The Art Detectives
Patricia Moss is the principal researcher for Fine Art Investigations. Other members of the team include Bingham expert Dr. Maryellen McVicker and general consultant, Dr. Jeffrey Weidman, Helping to keep the group organized is Rosemary Hallin, the art sleuths’ Watson.
Principal Researcher: Patricia Moss
Art detective Patricia Moss holds double master’s degrees in art history and history. Her expertise began with George Caleb Bingham, Since 1999, she has located 68 of his “lost” portraits. The Smithsonian’s Research and Scholars’ Center acknowledged her work as the “Bingham Lady” in their newsletter. She served as a guest curator for the Bingham Bicentennial Exhibit, “Steamboats to Steam Engines: George Caleb Bingham’s Missouri: 1819-1879,” (March 10-September 8, 2011) at the Truman Presidential Museum and curated the opening exhibition, “George Caleb Bingham: Witness to History,” (September 2013 –), Jackson County Art Museum, Independence, Missouri. Institutions with which she has worked include University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology; Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art, Central Methodist University, Fayette, Missouri; State Historical Society of Missouri; William Jewell College; and Columbia-Pacific Heritage Museum.
Through her work with Bingham, she learned to distinguish his work from that of his students and colleagues. Descendants of two his students, William Morrison Hughes and George Calder Eichbaum, assisted her by providing images of much of their existing work.
Eventually she expanded beyond these artists and developed a comprehensive system for artist identification. Each identification is vetted with experts on the particular artist. Artists she has identified include Jacob Eichholtz, William Edward West, George Esten Cooke, Samuel Bell Waugh, Manuel Joachim de Franca, Wilhelm Heinrich Funk, William James Hubard, Edwin F. Goddard, Alban Jasper Conant, David Gilmour Blythe, and Chester Harding.
Consultant: Maryellen McVicker, M.A., Ph.D.
As an art historian, Dr. Maryellen McVicker specializes in George Caleb Bingham and the artists of central Missouri, the Boonslick. She discovered and documented a previously unknown Bingham painting, which appears in George Caleb Bingham: A Catalogue Raisonné, #217. She has been published in American Art Review: “George Caleb Bingham in the Boonslick” (April 2011) and “A Brush with History, 175 Years of Art in the Boonslick” (November 1996); and in the Athenaeum Society Review, “Bingham, The Boonslick and His Students” (1985). She has written the catalogues for two Bingham exhibits. In addition to her work with Bingham, McVicker is an award-winning professor, the former executive director of Friends of Historic Boonville, and a board member of the Missouri Humanities Council (1988-1997). (A detailed résumé is available on request.)
General Consultant: Jeffrey Weidman, M.A., Ph.D., M.L.S.
Dr. Jeffrey Weidman has published extensively on American artist William Rimmer (1816-1879), a contemporary of George Caleb Bingham, but his reputation far exceeds his work on Rimmer. “Web Resources for American Art Founded by Jeffrey Weidman,” the research tool of the Association of Historians of American Art, which debuted nationally in 2009, confirmed Dr. Weidman to be the American art historians’ art historian. He served on the advisory board of the Oxford University Press for Grove Art Online and The Dictionary of Art. He has contributed to publications of numerous institutions including the National Gallery of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Center, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and the Brockton Art Center/Fuller Memorial in Brockton, Massachusetts. It was for the latter that he organized the 1985/1986 exhibition and wrote most of the catalog, William Rimmer: A Yankee Michelangelo, which traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. He has directed the Clarence Ward Art Library of Oberlin College and headed Reference and Collection Development for the Spencer Art Reference Library of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. For decades, Dr. Weidman was active in the Art Libraries Society of North America and a book reviewer for Choice, Art Libraries Journal, and Art Documentation. (A detailed résumé is available on request.)