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Mr. Bender portrait
I was trying to do some research for my brother-in-law who acquired a portrait of a family member that was painted and signed by a John Alan Maxwell in 1968. The portrait was of Mr Bender and hung in his office in Ohio until he died. It went to another member of the family and then on to my brother-in-law. If you would be so kind as to point me in the direction of some information on this man I would be very grateful. Thank you.
Ben E. Kozlovsky SR.
E-Mail from Doug McDaniel
Congrats on finding the Nathan Hale painting. I saw your post on AskArt.com. John Alan Maxwell was my great uncle. His permanent collection is now at the Carroll Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. I had provided the editorial from the Press Chronicle regarding his passing in 1984.
I hope you enjoy the painting. If it is not impertinent, I would encourage you to leave it in your will to the museum. His sister, Elizabeth, donated much of the art to the museum. She is still living, at 96 years old.
Your painting, in fact, was left by a tenant at a home in Bristol. That tenant was my toxic father, Maxwell's nephew. I took a small pleasure in reading the provenance you described. It is quite accurate, and humorous to those "who know."
Ben E. Kozlovsky Sr.
Museum Quality Oil Painting
I recently acquired a beautiful original museum quality oil painting by John Alan Maxwell. This painting is a very detailed composition depicting and titled "The Execution of Nathan Hale". I believe that this is one of the 12 paintings that Maxwell painted as part of the "Hero's of the American Revolution" for the centennial series of collector plates. This painting should be in a museum in Johnson City, TN. This painting was purchased from a man who lived in Bristol, Tn., less than 25 miles from Johnson City, TN. where John Alan Maxwell spent the last 18 years of his life. The previous owner gave a small provenance of the picture. Seem that the painting was left by a tenant for past due rent possibily in Bristol, Tn. and probably sold to an antique shop where it was purchased by the person I bought the painting from. I found the painting on E-Bay and realized that the seller spent a lot of time researching the Nathan Hale execution and completely missed the most important research, ie"John Alan Maxwell". I have done a little research an found out that this great artist illustrated hundreds of books and many of them had dust jackets illustrated by John Alan Maxwell.
From the Johnson City (TN) Press Chronicle Opinion Page, 1984.
He left a Legacy
John Alan Maxwell was a consummate artist and illustrator.
The Johnson Citian climbed to fame on the basis of his pens and brushes nearly 60 years ago--with illustrations appearing in such national publications as Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, True, redbook, Life, Cosmopolitan, and others.
He sold his first illustration to Collier's in New York in 1925. In 1936, Mr. Maxwell won first place in the Society of Illustrators competition--and was named one of the top 10 illustrators in the country. But he chose to return to Johnson City 18 years ago.
He was one of the earliest Johnson Citians to climb into the national limelight, riding on his skills as an artist.
Mr. Maxwell died Friday afternoon in Johnson City Medical Center after a brief illness.
But although Mr. Maxwell is gone, he has left a legacy for present and future Johnson Citians.