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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki In Search of Frank Bowers...
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In Search of Frank Bowers...
JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-08-05 10:27 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-05 09:28, Limbo Lizard wrote:
Hard to tell for sure, but it looks like the two paintings have the same frame style. I theorize that the paintings were once part of a larger mural, but someone cut up and framed the more marketable portions. (That would explain the absence of a Bowers signature.) These two may then have passed through several hands, before the current seller acquired them - leading to loss of information about the source, along the way.

Maybe JOHN-O or BigBro can examine whether the painting goes to the very edges of the canvas, including the part that wraps around the canvas frame. If so, that would be a strong indication that they were cut from a larger work.


Interesting theory there, however if you compare the two paintings with our respective hands for comparison, it appears they were painted in different scales. Maybe Boris can chime in as he's the only one to have closely compared the two paintings in person.



The Bigbro's painting had gaffer's tape around the hanging wire, so he thinks they were used as movie props. Perhaps somehow related to Bowers' story board work, or more probably a studio acquiring them from some closed South Seas business ?

I'm tempted to remove the frame to see if any secrets lie underneath, but I kinda like the aura of mystery.


 
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2594
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2013-08-05 11:44 am   Permalink

Don't forget that Bowers did work for the studios doing back drops. So a studio having this hanging around is not out of the question. As for cut from the same larger image it's possible but the seller pointed out the similarity of the girl in Sven's painting and the girl in the foreground of John-O's although that doesn't mean anything there could have been a dozen of these ladies running around in a larger painting but those two being close kinda makes me think he'd mix it up a bit more and also the solo girl's patina is a lot different than that of John-O's painting but they could have been stored differently?

There, now we have a solid Non Answer.


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6915
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2013-08-05 12:08 pm   Permalink

Damn! Shouldn't have checked out this thread. Now GROG know what John-O got GROG for GROG' birthday coming up in September. Don't worry John-O GROG still act surprised when GROG unwrap it.
_________________

GROG miss Tiki-Kate


 
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Bruddah Bear
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Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 629
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2013-08-05 4:58 pm   Permalink


Congratulations Sven and JOHN-O!



 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-08-06 04:40 am   Permalink

Thanks for posting the story, John-O. Yep, a Bowers original had been on my list for a long time, too. And an exotic nude, even better. Here is some additional info:

The gaffer's tape in the back did not surprise me, because the whole store is what is left of the great prop house "20th Century Props" when it went out of business. And the owner still seems to rent out to movies.

The paintings are not on canvas, but on particle board. Plus the composition of each seems to be balanced for the frame and size they are in. My guess is these are not mural pieces, but were painted as a set for someone's rumpus room, I estimate in the early 50s.


 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 699
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2013-08-06 08:24 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-06 04:40, bigbrotiki wrote:
The paintings are not on canvas, but on particle board. Plus the composition of each seems to be balanced for the frame and size they are in. My guess is these are not mural pieces, but were painted as a set for someone's rumpus room, I estimate in the early 50s.



By "particle board", I expect you're referring to Masonite hardboard. The paintings do seem balanced for the frame, but then, again... If cutting from a larger scene, one would carefully select the areas that would work well in a frame. There is a difference in scale, but looking back through the Bowers murals, I see several instances of large foreground figures, with smaller medium and background figures. Bora Boris noted different patinas, which seems to indicate against my theory. (But it may introduce a new puzzle. Doesn't a painting's patina develop as a result of age and exposure? Does it make sense that they were painted years apart?) I still think the lack of signatures is curious, and it's why I first thought they may have come from a mural.

I'm now imagining a wall or backdrop composed of a number of full and partial 4' x 8' sheets of Masonite. Then, later, the mural or backdrop was taken down. Perhaps the person in possession first tried to sell it, as a whole, but found no one with the room (or interest) to reassemble the whole thing. Or, it's also very possible there was significant damage done - it's very difficult to take down nailed-up Masonite boards, without cracking it or tearing out holes where the nails are. It's not like prying up a sturdy sheet of plywood. Maybe the sections (intact or damaged) were stored for some time in a garage. The most exposed board may have developed a different patina, at this point. Finally, the owner decided to salvage the parts that could be reduced to framed paintings, either to sell or keep. The parts that spanned two boards weren't usable. But these two paintings are some of - and maybe the only - sections that worked out for this purpose.

If the boards could be removed from the frame, a close examination of the edges would be interesting. If any paint is on the thin side edges, then they could NOT have been cut, after the painting. BUT, if the paint on the flat surface goes completely to all edges, but there is NO incidental paint on the sides, it seems to me to strongly indicate they were cut, AFTER painting.

Either way, I'm quite envious, and congratulate you both on these remarkable acquisitions!
_________________
"The rum's the thing..."



[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2013-08-06 14:50 ]


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4396
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-08-06 12:14 pm   Permalink

Awesome story, the paintings ended up in the right hands.

Now, how about another possible Frank Bowers mural sighting!

My matchbook collector friend Cheryl Crill sent me some photos of a matchbook from the Pago Pago that was located in Long Beach. The back of the matchbook contained this image of a mural.



Sure looks like the work of Frank Bowers. Will try to get a better image the next time I see Cheryl.

As we know, Frank Bowers did a lot of work in Long Beach, so I am betting this is his.

DC


 
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Or Got Rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 339
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2013-08-06 2:31 pm   Permalink

Congrats on the paintings John-O and Sven. Just stunning. I adore Bowers style. Also, great recon work Boris. DC, nice eye on the Pago Pago...Arkiva Tropika has the postcard also.
On an interesting note...found some Bowers items on eBay that relate to the pottery connection. In the 40's he did work for Vernon Kilns, on special edition plates...hmmm.






 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-08-08 11:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-06 08:24, Limbo Lizard wrote:

...If the boards could be removed from the frame, a close examination of the edges would be interesting. If any paint is on the thin side edges, then they could NOT have been cut, after the painting. BUT, if the paint on the flat surface goes completely to all edges, but there is NO incidental paint on the sides, it seems to me to strongly indicate they were cut, AFTER painting...


OK, curiosity got the better of me. There is no incidential paint on the side edges. And based on the rather uneven edges, it does appear the board was crudely cut AFTER painting...



My Bowers signature got chopped off.


BTW, great finds DC & OGR !!


 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-08-08 1:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-06 08:24, Limbo Lizard wrote:

...Bora Boris noted different patinas, which seems to indicate against my theory. (But it may introduce a new puzzle. Doesn't a painting's patina develop as a result of age and exposure? Does it make sense that they were painted years apart?)...


BTW, the photograph that I took above was with my painting under bright natural light. I would say the actual patinia is much closer to that of the Bigbro's painting. Again though, Boris is the only one to have seen both paintings under the same light.


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11238
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-08-08 2:39 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-08 11:54, JOHN-O wrote:

OK, curiosity got the better of me. There is no incidential paint on the side edges. And based on the rather uneven edges, it does appear the board was crudely cut AFTER painting...



My Bowers signature got chopped off.



AHA! I must assume this is the case with mine too, then. Sadly I cannot confirm this for some time, because I have an ocean between me and my Kona Lisa...


 
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congawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 356
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-08-09 09:30 am   Permalink

Excellent finds, and excellent story, John-O & Bigbro! I wonder what the chances might be(given the fact that it was a prop house's wares, and he did movie set work)of Bowers painting the pair for a movie set, circa 1950's?

Caltiki Brent

[ This Message was edited by: congawa 2013-08-09 09:30 ]


 
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2594
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2013-09-04 8:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-08-06 14:31, Or Got Rum? wrote:
On an interesting note...found some Bowers items on eBay that relate to the pottery connection. In the 40's he did work for Vernon Kilns, on special edition plates...hmmm.






I wish Bowers had done some with schools a little more exotic than the University of Pittsburgh or SMU. For example the University of Hawaii, University Malaya or even St. George's University in Grenada would be more appealing.


Bowers!!


 
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azurebird
Member

Joined: Sep 05, 2013
Posts: 5
Posted: 2013-09-05 1:52 pm   Permalink



Hi folks, I am an art dealer in Fallbrook and new to this forum. A client showed me these two paintings they own by Frank and Vicki Bowers this morning and I am trying to get more information about the artists beyond the obvious. One painting is signed by both artists and dated 1951. It is supposedly out of a deceased bar in the Long Beach area called the Ark hence the subject matter. One mural is 48 x 55, the other 48 x 60".

A quick search turned up nothing on the particular saloon and I guess the name could be off but I will continue to research the matter. Any help that you can provide will be appreciated. I will probably get them cleaned (they are filthy) and then sell them.

Sincerely,

Robert Sommers
Blue Heron Gallery




[ This Message was edited by: azurebird 2013-09-06 08:36 ]


 
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JOHN-O
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Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2694
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2013-09-05 2:14 pm   Permalink



 
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