Mill Scene (kit31)

Junis Franklin Whiting  (1846-1931)

Oil on Canvas signed J.F. Whiting and dated 1874
13 3/4” x 19 3/8”  image size
ref. kit-31
At age 24 the artist, apparently living with his wife and parents, appears in the 1870 Federal census as living in Preble Co. Ohio.  There he lists his occupation as amanuensis painter.  We can deduce (after searching the definition of amanuensis) that Whiting is portraying the site as seen in 1874.  Later in the 1880 Federal census the artist is living in Oregon where he is drawing architectural structures and the surrounds for publication.  See a detail image for an example of his Oregon work. The architecture depicted in this oil painting is consistent within the vicinity of the Preble Co. Ohio area so possibly a sleuth might determine the exact site.  The presumedly mill owner’s house or remnants of the two mill foundations perhaps still stands.  Almost certainly too much too wish that either mill survives.  For at least four years and possibly up to ten Whiting was working in Ohio, before his departure, though I have not encountered another example of his work from the midwest.  
Condition:  The painting is in outstanding dry untouched condition without paint loss, in-paint, previous cleaning, damp stains, nor later varnishing housed in the original frame.  There is nearly 150 years of surface atmospheric accumulation and decayed varnish which obscures the color values. This condition is best observed in the cumulus clouds suspended within a soft blue sky which now reads mostly grey. A little loose on the stretcher.  Excellent aside from the grime.