Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org/collection. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
Identifying Open Content Images
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.
For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.
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Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
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- Titles The Elusive Quarry (Proper)
- Artist Thomas Hill, American, born England, 1829 - 1908
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 30 × 44 in. (76.2 × 111.8 cm) frame: 38 1/2 × 52 1/2 × 1 3/4 in. (97.8 × 133.4 × 4.4 cm)
- Credit Line Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of the Estate of Fay Belt Ireland, AFI.12.2019
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- Inscription Verso, printed label: MAXWELL / Galleries 551 Sutter Street San Francisco 2 Garfield 1-5193 / FINE PAINTINGS / ESTABLISHED 1940 / TITLE [in ink] Wm Ralston + Ogden [illeg] / [in ink] Near Belmont / ARTIST [in ink] Tom Hill / No. [illeg] SIZE [in ink] 30 x 42 [illeg] Verso, printed label: MAXWELL / Galleries [illeg]
- Provenance With Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco. Auctioned at Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, March 14, 1968, lot 103, as “Ralston and Ogden” [see note 1]; probably purchased by Kenyon V. Painter, Phoenix, Arizona; auctioned at 18th-20th Century American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, March 20, 1969, lot 161, as “Ralston and Ogden” [see note 2]. Private collection, Massachusetts. Possibly private collection, Washington, D.C. area; consigned to Skinner, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts; auctioned at American and European Paintings, Skinner, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, November 12, 1999, lot 45, as “The Elusive Quarry” [see note 3]; possibly sold to Maine dealer [see note 4]; consigned to Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Hayden, Idaho [see note 5]; auctioned at Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Hayden, Idaho, July 29, 2000, lot 204 as as “The Elusive Quarry”; purchased by William Ireland (1923-2009), Shoal Creek, Alabama, 2000; descended to Fay Ireland (1924-2019), Shoal Creek, Alabama, 2009; descended to the estate of Fay Ireland, Shoal Creek, Alabama, 2019; gift to the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 2019
1. There is an undated, partially torn Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco label on the verso that probably dates to the early 1960s. Maxwell Galleries is listed for T.2019.86’s provenance in the auction catalogue American and Canadian Paintings and Drawings of the 19th - 20th Centuries, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, March 14, 1968. The painting was sold in 1968 as “Property of Various Owners.” See object file.
2. 18th - 20th Century American Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture…, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, March 20, 1969, lot 161, “as Ralston and Ogden,” p. 134, Auction cat. T.2019.86 is listed as the “Property of Kenyon V. Painter, Phoenix, Arizona.” Kenyon V. Painter is likely the son of Kenyon V. Painter (1867-1940), a Cleveland, Ohio financier. See object file.
3. According to email dated October 16, 2019 from Robin Starr, Skinner, to Virginia Badgett, Birmingham Museum of Art, and American and European Paintings, Skinner, Boston, November 12, 1999, lot 45 as “The Elusive Quarry,” p. 24, ill. Auction cat. See object file.
4. The provenance information provided by Robin Starr, Skinner, and Mike Overby, The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, seems to conflict. Starr suggests the painting sold to a “Boston area dealer,” from their sale in 1999 based on their annotated catalogue, which indicates the painting sold to an on-site bidder. Overby, however, states T.2019.86 was consigned in 2000 by a “private collector in Maine.” It seems unlikely that T.2019.86 would change ownership multiple times (especially private collections) between the November 12, 1999 and the July 29, 2000 sales. Considering the art market, the provenance narrative describes the most likely scenario: that T.2019.86 sold to a Maine dealer, who consigned it to Coeur d’Alene Art Auction under the assumption that a Thomas Hill would fetch more in the west. See object file.
5. According to email dated November 5, 2019 from Mike Overby, The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, to Virginia Badgett, Birmingham Museum of Art. See object file.