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This picture hangs on our living room wall.

Hoover Art #1

That’s not a good angle, but it’s hard to get the whole thing in one good shot.  It’s really big.  Here’s a close-up:

Hoover Art #2

My husband and I found this picture at a flea market in 1995.  We couldn’t decide whether to buy it, since we’d have to hit the savings account to do it.  We’re movie fans, and it was so dramatic – everyone stopped to stare at it.  Also, the oak frame was lovely, and in terrific condition.  We hemmed and hawed, and then walked away to think about it some more.  There was another guy looking at it, too, but we needed to ponder it while we weren’t looking at it, so we started walking and wandering.  Then, we saw that same guy in another aisle – looking at big, gilded, ornate frames that were (coincidentally?) the same size as that picture.  We knew – KNEW! – we couldn’t let him put that picture in a gilded frame, and our decision was made.  We ran back and bought it.  Done !

Oops … our car wasn’t big enough to hold the picture.  Ummmm …. ???

The woman who sold us the picture was beyond gracious.  She offered to drive it to our house in her van the next day (in the rain), on her way out of town after the flea market.  While we were talking, she told us the story of the picture.

The picture hung in her family’s restaurant, in upstate New York.  The restaurant was owned, I believe, by her grandfather, and when it was sold, they didn’t want to leave some of their personal items in the restaurant, so she got this picture.  Unfortunately, she was unable to tell us anything about the image itself and was uncertain how it came to be in her family.  She said there had originally been a piece of paper on the back, identifying some of the actors, but it had been lost and she didn’t remember any of the names.  The only identifying mark of any kind, front or back, is this notation, in the lower left corner of the picture:

Hoover Art #3

Yes, we have searched and searched for information on the Hoover Art Company of Hollywood.  Most of the information we found says the studio primarily did a lot of portraits of early Hollywood actors and actresses.  If you search for them on Google, you will hit a lot of links for several photos in particular, including pictures of Katherine McDonald, Dorothy Gish, Theda Bara, and other young actresses of the 1920s and early 1930s.  But there isn’t a lot of information on the company itself, and we’ve found nothing that would help us identify this image in any way.  We’ve put out some feelers, and had hoped to be selected to go to Antiques Roadshow when they were filming here in Atlanta.  We thought maybe one of their appraisers would be able to tell us something about the picture.  So, Antiques Roadshow?  Look what you missed by not choosing us to visit you !!!!!

We would love to find out more about this picture.  So if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone, feel free to forward the information.  I’ll update you when and if we learn more.