JOHN AUBREY SPEER (LISTED COLORADO ARTIST 1895-1955). FOREST FIRE SCENE, 10" x 20" oil on thin cardboard, unsigned/unframed. Stamped on the back: Painted by: J.A. Speer, 4079 S. Acoma St., Denver, Co. Biography from Askart as provided by Williams American Art Galleries:
John Aubrey Speer was born in Denver, Colorado in 1895. He first appeared in the City Directory in 1909 as a painter, sold Epson board and subsequently was listed as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad.
In the early 1920’s Speer was a “Window Artist” for the McPhee & McGinnity Paint Company on Arapaho Street where he competed with A. L. Browning who worked for the rival McMurtry Manufacturing Company, also on Arapaho Street. There is evidence that during that period he also did work for the Lincoln Paint and Color Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Acme White Lead and Color Works of Detroit, Michigan. He most likely set up these outlets while working for the railroad as he could ride on a pass.
After Speer left McPhee, he moved to Englewood, a southern suburb of Denver where he lived at 4079 So. Acoma Street. He then began stamping that address on the back of his paintings. He painted various sized canvases, ranging from postcard size to large landscapes. The artist experimented with using a palette knife to create his works, but always worked
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