Gilmore City, Iowa — Rich Watercolor, Rich Heritage

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"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame.

"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame. Click photo to enlarge.

On my monitor, this digital image is not nearly as rich-colored and vivid as the actual painting/print.  I love that Mother (Marion Gunderson) included three landmarks in this Gilmore City, Iowa, watercolor.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009.  Click photo to enlarge.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009. Click photo to enlarge.

Last night I took photos from approximately the same vantage point I believe Mother had for this Gilmore City painting.  I’m including a day-old photo to compare with Mother’s 1951 watercolor of Gilmore City.

According to the Pocahontas County, Iowa, History compiled in 1981, “Misfortune struck in the spring of 1947 when a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the main wooden elevator in Gilmore City.  That fall the Board voted to replace the destroyed structure with a new cement elevator.  This was to be the first elevator made entirely out of cement in this part of the country.  The Board of Directors and the managers spent many long hours of study on the plans of this new 125,000 bushel capacity elevator.  The cost of this new facility was approximately 60 cents per bushel capacity or $75,000.”*

Gilmore City, Iowa, pre-1982.  Click photo to enlarge. **

Gilmore City, Iowa, pre-1982. Click photo to enlarge. **

Current Pro Co-op personnel believe the elevator in Mother’s watercolor is the same elevator that was voted upon in 1947.  If so, it would have been relatively new when she painted the three landmarks in 1951.

Gilmore City, Iowa, pre-1982. Click photo to enlarge. *

Gilmore City, Iowa, pre-1982. Click photo to enlarge. ***

Grayscale photos and quoted text are posted with permission from the Pocahontas County Historical Society.  These are from Pocahontas County, Iowa, History, compiled in 1981.

* and ** page 145

*** page 220

Prints are available by contacting me at mariongundersonart@ gmail.com and at Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe, Iowa.  All profits go to the Rolfe (Iowa) Public Library. A small inventory of prints is also available at the library.

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One Response to “Gilmore City, Iowa — Rich Watercolor, Rich Heritage”

  1. Peg Says:

    Well, I had to read this post twice, paying pretty close attention, to “get” it all. But now I do! 🙂 No wonder you wanted that June 22 photo! Definitely a good aid–good brain de-fogger!

    At any rate: three Gilmore City landmarks in Mother’s painting: the grain elevator, the water tower, and the railway station. I wonder how many students (and in which class) were present that day . . . and if they painted the same landmarks . . . from the same vantage point. And how they chose what to paint and where to sit. Or . . . was Mother just out on her own that day?

    1951–it was a very good year. 🙂 (How *did* she do it?!? From the green foliage, do you suppose she was pregnant with me [as opposed to me already being born]? Maybe painting was how she coped while I was kicking away in there! :-))

    Even though I grew up with mostly the same information about Mother and her painting that you did, Louise, THANK YOU for this gift of much more and richer information to fill out my sense of Mother and those times. I love your/this gift to me!

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