24" x 30", Oil on Canvas
Acquired from trash in Boston
MOBA # 1
This single painting planted the seed that grew into MOBA.
The motion, the chair, the sway of her breast, the subtle hues of the sky, the expression on her face -- every detail combines to create this transcendent and compelling portrait, every detail cries out "masterpiece."
!Bravissimo! Thank you! "Lucy" is clearly the key work in the collection. As with all great art, extended viewing reveals endless layers of mysteries: What is Norman Mailer's head doing on an innocent grandma's body, and are those crows or F-16's skimming the hills?
Wishing you good fortune in future endeavors, I remain,
Distinguished Patron, MOBA
EXCERPT FROM THE MOBA NEWS, ISSUE #23
Susan Lawlor was drinking a glass of coke last Friday, perusing a copy of the Improper Bostonian, a weekly Boston, newspaper. She turned the page and began reading an article in the City Rave section called "The Finest in Bad Art". She glanced below at a picture of HER GRANDMOTHER and spit coke all over the table. Lucy In The Field With Flowers, MOBA's Mona Lisa -- its first painting -- is in fact a portrait of Ms. Lawlor's late grandmother, Anna Lally Keane.
Ms. Lawlor called the museum and arranged to come over, see the painting and tell us all about it.
Anna Lally Keane lived with her daughter Eileen (Ms. Lawlor's aunt) for much of her adult life. Anna Keane died in her 70's sometime around 1968. A year or two later, Ms Lawlor's mother dug out two photos of Anna Lally Keane and sent them to an artist, and commisioned a painting. The painting was to be a present to her sister Eileen.
Ms. Lawlor told us of the day that the painting arrived wrapped in paper. Everyone gathered around to watch as the paper was torn off, the thirteen year old Susan bit her lip to keep from gasping.
It was a wonderfully accurate likeness of her grandmother's face in an oddly postured and formed body against a bizarre, surreal background.
Her mother, who commisioned the painting, was quite pleased with the result and gave it to her sister Eileen. The painting hung in Eileen's house for years. Ms. Lawlor and her siblings have strong memories over the years, of the strange portrait hung in Eileen's living room.
Sometime in the late 80s the house was sold. A cousin hired an estate clearance company to make the property ready for sale. Sometime later, Ms Lawlor asked her mother what ever became of the portrait -- no one seemed to know.
From what we could surmise, the painting was either thown out in the trash, or possibly sold. Someone in Roslindale acquired the painting, hung on to it for 5 years or so and then threw it out in the trash. Our ever vigilant curator, Mr Wilson, spotted the painting, pulled it from the trash and MOBA was born.
Ms. Lawlor was obviously moved upon seeing the stunning portrait of her grandmother again and is thrilled that MOBA rescued the painting from certain destruction. Ms. Lawlor has signed up as a charter Friend Of MOBA and attended MOBA's Gallery In The Woods on Aug 26, where her grandmother was proudly hung from the pine trees of Cape Cod.
MOBA welcomes Ms. Lawlor to the Friends Of MOBA, and is eternally grateful for filling us in on the fascinating background of the museum's most valued paintings. Ms. Lawlor will be sending us more information about the painting as she collects it from her siblings around the country.