Monday, 29 April 2013

Etching Mistaken Identity - Oops!

One might say, how does this happen? Wasn't it right there in black and white? Why, yes, it was but it
wasn't recognized until the very last moment.

What I am saying is that one of the etchings presented to St. Andrew's Church in Williamstown yesterday was not of that church; it was of St. Mary's Catholic Church, still in Williamstown but a block over and then across the MacGillivray Bridge that spans the Raisin River.

St. Mary's Catholic Church
In studying the two etchings below, you can see how the mistake might have been made. The perspective is different so I thought that the artist had done a front view and a rear view. The colours used are identical, probably run on the press at the same time in 1972. The framing was identical, too.

And most significant, the name was obscured on the St. Mary's print and even though I had taken the art work apart to clean the glass, I didn't think to check the name because I thought it was the same church.

Fortunately, the St. Andrew's congregation has a sense of  humour, or, at the very least, irony, and the smiles never left their faces.

This is the signature line from the St. Mary's print. The run, 3/6, is clear as is the artist's name and date. It was only after I repositioned the print in the frame the night before the presentation that I noticed that these were etchings of two different churches.

From St. Andrew's minister's blog. Rev. Andrea Harrison writes:

A Special Sunday Service 

Following the service, we had a delightful time with two guests from Ottawa - Shannon Lee Mannion and her friend, Rosalie Reynolds.  Shannon had found two etchings by Robert Wall, in a box of frames that someone had put out at the curb for collection in Ottawa.  Shannon identified one picture as being from St. Andrew's United Church, Williamstown, and contacted the church.  She offered to donate them back to the church, and a Sunday was picked when we would have time for coffee and story-telling together.  Shannon, in the meantime, got in touch with Robin Wall and his son, and so a connection was made between Williamstown, Ottawa, and B.C.  The night before coming to visit, Shannon took one of the pictures apart to clean the glass, and re-align the matting that had covered the signature and inscription.  It was at church on Sunday, that she realized that this second picture is of St. Mary's R.C. Church in Williamstown.  This picture will now be given to St. Mary's.  Thank you Shannon!