40" x 30" oil on canvas portrait of Josephine Dillon who was Clark Gable's first wife, by listed artist Luvena Buchanan Vysekal (1873-1954). Hand carved solid wood gilt frame.
During 1910-14 Luvena Buchanan studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under John Vanderpoel, Harry Mills Walcott, and John Warner Norton. At that school she met artist Edouard Vysekal. They were married in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in 1914 to paint murals in the Barbara Worth Hotel in El Centro. After settling in California, Mrs. Vysekal further studied with Stanton MacDonald-Wright. In 1922, under the pseudonym Benjamin Blue, she authored Counterfeit Presentations, a series of character sketches of local artists.
In the early 1920's Luvena Vysekal was either commissioned to paint, or asked Josephine Dillon to sit for her. After showing this painting at the California Art Club, the painting stayed in Josephine Dillon's possession. [Although this part is conjecture, it is possible that it was a wedding present for her wedding to Clark Gable on December 12th 1924]. The painting stayed in Mrs. Clark Gable's possession after they divorced (in 1930). In 1959, she donated the painting to the Pasadena Playhouse. Ten years later, the Pasadena Playhouse closed due to unpaid taxes and the next year an auction is held to sell off all the assets. Josephine Dillon sells to a private Los Angeles collector who keeps the painting until 2013, then it was acquired by me.
Condition: Visual: Generally good condition. Craquelure throughout. Stretcher bar creases. No evidence of restoration under UV light.
1924 Luvena Vysekal shows Josephine Dillon at fifteenth Annual Exhibition, California Arts Club
1939 (Clark Gable & Josephine Dillon divorce, she continues calling herself Mrs. Clark Gable)
~1959 Josephine Dillon donated to Pasadena Playhouse by Mrs. Clark Gable
1969 Pasadena Playhouse closes
1970 Pasadena Playhouse auctions it's assets including seats, sets, costumes and art. Josephine Dillon sells (Lot T-32).
2013 Private collector, Los Angeles
California Progressive Group
the Group of Eight
Modern Art Workers
Laguna Beach Art Association
California Watercolor Society
California Art Club
Friday Morning Club
Painters & Sculptors of Southern California
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
California State Fair
Painters of the West
Pasadena Museum of California Art Love Never Fails: The Art of Edouard and Luvena Vysekal, the first museum exhibition to bring together the work of husband and wife Edouard and Luvena Vysekal. (Josephine Dillon in show catalog, page 67).