During March Madness a few years ago, a gentleman who is not an art historian, but a perceptive individual, used the analogy of sports bracketing to describe why only a few artists are remembered. Unorthodox as it is for art history, the concept works.  Just as a basketball season begins with hundreds of teams, at any one time in history, hundreds of artists are at work. Dozens of artists – and basketball teams – are excellent and deserve recognition.  But in the end, only one basketball team wins the championship.  Even the names of the other three members of the final four fade into oblivion. As time passes, only the names of a few fine painters linger in memory. Not all were great, but the majority were good.  Particularly hard struck were competent representational artists who worked before Impressionism captured art lovers’ hearts and minds. With the advent of impressionism, the work of artists of the stature of Bierstadt, Bingham, and Heade was “old-fashioned.”  Loyal art historians revived their memories. Appreciation for their paintings renewed. But still more artists remain to be re-discovered.  Fine Art Investigations personally enjoys abstract, contemporary, and conceptual non-representative art, but recognizes that the work of lesser known 19th century American artists who were overshadowed in the Impressionist tsunami or who simply didn’t make the final cuts, deserve to be remembered. Here are some that Fine Art Investigations has come to know well:






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