Jacob G. Bauman (Active circa 1870)
Firehouse Memorial Picture-Tribute to Firefighters
Signed on lower right: J.G. Baumann, Artist
Detroit, Michigan, Circa 1870
Features an eagle perched atop the stars and stripes shield with a banner reading "Liberty and Prosperity" above the heat and fiery light of a conflagration...and a firefighter rescuing a child
Oil on canvas
Little is known of the life and work of Jacob Baumann, Arthur Hopkin Gibson, in Artists of Early Michigan, A Biographical Dictionary of Artists Native to or Active In Michigan 1701-1900 (Detroit, Michigan, 1975) page 47, offers only scant information: Jacob Baumann was an amateur artist working in Detroit, who studied at the German-American Seminary in Detroit during the year 1875. His only other known work, depicting the old Tollgate at Gratoit and Mack Streets in Detroit is known from a photocopy in the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library, mentioned in the Detroit News, July 26, 1925, The Metropolitan Section, Page 5.
This unusual painting commemorates the life of a heroic firefighter...The central design-composed of a flag, helmet, floral wreath and accouterments-appears to be painted from life. Other vignettes include a steam engine, a firefighter rescuing a child, and a stack of firefighter's equipment including a coiled hose, hook, trumpet, leather belt labeled "Red Jacket"; helmet with badge also labeled "Red Jacket" along with "4" and "J.P.", the American flag, and a bouquet of flowers. The two vignettes of firefighting activity were probably inspired by the popular series of lithographs by Currier and Ives from the 1850s and early 1860s entitled "The Life Of A Fireman."
Literature: American Expressions of Liberty (Mingei International Museum, 1996) and will appear in American Visions of Freedom and Liberty (Virginia Historical Society.) Also, The Billy Pearson Collection of American Folk Art, by David A. Schorsch.
The picture, mounted in a custom frame has been relined and there is minor in-painting. (29-inch x 35-inch view area; overall: 35-inch x 41-inches.)
Franklin Fire Society-Charlestown-Protection in Danger
Probably owned by Albert Tufts, Charlestown, Massachusetts
Fire buckets such as the depicted having identified historic motifs are scarcely encountered. This example, a leather bucket decorated and identified with "Franklin Fire Society-Charlestown-Protection in Danger", with owners name below...( rt) Tufts; only the last two letters of the first name are visible due to surface losses. Charlestown is painted along the vertical seam on the back. The central device is a large cenotaph or memorial urn with initial "W". This urn motif was used on a variety of medals, ceramics, prints and textiles circa 1800 in the months following Washington's death. The paint is 90% intact, all decoration and lettering is original; minor touch-up to small area on the reverse. The handle is period but may be a replacement; detached at one "D" ring with the other ring being a replacement...easily repaired by or leather restorer or yours. Our supposition is that the bucket was owned by Albert Tufts who was born 17 August, 1804; son of Hutchinson Jr. and Mary Locke Tufts.