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Natural History Art, Birds, Wild Parakeet, Sarasota Florida, Benson Bond Moore, Vintage Painting

$1,400

Benson Bond Moore (1882-1974)
Wild Parakeet, Sarasota
American: 3rd Quarter 20th Century
Oil on canvas panel
Signed lower left
Titled verso of canvas panel and on backing board
Numbered verso of canvas panel: 1002
10 x 8 inches, overall
13.5 x 11.5 inches, framed
Provenance: Mary Moore
$1,400

Oil painting of a green parakeet with a yellow head and speckled wings, perched on a twig, against a white background in the manner of traditional natural history illustrations. According to a relative of Moore’s, it is a depiction of a wild parakeet that frequented the backyard of the artist’s studio in Sarasota, Florida, where he lived from the early 1950s until his death in 1974. Moore was fond of the bird, talked to it and fed it. The painting was inherited by his sister-in-law Mary Moore, who had it mounted in the present gold frame.

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Description

Benson Bond Moore was an American landscape painter, based in Washington, D.C., where he was born. He was trained as a framer and art restorer by his father, John Benson Moore, who owned a successful business and gallery. Moore studied at the Linthicum Institute and the Corcoran School of Art, and at age 20 went to work as a photo-engraver, illustrating works by Alexander Graham Bell and others. He also sketched the then-rural areas of northwest Washington as a pastime. Moore had a chance encounter with three other hobbyist landscape painters in 1914, who began to meet regularly and add other members, which led to the formation of the Washington Landscape Club in 1920. With this supportive peer group, Moore’s artistic development took off and he began exhibiting regularly. A career highlight was a 1928 solo show at the Corcoran of his prints.

During the 1930s and ‘40s Moore turned to animal subjects, producing a huge body of work for The Washington Evening Star (some 3,700 illustrations) and over 50 paintings of birds for the Smithsonian, as well as painting pet portraits for private clients. He also took up art restoration again, including many high-profile paintings in the U.S. Capitol. In the early 1950s, he moved to Sarasota, Florida. As his eyesight faded, his sister-in-law Mary Moore became his caregiver and also helped him print, distribute and market his work.

Moore can be considered an American Impressionist, and his style remained rooted in thoughtful observation of nature throughout his life. He was extremely prolific; Stephanie A. Strass, curator of a 1996 retrospective at the Washington County Museum of Art in Hagerstown, Maryland, states, “Benson Bond Moore left a legacy of thousands of works of art, many found in public and private collections in the Mid-Atlantic area…His many landscapes reflect this quiet man’s extraordinary love of nature and the often unsung beauties of the national capital area.”

Condition: Generally very good with minor overall toning and wear. Frame very good.

References:

Johnson, Gary L. Letter dated 26 November 2008.

Strass, Stephanie A. “A Seasonal View: The Landscapes of Benson Bond Moore.” 1996. Stephanie Strass Art Information. http://www.nev.com/art/bbmoore/index.htm (15 January 2009).

Additional information

Century

20th C. Birds