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Nora Debolt - 19th Century woman artist

Updated on May 30, 2016

Have you seen this artist's signature?

For many years I have been collecting this artist, posted about her and advised about her life for what I could discover.

She is one of those unkowns that we can only speculate about, but she has a huge following, a community of admirers wishing to know

more about this 19th century artist. This lens is about her.

UPDATE 5/2016:

I have learned much. Nora's maiden name was Nora Fidelia Debolt. I found out that she lived in Riverside California in 1910 at 1473 Park Ave, (ward 5-Riverside).Apparently, this neighborhood no longer exists, as it appears that it used to be where the current Riverside 91, 60,and 215 Freeways now merge.Coincidently, my home that I grew up in, was also taken by the Santa Ana Freeway widening project many years ago.

Greg's info below is accurate. More research is on going!


UPDATE: (Thanks to Greg!)

She is not an unknown Nora Fidelia DeBolt Nafzgar had four brothers John,George,Silas and Rezin she also had a sister named Emma P.DeBolt Nafzgar.Her father's name was Silas I.DeBolt her mother's name was Elizabeth Parkinson DeBolt .Her sister married George Washington Nafzgar on Dec.24,1874.Emma gave birth to a son Earl B.Nafzgar on Aug.17,1881 Emma died Aug.26,1881. Two years after Emma's death Nora DeBolt married George Washington Nafzgar Emma's husband I suspect to help care for her sister's son Earl. I would think that if you checked around Smithville,Ohio you may find more out this is where Nora DeBolt and her younger sister Emma lived. I purchased a Nora DeBolt print titled "Resting" it is done in blue and white no other colors were used. Nora was born Oct.11,1847

ARTHUR KAPLAN Galaxy of Graphics By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000

In an age when companies fall in and out of business arrangements more frequently than Puff Daddy's name punctuates the tabloids, Arthur Kaplan is a throwback. He started his decorative-art business in Manhattan more than four decades ago, selling prints of landscapes and flowers as well as children's art. Walk into any Target or Wal-Mart or K Mart today, and you will find his framed works of largely unknown artists.

For years Kaplan maintained a warm and profitable relationship with one of London's venerable print dealers, Felix Rosenstiel's Widow & Son Ltd. "We represented them exclusively in America. They represented us in the rest of the world. They sell our products in places like Australia and South Africa. We sell theirs in the States."

Make that past tense. What severed this business association was the decision by the U.S. to impose a 100% tariff on British prints shipped to Kaplan--a tariff imposed in retaliation for European quotas and tariffs on bananas. Kaplan's is a business in which "if we sell a picture for a penny more than our competitors, we lose the sale," he says. So when the U.S. doubled the price of his British prints, Kaplan had to stop selling them.

The physical evidence of the decision is striking. Stroll through his storage rooms, and see the thousands of prints neatly arranged on metal shelves that run from floor to near ceiling, row after row. And there, sandwiched in the middle, are rows of shelves standing bare. "Those used to be filled with Rosenstiel prints," Kaplan says dejectedly. "It was a real loss to us to lose them as a supplier." His business will survive, but Kaplan has lost income and, he adds, "a [business] relationship that worked beautifully for us."

TIME ARTICLE http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,38425,00.html

Summer Fields by Nora Debolt
Summer Fields by Nora Debolt

My Passion for Nora

15 years ago I was at my local church thrift store looking for maybe, a couch or a chair when I discovered a beautiful print framed and matted.

The colors reached out to my artist's heart and I stood and stared, for a very long time! I had been painting for many years, and believed I had

come in to my own style, a bit of expressionism and impressionist combined.but there in that painting was my inspirations all combined in to

one gorgeous painting.

The brush strokes jumped out at me, lovingly laid down in layers to draw the eye to this or that spot of glowing light, or sweet, cool shadows.

From that moment on, I knew that she was my inspiration for all my future paintings, and perhaps my teacher too.

I studied her paintings with an eye to how she laid down the brush strokes, each color layered on top of another to build the beautiful

subjects in this painting. What impressed me the most was the cool blues, purples, and lavenders used to create the cool, sweet shadows

and the greens and yellows layered to create spots of sunlight that drew my eyes around the painting.

I had to know more about this artist!

Summer Fields by Nora Debolt
Summer Fields by Nora Debolt

My Journey with Nora

Teacher and Kindrid Spirit

During my time in my studio, when I would come to a point where I could not figure out what was wrong with my painting, I would study Nora's, hanging there on the wall and ask myself, "What would Nora do here?", and it was as if she spoke to me and said.."Listen to me, fellow artist, you see the area there, where there are shadows needed?..do not think in terms of browns or blacks, think of the colors in shadow ! Think of how cool, refreshing, relaxing and delightful it would be to stand among those beautiful flowers on such a hot day!"

That always did it for me, I had my answer and I reworked my painting listening to her, hearing her and watching her in my mind as she lovingly dipped her brush and placed each brush stroke.

The more I consulted her paintings, the more I learned. But as I learned about her style, I began to wonder about her life.

How did she come in to this world? Where did she live? How old was she and when did she create these paintings?

My first painting, an acrylic, 24 x 30", called "Path to the Lake" inspired by her sold as soon as it was completed. I thanked her

out loud in my mind and carry her work in my heart, always keeping her teachings deep in my artist's soul.

After that first painting sold, I had to find out more about her.

Picnic at the Beach by Nora Debolt
Picnic at the Beach by Nora Debolt

Discovery

My Research

After that first painting, I went on a journey to find out more about Nora Debolt, the woman. I had only a collection of prints and began to study them to see if I could discern where they were painted. There are approximately 20 that I know of. They seem to be all painted in pretty much the same area, with many similar features in each painting. In my heart, I felt that these paintings were all done when perhaps on vacation or a painting journey somewhere in the northeastern United States, around lakes and the ocean, as the houses and buildings look a bit New Englandish, and the women and children in her paintings wear clothing worn in the late 1800's and early 1900s.

The flowers, many of them bougainvillea, the bright red and pink on the fences, hydrangeas, daisies, violets, and the trees, her standout trees are the white birches, most of which are found in that part of the U.S.

In my heart, I felt she must have lived in that general area, and perhaps gone on a summer vacation and created most of her paintings then.

This timeline seemed a good place to start.

So began an internet research project that spanned 6 years. But there is no record of her - none! There are many, many Debolt ancestery

records, but not a one of them refer to Nora the artist. It seemed to me that a woman artist with this talent MUST have made an impression

somewhere in some time, there must be a reference or a newpaper article or a note, but I found nothing.

There are many online reference lists of artists,she is not listed. I also researched the Smithsonian, and the Library and Research Center of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, there are some 18,000 names listed there, but not Nora's. I have also visited 3 libraries and researched books listing hundreds of artists , she is also, not listed. Why?

I also found out that the Arthur Kaplan Co, now out of business, ran the prints about every 5 years, so I knew there were quite a few prints sold

since the late 1800s all the way up to 1998, after that there were no more. I wrote to the company that took over Kaplan, but to date have not

received any response. The records are there, somewhere and I will continue to write in hopes that someone will take notice and perhaps

can give a clue to this wonderful artist's life.

Paintings with clues to location and era

Click thumbnail to view full-size
At the Beach  paired with Picnic at the Beach   children's attire clueStrolling   Women's attire clueGlorious Morning   birch trees, buildings cluePicnic at the Beach, paired with At the Beach, children's attire cluePicking Flowers - women's attire clueNora Debolt signatureBirch Lake print, birch trees
At the Beach  paired with Picnic at the Beach   children's attire clue
At the Beach paired with Picnic at the Beach children's attire clue
Strolling   Women's attire clue
Strolling Women's attire clue
Glorious Morning   birch trees, buildings clue
Glorious Morning birch trees, buildings clue
Picnic at the Beach, paired with At the Beach, children's attire clue
Picnic at the Beach, paired with At the Beach, children's attire clue
Picking Flowers - women's attire clue
Picking Flowers - women's attire clue
Nora Debolt signature
Nora Debolt signature
Birch Lake print, birch trees
Birch Lake print, birch trees

Nora Debolt Community - Collectors and links

Thanks to Dondra!  "Floral Garden Path"
Thanks to Dondra! "Floral Garden Path"

I have received over 200 requests for information from people all over the United States asking for information regarding their prints discovered or handed down or purchased.

- 89% of all requests are for what is the value of my print?

I have received emails from folks who have had one or two handed down from parents and grandparents, purchased at thrift stores and estate sales, some of them in not so good condition, but restored.

These folks I could help a little, with my limited knowledge about Nora, and constantly watching sales of prints.

-11% ask for history of the artist. This is where I am stumped. I can only send what I have discovered, and that is not too much, and ask

that anyone who would have additional information to please email me at beankitty@msn.com.

Since I created my studio: Beankitty Studio I also included two dedicated sites to Nora Debolt, located

Here: http://beankittystudio.wetpaint.com/page/About+Nor...

and here: http://joslynhighlander.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/a...

So that others could view and contact me for their questions.

Sailing by Nora Debolt
Sailing by Nora Debolt

So, What Do I Really Know about Nora?

If you know, write a comment!

What I know for sure, is that she painted a series of paintings, all in her beautiful style, with brush strokes and colors that have attracted a whole

community of collectors that know nothing more than I do about her. Her prints can be found here and there, sometimes on Ebay, sometimes at the Goodwill, in attics and basements, estate sales, and yard sales. They will never be reprinted.

There are no Original Paintings to be seen or obtained that I know of. Part of my effort was to possibly locate an original, but no luck so far

Where can I look when I cannot even locate a relative, an acquaintance or someone that might have known her?

I did find an obituary - but there is no reference to Nora the artist, or whether that was her maiden or married name, so there are no facts.

My hope is that after she painted these series, perhaps she went back to being a mother and raising her family with no more time to paint, it

would seem so, as after the Terrace paintings, she seems to disappear from history. Perhaps she passed away then, but my hope is that

someday I will locate a personal record, or note or reference that will open up this wonderful artist's life to the world.

Nora's rarest print UPDATE - Title: Reading Bench

Waiting for My Owner by Nora Debolt
Waiting for My Owner by Nora Debolt

Above is a photo of Nora's rarest print: Waiting for my Owner.

It is of a beautiful, colorful and peaceful garden with a white bench, and curled up along side the bench is a little dog awaiting it's owner's return.

8/14/13 UPDATE!! just got an email from a Debolt collector that found one of these IN THE GARBAGE!!! ..and emailed

me inquiring about the value of the print. I have posted a photo of it, and have discovered the correct title to this print is "READING BENCH"...wow, what a find!!!!

Reading Bench 3rd Print Run by Kaplan co

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Proof of Title: "Reading Bench"
Proof of Title: "Reading Bench"
Proof of Title: "Reading Bench"

A Few More Rares

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Garden GatePatio GardenView at the BayFound something new!..I recently received a request for the value of this uniquely framed Nora Debolt. Who knew there was even a series of these? Check out the frame and the mini framed image at the bottom left. Just AMAZING!!!
Garden Gate
Garden Gate
Patio Garden
Patio Garden
View at the Bay
View at the Bay
Found something new!..I recently received a request for the value of this uniquely framed Nora Debolt. Who knew there was even a series of these? Check out the frame and the mini framed image at the bottom left. Just AMAZING!!!
Found something new!..I recently received a request for the value of this uniquely framed Nora Debolt. Who knew there was even a series of these? Check out the frame and the mini framed image at the bottom left. Just AMAZING!!!

A little about me

BeankittyStudio

All of the photos and information included are available to the public view thru image and web searches.

My information can also be viewed at my website: beankittystudio.com at wetpaint.com or wordpress blog.

Any and all comments or inquiries or information about Nora Debolt, the artist is most welcome!

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    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      6 months ago

      Wow Nola!! That is such great information!!!

    • Nola Rains profile image

      Nola Rains 

      6 months ago

      Just found out that Nora DeBolt was a 2nd cousin to my great-grandfather. They share the common ancestor of George & Elizabeth (Teagarden) DeBolt. George & Elizabeth had a number of children - my ancestor was Abraham and Nora's was George D. Abraham was the father of my ancestor Isaac DeBolt while George D. was the father of Nora's dad, Silas making Isaac & Silas 1st cousins. Isaac had a son, George and Silas was Nora's father - so George & Nora would have been 2nd cousins. I love Nora's paintings!

    • profile image

      Judy winder 

      16 months ago

      I have one of her paintings. An iron fence with beautiful flowers all over and around it.

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      2 years ago

      Thank you Dondra!!

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      2 years ago

      Carolyn, I am researching. It takes such a long time, but I am working on it. Check back every once in a while for updates. Thank you for coming here!

    • profile image

      Dondra 

      2 years ago

      Hi, I have the reprint of the painting you have listed unknown title. It is called "FLORAL GARDEN PATH" by Nora De Bolt. I wish I had the original, it is beautiful. I love her work!

      Dondra

    • profile image

      Carolyn 

      2 years ago

      Is there any new information on Nora DeBolt and her family. My father's family is from Nashville, Michigan and they are DeBolt's. My grandmother was a graphic artist and her paintings are similar to Nora's tree paintings, however my grandmother used darker colors. My parents just found a few of Nora's paintings at a Hospice Second Hand store in Florida and we are interested in her life story.

      Respectfully,

      Carolyn

    • profile image

      Floyd 

      2 years ago

      I just happened to type in Nora's name and came upon this site. I have two of her prints, found in a thrift store but they fit in with my daughters bedroom colors and furniture; Strolling and Sailing. Just wanted to comment. She loves them.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Brassard 

      2 years ago

      I have ano 8x10 print of both At the Beach and Picnic at the Beach. The price tag says $400. That cannot be true, can it? A friend gave them to me as a thank you for helping her move. The colors are so bright and pretty.

    • profile image

      mary hood.. 

      2 years ago

      My mother was a DeBolt....Nora was her great great Aunt! I only have a couple small reproductions. :( to my dismay.

    • profile image

      June Larsen 

      3 years ago

      I have a print of The Patio Garden. How or even when I aquired it is as much a mystery as Nora DeBolt herself.

      This print graces a our mantle; and it would be great if the artist was known.

      Her paintings remind me a bit of Monet; however in DeBolt's work I find more satisfying to look at. {Even to contemplating living in the house that The Patio represents.] What a magnificent View!!!

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      3 years ago

      Christian, I would like to see pics. But you left no contact info. you can send pics to beankitty@msn.com

    • profile image

      Christian 

      3 years ago

      I just got one and is a painting not a print and signed by her feel free to contact and i will send you pics

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      3 years ago

      It would be great to see a photo of your print, and is also really great that it was not faded. It will not make you wealthy, but it is a treasure none the less. I have no further info on your print for you other than the description of the artist on my hub.

      thank you so much and please continue to enjoy your print!

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      3 years ago

      Cheryl, ag!! my heart breaks for you.

    • profile image

      Freida Hakins 

      3 years ago

      We are downsizing and when I looked at this picture hanging over one of my beds, it was one of Nora DeBolt's. The picture is of one lady and a girl sitting by a lake and sail boats are in the lake. The colors are beautiful. I have had it in a dark bedroom and so no fading. Can you give me any information on this one? Thanks

    • profile image

      Cheryle 

      3 years ago

      I have come across a picture, sadly it has been folded.

    • profile image

      Dona 

      3 years ago

      i have a TV tray with her painting on it. i bought it some yrs. ago because it was so beautiful and colorful that it caught my eyes and i had to have it. however, being on a tray, does it have much worth? thank you

    • Lovely Rebel profile image

      Lovely Rebel 

      3 years ago

      My husband and I picked up a Nora DeBolt a few months back. Was wondering if it's worth keeping? It's the scene of the ducks in the pond.

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      3 years ago

      Sondra, how exciting!!! Could you please send a photo to my email? beankitty@msn.com, with size and condition?

    • profile image

      Sondra Spracklen 

      3 years ago

      I might have an Original I purchased at an Antique Mall outside of Grandbury Texas in 2005. Garden Gate Black Fence...

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      3 years ago

      Gregg, thank you so much for this information., However, I do suspect that your print "Resting" in blue and white is a very faded print.

      I have seen this before, Resting was painted in all of the beautiful colors..sometimes, when a print is exposed to sunlight over long time,

      the colors fade.

    • profile image

      Gregg 

      3 years ago

      She is not an unknown Nora Fidelia DeBolt Nafzgar had four brothers John,George,Silas and Rezin she also had a sister named Emma P.DeBolt Nafzgar.Her father's name was Silas I.DeBolt her mother's name was Elizabeth Parkinson DeBolt .Her sister married George Washington Nafzgar on Dec.24,1874.Emma gave birth to a son Earl B.Nafzgar on Aug.17,1881 Emma died Aug.26,1881. Two years after Emma's death Nora DeBolt married George Washington Nafzgar Emma's husband I suspect to help care for her sister's son Earl. I would think that if you checked around Smithville,Ohio you may find more out this is where Nora DeBolt and her younger sister Emma lived. I purchased a Nora DeBolt print titled "Resting" it is done in blue and white no other colors were used. Nora was born Oct.11,1847 I purchased the print Oct.11,2014 .

    • profile image

      danplowe 

      4 years ago

      I just bought one at Goodwill yesterday it is the one with the Children at the Beach looking for shells. What is the Title it is such a pretty picture?

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      4 years ago

      @tammy-pace-12: Hi Tammy, yes I have seen it. It is another beautiful painting by Nora. Hope you will be holding on to it? Thank you so much for visiting my Nora page

    • profile image

      tammy-pace-12 

      4 years ago

      I have a print by Nora entilted "Path to the Lake".... have you by chance seen it?

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      4 years ago

      @Daniel_Pritchard: I would very very much like to see a picture of this painting Daniel, could you please send it to me? at beankitty@msn.com,

      thank you for posting your comment!!!!

    • profile image

      Daniel_Pritchard 

      4 years ago

      My parents have had a Nora DeBolt painting for years, never thought to search her name. It's different to the ones you have posted here.

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      4 years ago

      @rg-reynolds-7: Hello,

      Yes it is a print, I can give you no new information. thank you for checking my lens about Nora.

    • profile image

      rg-reynolds-7 

      4 years ago

      Hello,

      I have a painting/print by Nora DeBolt entitled Sailing. There is a number on the back of it beginning

      with the letter G, under that is printed 03 - Sailing. There is also a stamp: Inspected by #7. Is this a factory print, would you know?

      Any help is appreciated.

      Thank you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      I can see why you like these.

    • JoslynHighlander profile imageAUTHOR

      JoslynHighlander 

      5 years ago

      @tiffany-briseth: Hi Tiffany, I am so sorry, I did not receive a notification that someone had visited my lens! By all means, send a photo of your Nora Debolt to my email at beankitty@msn.com

    • profile image

      tiffany-briseth 

      5 years ago

      I found a lovely Nora De Bolt painting at a thrift shop. However, I'm not sure if it is an original or a print. The painting I have I don't see here on your post. Can I send you a picture of it at your e-mail? I would appreciate any kind of information.

      Best regards,

      Tiffany

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