel May, Kathleen Morris and Anne Savage, were part of the ten most prominent women members of the Beaver Hall Group.
Another article from 1987 gives more information about Clara’s skill.
In 1987 the Kaspar Gallery, a well-respected Toronto art venue, held an art show. Clara was one of the twenty-six women artists listed. A quick scan of the names includes Emily Carr, Paraskeva Clark, Kathleen Daly, Dorothy Knowles, Kathleen Morris, Mary H. Reid and Anne Savage. All well-known and today fetch healthy sums for their work. The additional detail “and others” indicates that there were other less recognized exhibitors.
As Clara was listed with the “heavy hitters” she must have had more skill than she realized. Armed with this knowledge I took Clara to the Antiques Roadshow (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/) in Boston Saturday, June 9, 2012. I was somewhat skeptical about going as Clara was an obscure, Canadian painter and this was an American venue. I also wasn’t sure which of Clara’s paintings to take. I decided on Clara’s “Port Hope Summer Art School” as it was titled and the location could be linked with the Ontario College of Art.
Appraiser, Alasdair Nichol, Vice Chairman of Freeman’s Auctioneers in Philadelphia, PA (www.freemansauction.com) a painter who specializes in painting and drawing appraisals examined Clara’s work. Alasdair determined that Clara was “a well-trained amateur painter and the painting was worth approximately $250.00”. He also said it would have been better if the painting were framed, especially if it was the original.
The Roadshow Tour was televised in 2013.