I am the owner of Hands To Work, a gallery selling antiques, art, and books on the Grand River in Elora, home of another famous Ontario mill.
At one time, I was also the owner of the largest collection of the work of Doris McCarthy (according to Doris herself). One of the 40 or so items which remain in my possession is “Mill at Almonte”, an oil on panel painted on December 28, 1974.
Since Doris’s work has become so valuable, now that I’m on my own I will, from time to time, sell items from my collection. I’m contacting your community to discover whether anyone would be interested in purchasing this McCarthy oil.
I knew Doris from the late 1970s until her passing in 2010 at the age of 100. One of the articles in the splendid retrospective volume of her work published by the McMichael Canadian Collection is by me, as was her Obituary in the Upper Canadian antiques publication. Please understand that selling off her works is not my first choice.
When I do sell a McCarthy, I follow the pricing schedule of Wynick-Tuck Gallery, her primary dealers. By arrangement with Doris and WT, I sold her work through my own gallery while she was living, so I feel it’s only right that I should follow the pricing they established between them. Therefore, I’m asking $17,500 for “Mill at Almonte”.
This oil on panel is the only painting of a scene in Almonte by Doris that I have ever seen (and I’m more familiar with her oeuvre than anyone besides WT and Doris herself). But Doris had more of a connection to Almonte than just painting there. I can’t remember the name of the gallery, but she told me years ago that she had someone showing her work in Almonte in the 1970s and 80s (as I recall). Perhaps someone would know who that dealer was.
I look forward to hearing from the community, via e-mail or telephone (519-846-5353). I’ve been in Almonte a few times myself, and remember it as exquisite, with its many magnificent and lovingly preserved stone buildings, dramatic river, and beautiful homes and gardens. No wonder Doris found it worth painting.