Searching for information about this painting or artist
April 5, 2022 10:13 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I inherited a painting, and I'm hoping to learn more about it, its subject, and its artist.

My partner's grandmother acquired this painting sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, in either Georgia or Florida.

On the back of the canvas is written:
The Front Porch
(C) Dan Poole / 1985

Googling the artist's name has only lead me to Ebay pages and art resellers, all of which show paintings that (please excuse my total ignorance of art) appear to have a higher degree of finish. I can't find much information on the artist himself, let alone this painting or its subject.

I know it's a long shot, but does anyone have any info or know where I might be able to find some? I would love to know more about the subject of this painting and what they meant to the artist, who the painting was for, and why it looks the way it does compared to the other works I'm able to find online.
posted by rustybullrake to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know nothing about that artist in particular, but many artists work on their style over time, doing different things. I saw a number of paintings online ostensibly by the same artist that look to have a similar color palette, including one (as you say) with a higher level of finish, one about the same. If the attributions are correct (on askART), then he dipped in and out of different levels of finish/tightness of rendering over time. Not the first artist to do that — many will spend more or less time on a given work, depending on various factors. Another possibility is that this was a preliminary work or sketch for a later painting, or simply trying out something new.
posted by cupcakeninja at 10:56 AM on April 5, 2022

The lack of a slick finish is almost Matisse-like, so I wouldn't discount the painting on that account. It could have been a deliberate experiment by the artist.
posted by zadcat at 10:57 AM on April 5, 2022

You might find some leads on this website:National Gallery of Art
posted by effluvia at 11:04 AM on April 5, 2022

Best answer: You could start by checking with some auction houses that sold works by Dan Poole. E.g. this listing mentions a few sold by Clarke, which offers free appraisals.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:57 AM on April 5, 2022

Best answer: Your local library may have volumes of "Who's Who in American Art," which is a standard reference.

Please don't use google results, which are generally overridden with cruft unless the artist is living and has their own web presence. I have alerts set on Liveauctioneers for an artist I work on, and regularly see egregious fakes offered at small auction houses, many of them at weird warehouse-y addresses in Florida, with no list of staff or contact options beyond a generic email address.

When you don't know the artist's work, you are at risk of accepting egregious fakes as plausible (I am too! This is not a criticism of you specifically or of people in general, it just means that when you're not an expert there are a TON of bad actors willing to take advantage!)

The comment above mine is a good way to start. Reputable auction houses are actually good to work with, and Clarke looks like a reasonable mid-tier operation.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:53 PM on April 5, 2022

Best answer: You can check in with Dan Poole on LinkedIn if you like:
posted by bq at 9:51 PM on April 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I should clarify that the "lack of finish" is one of the big reasons I love this painting, I didn't mean for it come across as a criticism or complaint.

My partner has looked Dan Poole up in every Who's Who in American Art, and any other American modern/contemporary reference volume available and found nothing. Ditto for that National Gallery of Art site.

I think the auction house and LinkedIn leads are currently our best leads.

Thanks folks!
posted by rustybullrake at 8:56 AM on April 11, 2022

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