EARL KERKAM Signed Charcoal on Paper Female PORTRAIT FramedSale
Earl Kerkam (aka Earl Cavis Kerkam, 1892-1965), charcoal on paper. Portrait of Caroline Burke (Berg) Swann, signed at lower right. The portrait image is 14”x18” visible within the mat and is in excellent condition. The vintage distressed wood frame is 23”x27”. (The finish on the frame is worn but it's structurally very solid and, as is, complements the character of the image nicely.)
Earl Kerkam was a mid-century artist whose paintings and sketches are in major gallery collections and have been shown and auctioned regularly.
The subject of this portrait, Caroline Burke (Berg) Swann, is quite interesting. She was born and raised in Portland and died in 1964 in New York at the age of 51. She Was the daughter of the well known Portland Merchant Charles F Berg. As a young woman she was instrumental in starting the art department at Reed College. She married Erwin D Swann an advertising executive, moved to New York and had a whirlwind career as a theatrical producer, writer, actress, film maker, early television producer, writer and director for NBC. She and her husband were serious art collectors and supporter of all the arts. Her husband help establish the former Berg Swann Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum was named for her after her death.
Provenance: Portrait was made to be hung in the Berg-Swann auditorium, after a remodel and the auditorium removed from the museum, the portrait was sent to her brother, Forrest Berg who eventually gave it to his business manager, Mr. Hutton and it has been in his family ever since.