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This lovely original watercolor painting was done in the first decade of the 1900's by a young woman named Clara Hecker. Born in Barnum, Michigan in 1888, Clara submitted her drawings to the popular children's magazine of the time "St. Nicholas" in 1903 at the age of 15. Her work made the "Roll of Honor," a list chosen by editor Mary Mapes Dodge as "those whose work entitles them to honorable mention and encouragement." Clara created this painting in the next few years; in 1910, she married Edward L. Barstow, who became president of the Barnum State Bank, and she was called Clara Barstow from that point on. She had three children, was active in the Carlton County Historical Society and passed away in 1970 at the age of 82. We found no other artworks by her, other than a mention in a newpaper article about an embroidered bookmark and a crocheted collar that were her handiwork.
The painting depicts an old brass candlestick behind a stack of 2 books with a third book laid open in the foreground. The artist's signature "Clara Hecker" is lower right, beneath the bottom book. It has that angular, Arts and Crafts look so popular in that decade. The frame is mahogany veneer with a beautiful grain and has a brass plated metal liner. The glass appears to be original and is very wavy; the frame is put together with square cut nails. This frame style was popular 50 years earlier, in the 1860's; it may have been vintage, reused by Clara for her painting, or it may have been newly made, with the style still being made locally. The frame has lost its backing paper but has a hanging wire installed; the style very much complements the painting.
The outside measurements of the frame are 14 inches by 18 inches and is 3/4 inch thick, while the painting is 9 3/4 by 13 1/2 inches. The painting and glass are both in excellent, undamaged condition. The frame has wear on the liner with some finish missing center right, and some small chips to the corners of the wood, which being dark themselves are not readily obvious. The artwork weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces and is one you'll be pleased to own and hang.