Issue 5-25-14 Website - page 11

Augusta Palmer
A couple of weeks ago I
listened to a message on my
phone: “Lynne, we just came
back from an antique show in
Rochester. One of the dealers
had several paintings by Ingham
University students. There was
onebyRoseShaveand theothers
werebyAugustaPalmer. Butwe
don’thave theprogramandcan’t
remember the dealer’s name.”
Unfortunately I didn’t get
the message until a couple of
days after the show, but I went
to the Geneseo Antique Show
the next week and talked with
a a few dealers: “Were you at
the St. John Fisher Show? Do
remember thedealer inbooth21?
I’m looking for some paintings
that might have been done by
a student, Augusta Palmer and
Rose Shave.” But I didn’t talk
with anyonewho could helpme
locate thedealerwith the Ingham
paintings. So I figured I had lost
the opportunity tofind them.
Then a few weeks after the
Geneseo show, I had to give a
program at Bohns at the spring
meeting of the Government
NewYork. Oneof the folkswho
was there, was Joan Schumaker
fromNunda. She has organized
a collectionof paintings byRose
Shave who was from Nunda
and had graduated from Ingham
and had become the head of the
InghamArt College.
The collection is exhibited at
the Nunda Historical Society.
“Joan, a couple of weeks ago,
I learned about a Rose Shave
painting that is for sale, but for
the life of me, I can’t find out
who has it. You haven’t heard
of a dealer that is selling a Rose
Shave? If you have, I might
be able to find the paintings by
Augusta Palmer.” “Sorry, but I
haven’t heard anything. We did
buy one recently, but I haven’t
heardofother Inghampaintings.”
(Dead end, again!)
I had to leave the meeting
and go back to LeRoy, to make
sure everything was going OK
at our little antique show at the
LeRoy Country Club. “How’s
everythinggoing?” “Great so far.
Lots of folks are really enjoying
looking around. And there’s a
guy out on the porch who has
some paintings from Ingham.”
You could have bowled me over
with a feather! I couldn’t get to
the porch faster. I looked around,
and a man was holding a couple
of smallpaintingsandwas talking
to thedealer. Iwaitedaneternity.
“Were you at the antique show at
St. JohnFisher a coupleofweeks
ago?”“Yes.” Eureka–Ihadfound
the long lost Ingham paintings.
There were five of them. The
dealer had bought them from a
picker who had bought them at
a house sale. There were two
post-card sized pieces and a
larger western landscape and
two beautiful round landscapes.
“Thoseround landscapesarefrom
Silver Lake or Perry.” “Oh no
they aren’t,” I said. “That one is
LeRoy.There is the steepleofSt.
Joseph’s Church. That viewwas
painted by many of the Ingham
students. They hiked along the
creek, north of town and painted
the creek in the foreground
looking south with the church
on the right. We have several
paintings by Ingham students of
this scene and a couple of years
ago, we bought a painting by
Lemuel Wiles, the art professor
of this same scene. Andwehave
one byFrankEastman Jones.”
So I was able to buy the two
round landscapes. The two little
post-card sized pieces were sold
to theotherman, and thewestern
landscape is being held until
I can find the money to buy
it. The dealer had a copy of
Augusta Palmer’s diploma and
he told me that the picker still
had the original. I had to go
back to Batavia for the rest of
themeeting at Bohns, but before
I left the antique show, I asked,
“Doyoustillhave theRoseShave
painting?” “Yes, but I didn’t
bring it.” “I’m going to tell Joan
Schumaker about it, and I know
shewill be very interested in it.”
So I headed back to Bohns
in Batavia, and told Joan. And
as I sat down for lunch, I was
telling the folksatmy tableabout
the Ingham pieces, and a lady
sitting across fromme said. “My
husbandwent to thatshow to look
at thosepaintings.” “Well, I think
he bought the two little ones.”
Before I left Batavia, I had a
Scene of the Oatka Creek with St. Joseph’s
steeple in thebackground.
Unknown view, byAugustaPalmer.
Augusta Palmer’s senior
AugustaPalmer’s Inghamdiploma, 1881.
call from the picker, offering to
sell Augusta Palmer’s diploma.
He was asking far too much
money and I declined, but after
several more phone calls, the
price came down – although not
asmuch as I had hoped, but last
week thediplomawasdelivered.
I e-mailed Joan Schumaker to
see if she had bought the Rose
Shave painting, and she toldme
that she stopped back in LeRoy
after our meeting ended. She
bought the Rose Shave piece,
because the dealer said that the
picker had called and wanted to
buy it back.
So the story has a happy
ending andwe’ve brought some
history back to LeRoy. Augusta
Palmer was born in Perry in
1858, and graduated from the
Perry High School in 1878. She
attended InghamUniversity and
studied under Lemuel Wiles
and graduated from Ingham in
1881.According to theAlumnae
records, she returned to Perry
where she livedwith her parents
on their farm. She nevermarried
anddied in1952. It isnot known
if she continued to paint.
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