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Cecil C. Bell "Vermont Cottage" old oil landscape painting

Sorry, this is sold out , but contact us for similar alternative we may have.

Cecil C. Bell (American 1906-1970)
"The Bell Vermont Cabin"
Old Antique Landscape Oil Painting
Circa 1950's

Exceptionally Beautiful Oil Painting on board by Cecil Bell. Signed lower left and again on reverse. This was a very special painting by the artist and was never intended to be sold during his lifetime. It was of his family cottage in Vermont. Writing on reverse states “”Keep for sentimental reasons. Our cabin in VT #456. NOT FOR SALE, Cecil C. Bell ‘68”. Also has Bell Estate Label on back. Exceptional Provenance.

Cecil Bell is a highly listed artist. He has also had several articles and books written about him including two biographies. One in particular by Phyllis Barton which we just ordered on Amazon.

Sales history example: Sold “Team at Auctin” for $39,000 at Sotheby’s New York November 2006.

10x20" unframed, 15x25" framed.

Also included is the 1970 Exhibition Catalog (quite Rare in itself).

Exhibition catalogue

Cecil Crosley Bell

at the Staten Island Museum, shown immediately following his death in 1970, begins with a biography, color illustrations of his work, approx. 30 pages, multiple images on each page.

Text of eulogy given by Charles Salerno, 2 pages of various artist's quotes 'as seen throuth the eyes of his contemporaries'..

List of museums, galleries where his work was represented..

Covers and first couple of pages show some light foxing in areas, else all other fine, clean..measures approx. 8 1/2" x 11"


For a while in 1999 one might have imagined that the only thing happening in the art world was the firestorm at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. There the Sensation show was raising a hue and cry, outraging, exhilarating or entertaining, depending on one’s point of view.

Yet not far from that show, in an equally venerable institution, the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, another and vastly different show was taking place. That no-less-sensational show was an exhibition of the work of Cecil C. Bell, a native of Seattle and longtime resident of Tompkinsville, Staten Island, who died in 1970 at the age of 64.

Organized beautifully by Peggy Hammerle-McGuire, the Institute’s Curator of Art, the 28 pieces in the show (paintings, etchings and a single lithograph) took one through the last four decades of Bell’s life, during which he produced over 800 paintings and thousands of sketches and etchings.

“Spike” Bell was no stranger to artistic controversy. He arrived in New York City in 1930, just as the Great Depression began laying waste to the golden prosperity of the 1920s. Enrolled at the Art Students’ League as a pupil of Harry Wickey and John Sloan, charter members of the Ashcan School, Bell would have found himself almost immediately confronting issues raised by Regionalists vs. Social Realists, not to mention matters of abstraction and modern art. The Museum of Modern Art had just been established (1929) to provide a congenial space for the exhibition of modern art. A tremendous furor was soon to erupt when Nelson Rockefeller ordered the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural Man at the Crossroads (which had been commissioned for the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center) in1934.

Yet Bell, who earned his living as a free-lance illustrator, always sought to distance himself from schools, esthetic theories, and political postures. Like Hogarth, Daumier or Rockwell, comparisons he might have winced at in modesty, Bell painted and sketched from life rather than from theory. Was it ART?
“I do not think ‘art’ when I do them,” he said of his paintings. “I want to get down life as I see it and if it turns out to be art, so much the better.”

The works selected by the Institute for exhibition reflected Bell’s great talent as a painter. His canvases teem with life. Color, form and composition establish an immediate and almost conversational rapport among artist, subject, and viewer. Anyone who has attentively walked the streets of Manhattan or ridden regularly the Staten Island Ferry will, despite the passage of time, feel a sense of kinship with Bell’s paintings.

A derelict house above a listing store: Even before I saw the title, “Stapleton Corner, 1944,” I recognized the site. But the painting drove me to revisit the spot, to check the canvas and my memory; and there on a winter’s night in 2000, 56 years after Bell had painted the scene, I could still see, in spite of all the changes of the intervening years, what he had seen.

Brooklyn Bridge in the Snow,” “Brooklyn Bridge from the South Street Seaport,” and “Dinner Under the Bridge” (with humans and gulls searching for scraps) project a palpable humanity that lets us imagine ourselves in these paintings. “Convoys in the Harbor,” a 1944 gouache, exudes the somber mood of World War II America. We all have been on “The Staten Island Ferry on a Rainy Day,” and the shoeshine man in “Shine! Staten Island Ferry” could be a younger version of the 88-year-old Italian man who still calls out “Shine!” as he walks the decks of the ferry.

Phyllis Barton’s 1976 study, Cecil C. Bell, is still available from David W. Bell, Cecil C. Bell’s nephew. It provides a useful summary of Bell’s life and does a fairly good job of situating him within the broad context of 20th-century artistic traditions.

But that is not its real contribution. This book is a treasure trove of Bell’s paintings and etchings. Here, handsomely reproduced in beautiful color, are his celebrated horse and Vermont paintings (not strongly represented in the SIIAS show), as well as his streetscapes, waterfront, and ferry paintings. Open to pp. 84-85 for a feel of what Times Square was like on V-J Day, or to pp. 86-87 for two different, yet equally romantic, views of the Narrows from Clifton.

Bell lived and loved New York and the great tide of unsung humanity that daily flooded its streets. His paintings capture that life and love: The sacred and the profane, the prosaic and the profound, the comedic and the catastrophic, just as these contradictory yet complementary qualities are found in all our lives.
A 1973 retrospective of Bell’s work at the Museum of the City of New York was titled The Vanished City. SIIAS rendered a signal public service in once again mounting a public exhibition of his work. Their outstanding job of remembrance and renewal reminded us of Bell’s legacy while introducing a younger generation to his work.