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Glenda B.
Glenda B., Antiques and Collectibles Appraiser
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I am looking to value a few paintings Chrysanthemums in the

Customer Question

Hi I am looking to value a few paintings
Chrysanthemums in the Rain 1920 Terada Roshu Japan
Nature's Consistency 1989 Tseng Yuho (B.T. Ecke) Hawaii
La Ville Blanche 1979 Andre Brika French
Ben Norris 1964 Hawaiian
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appraisals
Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am one of hte expert appraisers here at justanswer. I would be happy to help you. Could you post a photo of each of these and their measurements? This will help in evaluating the paintings for value. I will begin the information on artists.

Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

Nature's Consistency 1989 Tseng Yuho (B.T. Ecke) Hawaii

biography to the artist :

Since arriving in Hawaii from Beijing in 1949, Dr. Tseng (who refers to herself as Tseng Yu-Ho, and is also known by her Western name 'Betty Ecke') has been an important part of the art community in Honolulu, where she is associated with all aspects of Asian art. Both an artist and an art historian, she has been a full-time professor of Asian Art History at University of Hawaii, and a consultant at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. While pursuing her own creative American painting, she has published catalogues and books on Chinese art history. From 1977 to 1985 she served as the first Director of Council for Chinese Studies at the University of Hawaii.

Born in 1925, Dr.Tseng (Betty Ecke) married art historian Gustav Ecke (1896-1971) in Beijing in 1945. The couple moved to Hawaii in 1949, where she received her master's degree from the University of Hawaii. She later earned her doctoral degree from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Dr. Tseng taught at the University of Hawaii and has also been a consultant to the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Her paintings have been in numerous exhibitions, including shows in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Munich, Zurich, and Paris. She has organized exhibitions of Chinese calligraphy, painting, and folk art, and published books and articles on various aspects of Chinese art. A recipient of many awards, she was recognized as a "Living Treasure of Hawaii" in 1990.

Virginia Wageman, art critic for the "Honolulu Advertiser", (June 11, 2000) writes about the artist's work:.. " Tseng has been working with what she calls the 'dsui hua' ("assembled painting") technique since the mid-1950s, adapting to a modern medium the methods used to mount traditional Chinese scrolls, by which paper and silk are painstakingly assembled. Dsui paintings are similar to paper collages, in which printed or painted paper is cut or torn into shapes and arranged in layers. In dsui paintings, tissue-thin handmade papers are layered one upon another, each layer painted to achieve varying textures and degrees of opacity. With paint, paper and a glue pot, Tseng creates multilayered works characterized by shifting planes and hues and a complexity of textures. Tseng's imagery is derived from that of traditional Chinese painting, in which mountains, river, and other landscape elements are rendered with free brushwork, usually accompanied by poems inscribed in calligraphic characters.

In Tseng's works, the landscape forms and the calligraphic strokes become the building blocks for exquisite abstract images. East and West are merged in Tseng's paintings. Despite having lived in the West for more than 50 years and having befriended such avant-garde pioneers as Man Ray, Max Ernst, and the New York gallery owner Edith Halpert, she has always retained a psychic tie to her homeland, which she left at age 24, in 1949, and which she was unable to revisit until 1972.

Tseng learned calligraphy as a youth in China, where her family was a member of the elite literati class. She attended Furen University in Beijing, studying Western art history under Gustav Ecke, who would later become her husband. Tseng and Ecke were forced to leave China at the time of the Communist takeover.

Ecke was offered a post at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and so Tseng came to Honolulu - at that time a backwater compared with metropolitan Beijing. Ecke died in December 1971.

A month later, Tseng received her doctoral degree from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. (She had earlier received a master's degree from the University of Hawaii.) Ecke has spent considerable time in New York and Paris, and has considered making a move, but her ties to Honolulu are now deep.

Tseng's contributions to the arts in Hawaii are immense, not least of all her teaching of art and art history at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, where she was a full professor until retirement in 1986. The author of several art history books and numerous scholarly articles, Tseng (was in 2000) working on a book about Chinese folk art."

Ecke is a noted philanthropist as well. The Febrary 19th, 2004 issue of the "Honolulu Advertiser" reported plans under way " to build a Shi Wu Tea Lodge at the Lyon Arboretum in Manoa Valley thanks to a $600,000 gift to the University of Hawaii from internationally known Tseng Yuho "Betty" Ecke. The Ecke gift would pay for the structure - to be designed in the style of a Chinese country house with simple furnishings, Chinese folk art and tea implements".

Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

Ben Norris..........The following, titled "Portraying the Inherent Vitality of Nature," is from an interview with Ben Norris for a Quaker arts magazine by Esther Mürer, who gave permission for use to Excerpts from the interview were published in the May 1997 newsletter of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, where Ben was a long time member.

Ben initially joined Honolulu Monthly Meeting in 1949, and was clerk of that meeting when the boat Golden Rule came to Hawaii ten years later. Ben has long been active in peace work, including the Alternatives to Violence Project. The present article focuses on Ben Norris the painter.

Ben Norris grew up in California. Upon graduating from Pomona College in 1930, he was awarded a 3-year scholarship, which was cut short by the onset of the Depression. After a year of graduate study at the Fogg Museum at Harvard and 11 months at the Sorbonne in Paris, he returned to California to pursue a career as a landscape painter.

In 1936 Ben went to Hawaii to be the first art teacher at the Kamehameha School for Boys. After a year there, he was invited to teach at the University of Hawaii, where he stayed until his retirement in 1976. In 1940 he was invited to exhibit a piece in the Chicago International Watercolor Show. He was honored and pleased to be in the show, and to be mentioned in a national art magazine; the critic wrote, "Norriss watercolor is hung with the academicians, from which it differs in its emphasis on the inherent vitality of nature." Ben feels that this comment sums up his landscape painting.

Pearl Harbor destroyed any momentum which this show might have given to Ben's career. For the next several years it was impossible to ship his work to be shown anywhere. After Pearl Harbor Hawaii was under martial law; the University was closed, and all of the population had to be fingerprinted. Ben ran two fingerprinting stations. When the University reopened the following semester, there were hardly any students; so Ben took courses in printmaking from a colleague.

In 1946 Ben became chairman of the Art Department, which then had 21 faculty members. By 1955, when he left to spend a year as Fulbright professor in Japan, the faculty numbered fifty.

As a large frog in Hawaiis little pond, Ben met artists he would never have had a chance to meet in New York or Paris. He brought visiting artists to Hawaii--among others the surrealist Max Ernst. "Max was totally charming," says Ben. "He saw with what was going on in his head more than what was really there. He gave me my first contact with surrealism and abstract art, and introduced me to the approach of interrogating materials. What are you painting? I dont know, I havent finished it yet. That's surrealism."

In 1993 Ben was honored with a retrospective show of his work in Honolulu. The show stops in the early fifties, when Ben was just beginning his explorations of abstract and surrealist techniques. "It seems to take about 50 years for works to become collectors items," he says. The paintings which have been selling of late are those which fall into the niche "California landscape painters of the 30s and 40s". Collectors are now beginning to show an interest in the niche "Americans exploring abstract painting in the 40s and 50s."

After his retirement in 1976, Ben moved to New York, and thence to Stapeley in Germantown in 1993. Around that time he came as close as he ever has to a "high- voltage" spiritual experience when a voice in a dream said , "Ben, buy a computer!" The result was a 350-page memoiran invaluable spiritual exercise, but not for publication.

Since then Ben has resumed painting. For reasons of space he has decided to stick mainly to watercolors. He is currently working on a series of a dozen or so large watercolors done from photos taken in the Manoa rain forest on Oahu. Many of them show trees being captured by vines. One has been accepted for exhibition in Springfield, Missouri.

Until very recently Ben has not had words to describe how his painting meshes with his Quakerism. He has never felt the relevance of painting on pious themes. He has long been attracted to the spiritual disciplines of Zen Buddhism, the mindfulness sutra of Hinduism, and Brother Lawrences "practice of the presence of God."

An article by Sallie McFague in the Spring 1997 issue of EarthLight (published by the Unity with Nature Committee of Pacific YM) brought the relation between art and spirituality dramatically into focus for him:

To love something is to perceive it and one can be helped to see it, really see it. . . through art. We cannot love what we do not know know in itself, for itself. Art stops, freezes, frames bits of reality and by so doing, helps us to pay attention...

Simone Weil wrote, "absolute attention is prayer." She does not say that prayer is absolute attention but that absolute attention is prayer. By paying attention to some fragment, some piece of matter, in our world, we are in fact praying.

"I live my Quakerism by paying close attention and responding to nature, looking at differences and treating them nonjudgmentally. I have only very recently found these words for what I do with painting."

This insight has helped Ben come to terms with the conflict he feels between his social leadings and the acquisitiveness, competitiveness, and conspicuous consumption which characterize the art world. Rather than fret about the conflict he can now accept it as a mystery. "I pay attention to the mystery just as I pay attention to the transparencies," says Ben.

Robert Benjamin (Ben) Norris died on September 12, 2006 , at the age of 96 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

Andre Bicat

(1909 - 1996)

Andre Bicat was active/lived in France. Andre Bicat is known for painting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Tanya, that's good info. I will take photos tomorrow or the next day and get them to you. The painter named Andre's last name is ***** ***** not Bicat.
Expert:  LadyTanya65 replied 1 year ago.

thank you I will watch for the photos. I will need a photo of the full painting and a clear close up of the signatures on each painting. Thank you for your help. This will help in my evaluations of the paintings.