NORTH CANTON  The Little Art Gallery in North Canton recently received two pieces of artwork generously donated by local residents. Both new pieces have been added the Gallery’s permanent collection and will be on exhibit through January 22.

The first was an oil painting on Masonite by Clyde Singer. The piece is titled "Eternal Elder" from 1948 and was donated by Gene Gilbert. The second is a graphite and colored pencil drawing on wove paper by Ferdinand A. Brader. The piece is dated 1890 and titled "Adolph Lincke’s Homestead, Marlboro Tp, Stark Co, O." It was donated to the gallery by Carl Lincke.  

Gallery Curator Elizabeth Blakemore said the impact of receiving both of these pieces is immeasurable.

"Both pieces preserve the heritage and cultural of the eras they represent, some of the houses and farms drawn by Brader are still in existence in the area," Blakemore said. "Both artists lived in Stark County. Singer was well known and well loved.  There will never be another Brader or a Singer. The importance of both on the art world was evident when we held a Brader exhibit in 2014 and the New York Times wrote a story about the artist and the exhibit."

Blakemore said the donors are patrons to the Gallery. She said Gene Gilbert was a regular visitor to the library and the Gallery and he wanted the Singer to stay in the area. The Singer painting is bigger than most, Blakemore said. The paint is dry and cracked a bit which adds to the magic and wonderment of the painting.

The Brader drawing is of the Lincke homestead in Marlboro Township and was donated by one of the family members. The details of the piece are drawn meticulously and exacting in proportions. The artist provides a seemingly aerial view of the farms he drew and included roads, trees, animals, birds and people working the farms. Many of his drawings, like the one donated, have some items drawn in colored pencil. 

Blakemore has included a couple of additional Singer works and an additional Brader drawing in this month’s exhibit. There are also several other items from the Gallery’s permanent collection on display.

"We currently have 197 pieces in the permanent collection," Blakemore said. "The current exhibit includes pieces from local artists that haven’t ever been displayed or haven’t been on exhibit for the past six years."

The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader

A book by Kathleen Wieschaus-Voss titled, "The Legacy of Ferdinand A. Brader" is available in the library. The author wrote an extensive history about Brader and found that he was a traveling Swiss artist who came to love the rural life of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He documented much of the Stark County and other farmlands throughout the two states with pencil on woven paper in close to 1,000 drawings.

While the author didn’t find record of any formal training for his artistic skills, she did find that he was trained in making work carving molds. He traveled and completed his artworks in the states between 1879-1895. He would often live with local farmers in the barns or in the houses. He would work on the farms for food and shelter while he completed his drawings.

He was referred to in various publications at the time as the "perambulating artist," "itinerant artis," "landscape painter," "pencil sketcher," "German artist" or "poor house artist."

Wieschaus-Voss’s research found that, "The elevated perspective used by Brader, generally between 15 and 25 degrees above plane, was necessarily imagined as a few locales he depicted had hills nearby from which he could have enjoyed such panoramic vistas."

Clyde Singer’s Artistry

According to a book, "Clyde Singer’s America" by M.J. Albacete, Clyde Singer was born in 1908 in Malvern. He attended the Columbus Arts School and received a scholarship to Art Students League in New York City. In the mid-1930s, he had 82 exhibits in 56 cities. 

He was also the assistant director and artist-in-residence at The Butler Art Institute in Youngstown and began writing for the "Youngstown Vindicator." He remained at The Butler Institute until his death in 1999.

Singer has had his works exhibited at the Whitney Museum, The Cocoran Gallery, The Chicago Art Institute, The National Academy of Design, The Butler Art Institute, The Massillon Museum, The Canton Museum of Art and the Little Art Gallery in North Canton.