Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Traditions: Three Wise Men Oil Painting (Artist Unknown)

Every family has their own traditions for the holidays, regardless of what that holiday may be, and in the Berg family one of ours was watching Mom put up the Christmas decorations. Dad helped with the tree, but Mom was the go-to point for decorating. One of those decorations was this oil painting of the Three Wise Men by an unknown artist (either that or the artists name is hidden behind the frame). Every year she would take it out of storage in the attic and when the holidays were over it would go back. I remember this painting as far back as I have memories of Christmas, back to the early '50s so the painting is at least 60 years and but I'm willin' to bet there may be a couple more decades we can add to that. At some point during its life the frame was painted over, although it had to have been done years before I came on the scene. The over-paint was most likely done with a lead-based oil paint in white, which has since discolored to a cream color. The paint job is not the neatest either with thick globs apparent in spots. The picture itself doesn't appear to have been touched by the paint fortunately. The framer's label (Wright's Art Shop) is interesting because of its old address and early telephone number format - 'Lincoln 414'. My question is, was it a Milwaukee address which is where my parents and I are from, or did they get elsewhere???

All that being said, I do try to carry on the tradition of taking the picture out every year and hanging it up. One of these years I'll have to take it in and at least get the rear of the frame re-done as I'm reluctant to change out frames, it having been in the family so long and all. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

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