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Showing Size of Circumference
Mid Century Watercolor


From The Dauer Collection

Mid 20th Century 
Watercolor on Paper 
25"x21" framed, 16"x13" unframed 

Entitled Showing Size of Circumference, this mid 20th century watercolor on paper depicts an industrial scene where a large reel of rope is being measured. It is signed by the WPA artist, John Deforest Stull, in the lower right. Excellent vintage condition. Framed in a contemporary walnut wood frame using beige archival linen matting behind conservation clear glass.

About the Artist

An art director for Norcross Greeting Cards, John Deforest Stull (1910-1972) was also a painter and WPA muralist whose mural work was done for Radio City Music Hall with artist Ezra Augustus Winter. Stull earned a Bachelor's Degree from Yale University in 1933 and a Master's in Fine Arts Degree from Columbia University in 1936. He also was an art teacher at Leonia, New Jersey High School and chaired the art department there from 1953. He is best known for his scenes of industry and workers.

About the Collector

John A. Dauer (1933-2017) was a collector of many things, the vast majority of which convey stories of hard work, craftsmanship, industry, unsung histories, and associations with those he loved and respected. 

Born and raised on Staten Island, New York in 1933, John grew up among a close-knit family of entrepreneurial bakers, wood carvers, and leather merchants. He graduated in 1954 from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.  He went on to work with his father John Sr., at the New York City-based John A. Dauer Leather Company.

During and after his undergraduate studies, John enrolled in painting, print making, and sculpture classes at Columbia, the New School for Social Research, and Greenwich House. Many of his teachers (including Margot Kempe and Peppino Mangravite) were recent European emigres and WPA artists, sympathetic to the themes of social realism and late modernism.

Although he made his living and supported his family as a leather salesman, John consistently maintained an interest in, and passion for, the creative work of artists and craft people throughout his life. The subjects and scale of his collecting varied over the years (from large 18th century cupboards to hand carved fishing lures), but let’s just say his houses and barns often resembled mini-Mercer Museums.

During his last 2 decades, John focused his collecting efforts on the work of print makers and painters who reminded him or were directly associated with those who influenced him during his New York youth. Images and the stories of sailors, stevedores, factory workers, craftsmen, pushcart vendors, musicians, stoop sitters, and artists abound.