A charming pair of original folk art paintings that feature scenes of Alaska, these artworks were done at the turn of the twentieth century by a Reverend John T. Chesnut. They're painted on old pieces of wooden board, painted black on the backs and cut down to use for the paintings. The horizontal painting is signed lower left "J. Chesnut," while the vertical painting is unsigned on the front.
Both paintings have old paper labels on the backs, notated with hand printing in black ink. On the signed painting, the label reads "Old Mill". Painted By. Fn (?) J.T. Chesnut. It's in a gold painted Arts and Crafts wood frame with an old wire for hanging. The label on the other painting. also handwritten, reads: AN ALASKA "CACHE" PAINTED BY REV. JOHN T. CHESNUT * WINTER SUPPLY HOUSE (A permanent building elevated on stilts, raised to keep food and gear high and dry in the Alaska bush.) This oil is also framed in wood, painted gold and copper, with a hanging wire. Both frames are later additions.
Although many prominent people in American history were named Chesnut, including clergymen, we did not find any information on the Rev. John T. Both these paintings appear to be done from personal experience; perhaps he was a missionary or a chaplain in the US Army, which was present in Alaska beginning in 1867.
The Alaska Cache measures 6 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches framed, with a sight size of 3 1/8 by 4 5/8. This painting is in very good condition, but the paint on all four corners of the frame has been rubbed (see our photos). It's not visible straight-on, but from the sides, top and bottom views it is noticeable. The Old Mill measures 6 3/4 inches by 8 inches framed and 4 7/8 by 6 sight size. This painting and its frame are both in very good condition. They're interesting original scenes of Alaska, nice displayed separately or together.