Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Other artists who sign their paintings “Schafer”: One or two Kentucky (?) Schafers


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One or two Kentucky (?) Schafers

In the eastern United States, two groups of landscape paintings have been found with subject, composition, style, and palette that somewhat resemble that of Frederick F. Schafer, but with signatures that are quite different. In both groups the signature is simply "Schafer" without a monogram or initial "F", and the strokes of each printed letter of the signature are continuously rounded, in contrast with Frederick Schafer's style of lettering that employs multiple straight or slightly curved strokes.

Some of the paintings are round or oval, shapes not known to be used by Frederick F. Schafer. None have verso inscriptions. Several are on artist's board. They appear to be gouache or watercolor, but some are reported to smudge easily or come off in a fine powder, suggesting chalk or mixed media.

Below are four examples of work by and signatures of the artist in the first group. On inspection, it is apparent that despite their differing sizes and shapes, they are all of the same scene of a cluster of broadleaf trees beside a river with a path in the foreground and a low hill in the distance. A characteristic of the signatures in this group of paintings is that they printed with sans-serif letters (that is, with no decoration) except for a left-facing hook at the top of the "h".

Seven paintings with this signature have emerged, all in the eastern half of the United States; one in New Orleans, one in Kentucky, one in Missouri, one in Indiana, two in Michigan, and one in Connecticut. This geographic concentration suggests that this Schafer is an American painter who worked in the near midwest. No other information about this Schafer has yet turned up.

[River scene]
Oil on artist's board, 19 inches D.
A New Orleans estate
Dealer's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[River scene]
chalk (?) on artist's board, 22 x 9 3/4 inches
A Kentucky estate
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[river scene]
chalk? on artist's board, 13 1/2 by 23 1/2 inches
From an estate in Windsor, Connectucut
Dealer's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[river scene]
Chalk? on artist's board, size not reported
Private collection, Indiana
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]

The paintings of the second group also bear the signature "Schafer" with rounded strokes, but with more decoration: serifs on the S and swirling flourishes on the ascenders.

Two of these paintings emerged in Kentucky, two others in western Pennsylvania, a fifth (no photograph available) in Kentucky, and a sixth in Atlanta Georgia. Five of the six paintings are from the Ohio River Valley, suggesting that this artist may come from that area. It is also possible that both groups of paintings are by the same artist, and that he or she changed signature styles slightly over the years.

[Pastoral scene with church steeple on the horizon]
A Western Pennsylvania estate
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[Moonlit landscape with windmills]
chalk? on unknown support
Private collection, Kentucky
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[River landscape with Windmill]
Watercolor on unknown support, 14 by 24 inches
Private collection, Kentucky
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[Indian Encampment by a Lake]
Gouache on unknown support, 17 by 29.5 inches
Private collection, Pennsylvania
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]
[Landscape with sunset]
Chalk on unknown support, size not reported
Private collection, Atlanta, Georgia
Owner's photograph
[painting image] [signature image]

For comparison, a typical signature of Frederick Ferdinand Schafer from Evening on Castle Rock, Columbia River, Oregon [2]. [signature image]

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Feb 17, 2017, 18:49 MST