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CURRENT COLUMN

The Case of Dubious Due Diligence

The Case of Dubious Due Diligence

The Case of the Olympic Posters
The Case of the Olympic Posters

The Case of the Solitary Surrealist
The Case of the Solitary Surrealist

The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt
The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt

The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity
The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity

The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys
The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys

The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard
The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard

The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910
The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of the Archangel Michael Defeating Satan

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2

The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light
The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light

The Case of Leni and the Nuba
The Case of Leni and the Nuba

The Case of the Seductive Souvenir
The Case of the Seductive Souvenir

The Case of the Irish Surrealist
The Case of the Irish Surrealist

The Case of the Developing Dalí
The Case of the Developing Dalí

The Case of Nano-D Technology
The Case of Nano-D Technology

The Case of Dabatable Donations
The Case of Debatable Donations

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of the Long-tailed Monkey

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of Edgar Heap of Birds

Silent Song
The Case of the Silent Song

Aficionado
The Case of Alex and the Art Aficionado

Portrait
The Case of the Privacy of the Publicity Photo

Potter
The Case of the Potter's Portraits

The Case of the Coy Cornelius Krieghoff

The Case of the Political Portraitist

The Case of the Reconsidered Revolution

The Case of the Anabiotic Abbey

The Case of the Phoney Picasso

The Case of Setsuko Piroche

The Case of being on the Forest Edge with Vern Simpson

The Case of Being at the End of the Storm with Loren Adams

The Case of Being: Under the Table with Thomas

The Case of Wyland's Whales on Walls

The Case of A.Y. Jackson's Smart River (Alaska)

The Case of Red Fish with Blue Breasts

The Case of Looe Poole

The Case of Camaldoli

The Case of MS

The Case of the Misattributed Emily Carrs

The Case of the Doubtful Dürer

The Case of the Purloined Picasso

The Case of the Defrocked Duchess of Devonshire

The Case of the First Wife

The Case of the Dodford Priory

The Case of the Unknown Actor

Art Services & Materials


Confessions Back

Practical Art History
(or Confessions of a Fine Art Appraiser)

by Jim Finlay
Finlay Fine Art Wealth Management
jim_finlay@telus.net

Chapter 22. The Case of the Potter's Portraits

When renowned New Zealand painter Raymond McIntyre arrived in London in 1909 at the age of 30, he had no real intentions of returning to his homeland. He had left New Zealand permanently and as an expatriate performed all the duties that his circumstances required – he frequently wrote home to his father recounting his experiences and he tried to establish himself professionally.

Avery Huyghe

Avery Huyghe (nee Muriel Avery), by Raymond McIntyre, oil on oak panel, 16 X 13”

Avery Huyghe

Avery Huyghe (nee Muriel Avery), attributed to Raymond McIntyre, oil on plywood, 113/4X 8 5/8”

Muriel Avery arrived in London from Farnham, Surrey at age 19 around 1930. Her artistic aspirations led her to find work at a London art gallery where she was required to burnish pieces of pottery by Harold Stabler. Thus began her life-long attraction to the tactile qualities of clay. During the war she applied to study ceramics at The Central School of Arts and Crafts, but was refused in favour of those already in the trade.

She was married in London in 1947 and emigrated with her husband to Vancouver in 1948. Upon her arrival she began to study pottery with Molly Carter in the UBC Extension Department. In 1955 she helped found the BC Potters Guild (now the Potters Guild of Britih Columbia, which since 1985 has operated the Gallery of BC Ceramics). During the 1960s Muriel, using the name Avery Huyghe1, received international recognition for her works in clay. She died in Vancouver in 1981.

A signed oil-on-board portrait of Muriel (Avery) by Raymond McIntyre attests to a prior meeting between these two expatriate artists. The painted image closely resembles a known photograph of Muriel (Avery) taken around 1930, three years before McIntyre, then 51, died of a strangulated hernia. She may have modelled for McIntyre (McIntyre is known to have taught privately to supplement his income2 ) in exchange for painting lessons, as it is doubtful that a young single woman supporting herself in London would have had the financial resources to commission a portrait from such a well-known portrait painter.

A second unsigned portrait of Muriel (Avery) from the same period and attributed to McIntyre, supports the fact that she was a frequent subject and most likely, a model. It is known that McIntyre painted many portraits of women, probably on commission, which may have provided a steady although inadequate income.

It is possible that the artist gave these portraits directly to Muriel (Avery), as it is documented that very little of his work survived after the late 1920s due to the actions of a fastidious housekeeper who cleared out his studio soon after his death. Speculation as to the nature of their relationship may suggest a professional association based on the fact that Muriel (Avery) worked as a secretary and she may have acted in this capacity, perhaps on a part-time basis for McIntyre. McIntyre never married and the existence of two portraits, both uncommissioned, of the same woman may suggest she was a preferred subject.

1 She never liked the name Muriel and when she married she took her family surname Avery as her first name and her husband’s family name of Huyghe as her married surname. Thus, she was known as Avery Huyghe.

2 Raymond McIntyre, A New Zealand Painter, Auckland City Art Gallery, 1984, p. 46

Next: The Case of the Privacy of the Publicity Photograph

 Mon, Oct 4, 2010