Attic Sale

Attic Sale

By far my most popular link on the website. We all love to see what is in the attic sale and “man oh man” the Bert Gallery storage room is full of items coming up to the Attic Sale this summer. This week here is what we have:

Henry Jarvis Peck (1880 – 1964)
A marvelous 1929 etching of downtown Providence with the Turks Head building and the Superman building soaring among the old brick edifices that have not survived. This etching is lovely, in fair condition and framed.

Priced at $30. Shipping not included. SOLD

Biography: Henry Jarvis Peck (1880 – 1964)  Painter, illustrator, etcher and writer, Henry Jarvis Peck was born in Galesburg, Illinois on June 10, 1880, the son of George F. and Anna Emily (Cole) Peck. He spent his boyhood in Warren, Rhode Island.

Peck was a pupil of the Rhode Island School of Design* and then with the artist and illustrator Eric Pape at his school in Annisquam, Massachusetts, for two years. Later he studied with George L.Noyes, also in Annisquam.

In December 1901, Peck went to Wilmington, Delaware to study with Howard Pyle. He was one of Pyle’s twelve students who worked in the three studios next to Pyle’s 1305 Franklin Street studio. Peck worked with Pyle for about three years. He returned to the East Coast – Warren, Rhode Island in particular – during the summers, and the influence of the New England environment can be seen in his work.

In the early teens Peck also worked in Claymont, Delaware, at an artist’s colony established there. Roscoe Shrader, Herbert Moore, Percy Ivory, and Gayle Hoskins were also at “Naamans-on-Delaware” during the years that Peck and his wife lived there.

Peck spent time in France in 1918, eventually returning to Rhode Island. There he established a studio while also maintaining a studio in New York for a number of years.

The artist illustrated for Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Red Book, Scribner’s, Harper’s, Leslie’s St. Nicholasand Life among others. He was associated with the Brandywine artists and painted primarily marine and rural subjects in addition to writing and illustrating several works in collaboration with his brother, Walter.

Peck was a member of the Providence Art Club, the Providence Water Color Club, the South County Art Association and the North Shore Art Association.

Socially, the artist was a member of the Greenroom Club, a local theatrical group, and he also played violin with the Wilmington Orchestra.

The artist died in Kingston, Massachusetts in 1964. By Edward P. Bentley, Art Historian, East Lansing, Michigan

World War I
Most Americans are only mildly interested in WWI history whereas Europeans remember well the upheaval. When the play “War Horse” became a popular theater production – many of us were re-engaged with WWI events.

There are three pieces in the attic sale that document WWI events from the American perspective.

1. Hugo Bruel – the great illustrator was commissioned to document the WWI RI Artillary marching on Smith Street near the state house.

This water color sketch available for $15 plus shipping.


2. Perhaps one of the best documenter of WWI was etcher Lester Hornby. There are two of his etchings in the attic sale. He was in Paris studying from 1906 – 1910, where he served as Director of the American Art Association of Paris. He was in Brittany, France, when the war started in 1914. When the Americans arrived in 1917, General Perhsing gave Hornby a pass to travel among the American Expeditionary Forces where he made these etchings.

1. Seicheprey, 1918, etching 6″ x 8″
The American Expeditionary Forces fought one of its earliest World War I engagements at the tiny hamlet of Seicheprey, France on April 20, 1918.

Priced at $35. plus shipping. matted not framed.


2. Battle of Bezaudun, etching 7″ x 9″

Priced at $35. plus shipping. matted not framed.


Biography: Lester Hornby (1882 – 1956), a RISD graduate, is a printmaker worth exploring. This essay written by Betty Minor Duffy for a Georgetown University exhibit in 1989 speaks to the artist’s many accomplishments. Duffy also was a strong advocate for Rhode Island master printmaker, Grace Albee.
Lester G. Hornby (1882-1956) is one of the surprising number of early 20th century American artists who achieved great acclaim during their vital years and yet lived to see their works, during the ensuing decades, largely neglected. That condition is now being reversed for many of them.
In Hornby’s case, during the past five years a catalogue of his prints has been published and a number of exhibitions of his work have been mounted. Georgetown’s exhibition, which features a complete set of his World War I etchings of 1918, includes some of Hornby’s best.
Hornby received his early training at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Art Students League in New York. He then journeyed to Paris where he developed his technique further at the major art academies there. Hornby’s progress was rapid; he received his first international recognition in Paris in the prestigious Salon d’Automne of 1907.
Completely captivated by Paris and the French countryside, Hornby spent most of his productive years in France, returning intermittently to America. In his latter years, he played an active role as teacher and artist in the Rockport art colony, dying there at his cottage in 1956.
Hornby’s style and technique lie within the Whistlerian tradition. Hornby printed all of his own etchings, experimenting with the subtleties of plate tone as a means of enhancing mood in his images. Several of his etchings are in color, one of which is in this exhibition. Most of his etchings were produced during the first two decades of this century.
Understandably, his dominant subject matter is Paris and the French countryside – typically incorporating a pronounced human element. In addition to his World War I collection of prints, this exhibition includes a sampling of his images of Paris, and the Cape Ann region.
Hornby’s works are well represented in major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Corcoran, and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, Bibliotheque National in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.