On the trail of elusive Eva Porter!

Eva Porter exhibited regularly with the Belfast Art Society/ RUA from an address on the King’s Road, Knock, in Belfast. She was active from 1923 – 53 and worked mainly in watercolour, specialising in landscapes and garden scenes. She also supplied Scholastic Productions Ltd., Belfast with artwork for their postcards published during the 1940/50s.

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Three Scholastic postcards “Springtime“, “An Old World Cottage” and “Headlands”.

That is the sum total of information that I have been able to dredge up on the artist after exhaustive searching online, contacting the various NI Arts bodies, Belfast Forums, the Linen Hall Library, and other obvious institutions. I have recently been in touch with the Knock Church of Ireland authorities in the hope that she may have been one of their parishioners and I’m awaiting further news.

I love collecting the work of lesser known artists and researching them, but ending up drawing a complete blank is very frustrating. I wouldn’t mind if it was just Eva Porter, but there’s a growing list of artists that I just can’t track down. These include Terence Henry, Leslie Murdoch, Pat Mac Cormack and Robert Barlow – the one thing they all have in common is that they supplied their work to Scholastic Productions, but that company went out of business in the 1950s.

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A Country Road” which I purchased at Ross’s – August 2016 for £31.00 incl.buyer’s premium.

Thus far I have purchased a couple of her watercolours and several of the equally scarce postcards. A couple of weeks ago I thought that I had struck the mother lode when five of her paintings came up for sale at Rosebery’s (London), but it wasn’t to be. A lot of searching around and organising of a courier, contacting a UK dealer to make sure that they weren’t going to be bidding, contacting the auctioneers for additional photographs and I was all set. However, come the big day, and thirty minutes before the start of sale, I log into the Saleroom.com auction portal and sign-up for the auction only to find out that as a new client of  Rosebery’s they would require bank/credit card details and more. I couldn’t comply with their requirements in time and lost the pictures to the only other bidder for just £140.00. It was the first time that I have encountered this problem when bidding through the Saleroom.com and it will certainly be the last time that I bother with Rosebery’s.

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Club Prize Day, Bangor, Co.Down” watercolour – sold with four others at Rosebery’s 1/10/2016 for £140.00!

Years ago this would have put me in a bad mood for a week, but these days I’m more laid back and tell myself that it wasn’t meant to be. Annoying, but a First World problem in the greater scheme of things!

So the search goes on and any help would be much appreciated.

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