East of England and The Midlands: Artists and Subjects, Portraits: British 20th C 9 Does anyone recognise the ALB monogram in this 1936 portrait?

Topic: Artist

This is signed in monogram ALB bottom left above the date [Group leader: Grant Waters]. [To date the Collection have been unable to provide any more information about this portrait such as acquisition information]

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

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Marcie Doran,

My guess is that the artist was Arthur Leslie Boole (Nov. 1, 1902–Feb. 12, 1992). He was a "lithographic artist" in Birmingham in 1939. All the documents for him on Ancestry show his middle initial/middle name. Perhaps the portrait is of one of his brothers. I haven't found a family tree for him on Ancestry so I cannot contact his relatives to find out if he painted portraits.

Jacinto Regalado,

Has the collection not provided information about this picture because it does not have any or because it has not responded?

I think we are probably looking for an artist from the Birmingham area, someone reasonably capable as a painter but unlikely to be well-known. I have been searching my old exhibition catalogues for the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists but the nearest I have in date is 1955. There is no reference in that catalogue to an artist ALB, which I think is the correct interpretation of the monogram. Does anyone have access to RBSA catalogues for the mid to late 1930s? It is quite possible that our artist may have been an exhibitor there.

Louis Musgrove,

As this seems to have stalled-might I suggest an out of the box idea.

The Wednesbury collection has three paintings by William Merret Hodges. Council dignitaries. He uses a similar broad brush stroke background. His faces are a similar style.I can find one of his paintings that has bright Orange used in it. My suggestion is this is by WMH- a small size sketch- of a council "person of interest" A.B.L. 1936 is the sitter and date. Perhaps nothing came of it. Just a suggestion.

Louis, 'out of the box' ideas are always most welcome! It is good that contributors can challenge the direction of a discussion in order to move it forward. In this case I think W. M. Hodges is a more accomplished painter than A.L.B if those are indeed the initials of the author of this portrait. Hodges also appears to sign his work fully. I also think that if the initials of the sitter are ALB, the artist would not have used what looks like a monogram format. But please keep the ideas coming!

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