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Vivian Akers (ME,1886-1966) oil painting
Item Details
Description
ARTIST: Vivian Milner Akers (Maine, 1886 - 1966)
NAME: Town Farm Medow Brook, Norway ME - Landscape (titled on verso)
YEAR: 1950
MEDIUM: oil on board
CONDITION: Very good. No visible inpaint under UV light.
SIGHT SIZE: 8 x 6 inches / 20 x 15 cm
FRAME SIZE: 9 x 7 inches / 22 x 17 cm
SIGNATURE: on verso
CATEGORY: antique vintage painting
AD: ART CONSIGNMENTS WANTED. CONTACT US
SKU#: 117911
US Shipping $29 + insurance.

BIOGRAPHY:
Vivian Milner Akers was born in Norway, Maine. His education was obtained at local schools and Hebron (Maine) Academy, then available without tuition to students of Oxford County. It is told he drew from an early age, and was influenced by nearby local "Summer" artists Douglas Volk, of Sweden, ME, Charles Fox and Curtis Perry of North Bridgton, ME, who ran an artists Colony with scholarships to such young men as Akers (also Marsden Hartley, among others). He was also influenced by visiting artists there: George DeForest Brush, Josephine Bradstreet, George Corcoran Lambdin, John Joseph Enneking, etc.He taught Art in the local schools and also supported himself doing "Art Photography." He was able to purchase the Wiggins Merrill Photography Studio at the corner of Main and Deering Streets in Norway, his studio for the rest of his life. He married Edith Verrill of New Haven, Connecticut, daughter of professor Addison Verrill of Yale University and native of nearby Greenwood, Maine. The marriage was presumably of short duration and there were no offspring. When I in the 1960's as a child knew Akers my grandmother, Josephine Roy Twitchell, who took lessons from and was friends with Akers, never mentioned the marriage nor did he.Akers attended the Art Students League in New York City and likely found friends through John Enneking who had a summer residence in nearby Greenwood, Maine. Akers as well as Douglas Volk visited there and the artists at that time shared an interest in pointillism.Akers later studied in Paris and travelled Europe, I cannot be sure of who he studied with except Lefebvre. His earliest known work is a watercolor wash on paper titled "Lone Pine on the Intervale" dated October 5th 1912 (private Bridgton, ME collection), much in the style of contemporaryworks by Demuth, using washes. It is signed and titled in the lower margin using brown watercolor in a beaux arts type script. The early signature is found on both his photography and paintings. In later years he developed a very bold elongated block letter signature usually using his full name on larger works.When he visited California in the early 1940's, he experimented in an expressionist style using heavy brushwork and applying multiple glazes. His best work is found in a plein-aire impressionist style works much in the style of Enneking, but more finely finished. He used many small straight brushstrokes to accomplish this technique. pointillism is another style he experimented in, with good results, but to him it didn't convey the air of Maine, and was abandoned. His greatest strength as an artist was conveying the unique skies and shadows found in Western Maine, painting morning, afternoon and night with equal aplomb.Akers also was one of the original founders and carvers of the Harer frame makers, and at least one painting of a snowy brook dating from the 1920's is housed in an original Harer frame (private, Sebago, ME collection). He, however, did not like to be under pressure to make a number of frames a day because it made his time for creating art in short supply. So he returned to Maine, and carved his own frames, some being sent to Harer, but in his distinctive incised carved script. He usually just carved for his own work, and some of his works still retain their signed incised carved "V.AKERS" frames. He painted, glazed or gilded them according to the customer's ability to pay for each one. He sold them to other local artists, including my Grandmother named above. The usual ones consist of a two and a half inch stock, with a flat channel in the middle effectively recessing about two thirds of the face. He would then either carve (usually reeded chevrons or rusticated panels, or, earlier, carved corner gilt arts and crafts style) and do sgrafitto decoration in the gesso. He didn't sign most of them, so it is rare to find a signed one now, especially housing it's original painting.He did commissioned portraits of such good quality he was called upon by the Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall to paint his likeness, still hanging in the Supreme court in Washington, D.C. In later years, as he became less social and drank more, he usually did his major works to pay for clothing and shoes.His studio was a small (10'X10') once fishing shack put up on 4X4's and was on the site of the aforementioned photographic studio. The exterior was covered in red roofing shingles and the door and trim were painted orange. He lined the studio with lininfold type carved panels of his own creation, and painted them bright orange and lavender. It was a bright place to enter, with unfinished full size paintings on the left as you came in the door, carved frames and lumber hanging on projecting brackets around a window from which he could look out and see Main Street, or, from the door, Deering St. On the right hung the many "plank" paintings of 5"x7" and 8"X10" size made for sale at nearby Woodman's Sporting Goods, Longley's Hardware Store, and Barjos Restaurant.The prices of his paintings ranged from two dollars and fifty cents to five dollars apiece, depending on size. He could finish one of these paintings in about 20 minutes, and produced them factory style. Many are little gems, and some are less successful. They were bought for souvenirs and usually pictured scenes of nearby Penneseewassee Lake or Paris Hill.He died quietly in 1966, in Norway, Maine, where he is buried.His fame faded but for locally, but is being resurrected as of late, and in Maine his pictures sell into the multiple thousands, even the small panels consistently bring a thousand dollars or more.
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Vivian Akers (ME,1886-1966) oil painting

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Old Antique & Vintage Paintings (August 2022)

Aug 21, 2022 11:45 AM EDT|
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0398: Vivian Akers (ME,1886-1966) oil painting

Current Bid: $625
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Est. $1,100 - $1,400Starting Price $625
Old Antique & Vintage Paintings (August 2022)
Aug 21, 2022 11:45 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0398 Details

Description
...
ARTIST: Vivian Milner Akers (Maine, 1886 - 1966)
NAME: Town Farm Medow Brook, Norway ME - Landscape (titled on verso)
YEAR: 1950
MEDIUM: oil on board
CONDITION: Very good. No visible inpaint under UV light.
SIGHT SIZE: 8 x 6 inches / 20 x 15 cm
FRAME SIZE: 9 x 7 inches / 22 x 17 cm
SIGNATURE: on verso
CATEGORY: antique vintage painting
AD: ART CONSIGNMENTS WANTED. CONTACT US
SKU#: 117911
US Shipping $29 + insurance.

BIOGRAPHY:
Vivian Milner Akers was born in Norway, Maine. His education was obtained at local schools and Hebron (Maine) Academy, then available without tuition to students of Oxford County. It is told he drew from an early age, and was influenced by nearby local "Summer" artists Douglas Volk, of Sweden, ME, Charles Fox and Curtis Perry of North Bridgton, ME, who ran an artists Colony with scholarships to such young men as Akers (also Marsden Hartley, among others). He was also influenced by visiting artists there: George DeForest Brush, Josephine Bradstreet, George Corcoran Lambdin, John Joseph Enneking, etc.He taught Art in the local schools and also supported himself doing "Art Photography." He was able to purchase the Wiggins Merrill Photography Studio at the corner of Main and Deering Streets in Norway, his studio for the rest of his life. He married Edith Verrill of New Haven, Connecticut, daughter of professor Addison Verrill of Yale University and native of nearby Greenwood, Maine. The marriage was presumably of short duration and there were no offspring. When I in the 1960's as a child knew Akers my grandmother, Josephine Roy Twitchell, who took lessons from and was friends with Akers, never mentioned the marriage nor did he.Akers attended the Art Students League in New York City and likely found friends through John Enneking who had a summer residence in nearby Greenwood, Maine. Akers as well as Douglas Volk visited there and the artists at that time shared an interest in pointillism.Akers later studied in Paris and travelled Europe, I cannot be sure of who he studied with except Lefebvre. His earliest known work is a watercolor wash on paper titled "Lone Pine on the Intervale" dated October 5th 1912 (private Bridgton, ME collection), much in the style of contemporaryworks by Demuth, using washes. It is signed and titled in the lower margin using brown watercolor in a beaux arts type script. The early signature is found on both his photography and paintings. In later years he developed a very bold elongated block letter signature usually using his full name on larger works.When he visited California in the early 1940's, he experimented in an expressionist style using heavy brushwork and applying multiple glazes. His best work is found in a plein-aire impressionist style works much in the style of Enneking, but more finely finished. He used many small straight brushstrokes to accomplish this technique. pointillism is another style he experimented in, with good results, but to him it didn't convey the air of Maine, and was abandoned. His greatest strength as an artist was conveying the unique skies and shadows found in Western Maine, painting morning, afternoon and night with equal aplomb.Akers also was one of the original founders and carvers of the Harer frame makers, and at least one painting of a snowy brook dating from the 1920's is housed in an original Harer frame (private, Sebago, ME collection). He, however, did not like to be under pressure to make a number of frames a day because it made his time for creating art in short supply. So he returned to Maine, and carved his own frames, some being sent to Harer, but in his distinctive incised carved script. He usually just carved for his own work, and some of his works still retain their signed incised carved "V.AKERS" frames. He painted, glazed or gilded them according to the customer's ability to pay for each one. He sold them to other local artists, including my Grandmother named above. The usual ones consist of a two and a half inch stock, with a flat channel in the middle effectively recessing about two thirds of the face. He would then either carve (usually reeded chevrons or rusticated panels, or, earlier, carved corner gilt arts and crafts style) and do sgrafitto decoration in the gesso. He didn't sign most of them, so it is rare to find a signed one now, especially housing it's original painting.He did commissioned portraits of such good quality he was called upon by the Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall to paint his likeness, still hanging in the Supreme court in Washington, D.C. In later years, as he became less social and drank more, he usually did his major works to pay for clothing and shoes.His studio was a small (10'X10') once fishing shack put up on 4X4's and was on the site of the aforementioned photographic studio. The exterior was covered in red roofing shingles and the door and trim were painted orange. He lined the studio with lininfold type carved panels of his own creation, and painted them bright orange and lavender. It was a bright place to enter, with unfinished full size paintings on the left as you came in the door, carved frames and lumber hanging on projecting brackets around a window from which he could look out and see Main Street, or, from the door, Deering St. On the right hung the many "plank" paintings of 5"x7" and 8"X10" size made for sale at nearby Woodman's Sporting Goods, Longley's Hardware Store, and Barjos Restaurant.The prices of his paintings ranged from two dollars and fifty cents to five dollars apiece, depending on size. He could finish one of these paintings in about 20 minutes, and produced them factory style. Many are little gems, and some are less successful. They were bought for souvenirs and usually pictured scenes of nearby Penneseewassee Lake or Paris Hill.He died quietly in 1966, in Norway, Maine, where he is buried.His fame faded but for locally, but is being resurrected as of late, and in Maine his pictures sell into the multiple thousands, even the small panels consistently bring a thousand dollars or more.

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