Past Masters of Blowing
Blowing Rock Frameworks Features
Three Historic Painters
By Jeff Eason
When art scholars of the future study 20th century painting
in Blowing Rock, they will no doubt say that the most
influential painters of that period were Elliot Daingerfield,
Philip Moose and Ed Szmyd.
Daingerfields Impressionist painting After
the Milking, circa 1910.
Mooses Live Oaks.
Mooses Haystacks, N.C.
Mooses Lagoon Morrea.
Mooses Coast of Yugoslavia.
Daingerfield was an artistic force to be
reckoned with at the beginning of the century and his
ambitious impressionist paintings were influenced by the
French masters. Moose, the World War II veteran and world
traveler, used his art in the middle of the century as
one would use a camera or diary, recording images of the
places he visited and the people he met. Szmyd, often
called the modern master of light and shadow,
ended the century with beautiful landscapes and florals
that captured the very essence of his subjects color
Now all three of these important Blowing Rock artists
are part of an exhibit and sale at Blowing Rock Frameworks
and Gallery. The exhibit will be on display at the gallery
from now through the Christmas holidays.
All three of these artists have been popular for
the long haul, said Tim Miller, owner and curator
of Blowing Rock Frameworks. Some of Elliott Daingerfields
paintings have recently sold for between $100,000 and
$200,00. The market has gone that high because of his
popularity and consistently high quality.
The new exhibit features only one Daingerfield painting,
but its a doozy. After the Milking dates
from around 1910 and is one of Daingerfields largest
No one seems to know where it was originally painted,
said Miller of the farm scene in After the Milking.
It had been in the same family since before World
War Two. It has been passed down through several generations
and now it is for sale. Miller added that the painting
has had some minor restoration and is in its original
frame, a carved wooden behemoth that weighs nearly 100
Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932)
Elliott Daingerfield is one of western North Carolinas
most important links to a bygone era of art and history.
He was born in Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859 but
his family moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina at the
onset of The Civil War when his father took the job as
commander of the Confederate Armory there. By his mid-twenties
he was already enjoying a successful career as a painter
and in 1886 he began spending his summers in Blowing Rock.
His first home in the village sat on a lot on the corner
of what is now Main Street and Chestnut Drive.
The death of his wife, Roberta Strange French Daingerfield,
and baby in childbirth in 1891, followed by the death
of his friend and artistic mentor George Inness in 1894,
devastated the artist and led him toward religious and
symbolist themes in his paintings.
Highlights from Daingerfields career
include a 1902 commission of the decade to
paint murals for the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in
New York and a 1910 commission from the Santa Fe Railroad
to create large paintings for display in railway stations
designed to encourage people to tour the western United
States. His works hang in the Metropolitan Museum, The
National Gallery, the Mint Museum of Art and many other
public and private collections.
The Morris Museum in Augusta, Georgia is home to the largest
collection of his works.
Daingerfields three Blowing Rock homes, the Edgewood
Cottage (1891), Windwood (1900), and Westglow (1916) have
survived the years and are still in use.
Philip Moose (1921-2001)
Blowing Rock resident Philip Moose was a world traveler,
Army veteran of WWII, Pulitzer Prize recipient and prolific
painter. But folks who knew him say that he rarely spoke
of his achievements, preferring instead to listen to others.
Moose was born in 1921 in the North Carolina textile town
of Newton. His aptitude for art was apparent at an early
age and he later claimed that he knew he wanted to be
a painter when he was ten years old. In 1940 Moose was
awarded a fellowship to the National Academy of Design
and spent the following two summers as a student at the
L.C. Tiffany Foundation in Oyster Bay, New York. In September
1942, Moose joined the U.S. Army and worked in England
during the war as a radar and radio mechanic.
After the war Moose attended Columbia University and received
the Pulitzer Prize for Art in 1948. His love for traveling,
first ignited during WWII, continued and he studied in
Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.
Later, he taught art at Queens College in Charlotte from
1956 to 1967. In 1958 he bought some property south of
Blowing Rock and built a studio and home there in a neighborhood
that would later be known as Artists Alley.
Ed Szmyd (1930-2004)
Like Philip Moose, Ed Szmyd knew that he would have a
career in art from an early age. In this case it was when
Szmyd won first prize in a community art exhibition when
he was nine in Pennsylvania. Later, he showed so much
promise as an artist that by high school his teachers
vied for the privilege of buying his drawings, watercolors
and oil paintings.
As a young adult, Szmyd moved to Florida
and made his living as a commercial artist while honing
his skills as a fine artist and painter at nights and
on weekends. It was during this time in Florida that Szmyd
became fairly obsessed with raising orchids and at one
point had to apply for a permit because of the over 4,000
orchids he was raising. One of his paintings from this
time period, Greenhouse is currently part
of the Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery exhibit and
In 1985 Szmyd moved to Blowing Rock, set up a house and
painting studio, and remained their for the rest of his
life, quietly creating magnificent florals, still lifes
and landscapes that earned him the reputation as the
modern master of light and shadow. Despite his prolific
painting habits, Szmyds oil canvases show a remarkable
attention to detail, and Szmyd often worked several at
one time. During his lifetime, Szmyds work was represented
by only two galleries: Blowing Rock Frameworks and another
gallery in Carmel, California.
For the holiday season, Blowing Rock Frameworks
and Gallery will also feature paintings for sale by local
and regional artists such as Raymond Chorneau, Pat Pilkington,
Robert Brown, Wes Waugh, Nancy Brittelle, Paul deMarrais,
George Kosinski, Joana Wardell, Norma Murphy and others.
For more information, visit Blowing Rock
Frameworks and Gallery at 7539 Valley Blvd. (next to Food
Lion), call the gallery at (828) 295-0041, or visit them
online at www.brframegallery.com.