Osbert Loomis Information and Inventory

Osbert Loomis

(1813 - 1886)

 Osbert Loomis


How many thousands of works of art have been painted since 1870? What is the likelihood of buying one half of a pair by an almost unknown artist and finding the other half years later? I don’t think you can calculate the odds. I acquired a small early genre scene around 1990 by a listed but obscure artist named Osbert Loomis. I liked the imagery entitled Sunday Out. It depicted a domestic servant, probably an Irish girl, living in a garrett with cracked walls, sagging drapes, and chipped chinaware. She is wearing her best Sunday church dress. Sweet, interesting, and it had a beautifully scripted message on the stretcher, “Sunday Out is the Companion to Monday In.” In addition to sketchy facts about the artist in Who Was Who, the National Academy of Design exhibition records showed that Sunday Out was exhibited in 1870. Presumably, this is it. Five or six years later, a private dealer was visiting our home and inquired about this painting, and to my surprise he knew the artist and had sold an example about three years earlier to a New York dealer I knew very well, Ken Lux. The private dealer seemed to recall that his Loomis was larger, but I figured it was worth pursuing. I contacted Ken and described the circumstances and he looked puzzled, having difficulty recalling the transaction… then the light bulb went off and he said, “I put that painting in a paper bag, stuffed it in a closet corner, and forgot about it.” Ken actually retrieved the picture and— yes, you guessed it—the other half was looking right back at me. So I found Monday In and reunited the pair. This is as it should be.

Osbert Loomis Gallery

No paintings by this author