ClassyArts Blog

March 16, 2010

Little Known Artists Database

Filed under: Artists — ajmorris @ 4:24 pm

Yesterday, the Artists database was activated on It is, of course, in its early stages, but I think the potential value should be clear. Oftentimes, we come across works of art attributed or signed by artists who are not ‘listed’ in the main reference works. This database will help remediate that problem.

Instead of looking to the traditional sources for artist information — museum holdings and exhibition catalogs — this database is derived from original sources in which people list their occupations. Mostly census listings and city directories.

Of course we pick up some of the ‘listed’ artists too — but no harm done. It may even provide previously unknown information about some of those artists too.

So far, the database has a little over 19,000 records. They are almost all from the U.S. so far, but I have plans to expand to global sources in time.

I also have a huge collection of digital reproductions of fine art works. Here is one (click on the image to view the full sized version):

A Tangled Skein by English artist George Harcourt

A Tangled Skein by English artist George Harcourt

I’m not sure how those will fit into the site. There are too many to upload to the server, but maybe I can list them and make them available on-demand as I do with photographs.

Right now, you can search the artists database and get the name and city/state/country of residence. Paid members can get the full record, which includes the name of the source, the year (for the source citation), sometimes the birth and/or death date, the full residential address, the business address or studio, and any additional notes. Biographical descriptions will also be added for some artists, in time.


  1. I have found a painting which I have been researching and cannot find info on the artist. The artist name is Helen Orr-Dunne. Painting is Force II

    Comment by Mary Ann — March 17, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  2. She exhibited at the Blue Door Gallery, Taos, NM June 18 through July 2, 1970.

    Comment by Peter — January 1, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  3. I have a beautiful landscape oil painting (Cape Cod, MA?) by artist G. Burreby. I’m told it was painted for my grandfather, who lived in Massachusetts, and who spent summers on Cape Cod, but I can find no information on this artist.

    Comment by S. Roberts — March 16, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  4. I have a painting by PE Lott, a water colour of a country cottage dated 1923. I have googled the name and it comes up with a painting of a war ship dated 1911. The signature is the same. Could you help

    Comment by Sandra — August 26, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

  5. I have an acrylic on paper by Shirley Kalish, titled Earth-scape. I’ve only found one reference to her (on Union Mission Homeless auction website) that says 20th century American painter. Any information would be appreciated.

    Comment by Annie R. — September 5, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

  6. I have an old hand drawing which was handed down to me many years ago from my Grandmother. The drawing is of a draft horse with a faint image of a farm in the background. It is dated 1902 and signed by N.A. Throop. Any information on this artist would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Robin

    Comment by Robin — April 16, 2014 @ 7:54 am

  7. Newton Allen Throop was born 9 March 1863 in Herscher, IL, son of William Nelson Throop and Maria Frances Stowitz. Lived most of his life in Chicago, where he was known as a livestock artist. Married May E. Lowe in Chicago 21 Jan 1886 and had several children. Died in Chicago 27 Sep 1928.

    Comment by ajmorris — April 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  8. Does the art work of Newton Allen Throop hold any collectable value ?

    Comment by Robin — April 18, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  9. Shirley Kalish was my mother. I would be happy to give you more information about her.

    Annie Kalish

    Comment by Annie Kalish — May 9, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  10. Annie Kalish i have an egyptian piece signed shirley kalish 6/6/86 titled nile journey #4.
    Your moms work? Wpuld love any info.

    Comment by Donna — October 21, 2014 @ 9:21 am

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