M Medeiros Big Eyed Child Portrait Art

 

Florence Kroger similar Californian child portrait artist

Florence A. Kroger was a successful commercial artist who lived in California in 1950's. She was born in 1897 and died in 1980.  She was 15 years senior to Merle Medeiros and lived in the same area.  Florence's work appeared on the front cover of the 1933 Home Magazine.  Her images of Christ appeared in Catholic magazines such as the Cincinnati based Messenger.  She produced work 20 years prior to Merle and was most remembered for her nursery images in soft pastels. 

Some of her later work is confused with M Medeiros because of similar coloring, brush stroke, models and the fact they were picked up by the same lithograph printers.  Florence's work evolved through her career to suit fashionable decor. A feature of her 1960's commercial work were children with large sad eyes and paired boy and girl whimsy pieces. 

Since I captured so many images of Kroger's while I was researching Medeiros, I thought I'd pay some homage to Florence here.  The Kroger's are a fairly famous Cincinnati, Ohio family now known for a line of grocery stores.  Florence's work is quite extensive and this page is only a sampling.

Confirmed Florence Kroger not Medeiros

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This image had me questioning whether or not it was a Medeiros along with the two images below.  After investigation, I discovered Florence Kroger's late work.  Florence was known for her earlier commerical images of babies and kittens but she did take part in the boy/girl "scene".    In the rest of the page you may be able to see similarities and differences in their work.  I like to believe Florence was a mentor in some way to Merle.

Unconfirmed - Gypsy Set

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These twin sets came in many framings  and were carried in five and dimes similar to Woolworths. Recently, I found a listing for the boy image with this information "In the bottom right hand corner of the print is: E.O. INC. On the back is a sticker that reads: Franklin Picture Frame Co. Chicago, Dallas, New York." 

After I started cruising for "vintage framed pairs" in online auctions, I started to notice some distinct themes in most of the art.  Whether or not the pairs were big eyed children, the themes of Gyspy, Hobo, Tom Sawyer and Waif are repeated.  I find these in Kroger and Medeiros lithographs but in a less comical way than other big-eyed artists.ht hand corner of the print is: E.O. INC. I have been unable to find information on this company. On the back is a sticker that reads: Franklin Picture Frame Co. Chicago, Dallas, New York. RE.O. INC. I have been unable to find information on this company. On the back is a sticker that reads: Franklin Picture Frame Co. Chicago, Dallas, New Y

Kroger - Hobo Set

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Farthest right are labels

Mark Twain inspired pair

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Tom Sawyer and Becky?


Kroger's most famous pieces are titled Sweet Dreams and Wake Up Time

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bottom of picture is marked D.A.C. N.Y. No. 112 LITHO IN U.S.A. * Signed FLORENCE KROGER  Back is marked: WINDE FINE PRINTS "WAKE-UP TIME" BY KROGER NO. 112 SIZE 11" X 14" MADE IN CANADA

Kroger's famous work also pair of children praying with pets

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The pastel colors in this image were more pleasing to the 1950's decor.  It is easy to see the similarities between this pair and the pets shown below.

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Kroger Religious Work

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I have only one image of M Medeiros religious work, but on the "Other Images" page you can read descriptions of her work.  Once I found Kroger's religious work, a Medeiros religious themed piece made more sense to me.  This is the kind of clue that makes one think Merle followed Florence's style and commercial career path.

This work is titled "The Child Jesus (God)" and is a framed Florence Kroger print measuring 9.75”x12.75”

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The Madonna and Child below by Florence Kroger is believed to be dated 1935-1940
The one beside is same subject but a very different style Untitled, dated 1930
A collection of beautiful bright baby portraits by Florence Kroger used in nurseries in the from the 1950's through 1980's.
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 Details of Florence's work and descriptions have been taken and displayed here from www.askart.com.
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Rico Tomaso

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Often mistaken for a Medeiros or Kroger, this work is by Rico Tomaso.  Possibly numbered #5719 is a boy clutching cocker spaniel sitting on a piece of furniture.  I recently found this titled as "Anxious Moments"

Rico Tomaso

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The pair for the image to the left, this 5X7 D.A.C. NY Lithograph is numbered 5720.

Artist Bessie Pease Gutman did a similar work to Kroger - images of babies and one titled Awakening and Happy Dreams, so correct me if I mixed up image please at jodimode@gmail.