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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:18 AM

Here we will post everything about the great American painter.

Edgar Leeteg
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Edgar Leeteg (1904 St. Louis, Missouri - 1953) was an American painter often considered the father of American velvet painting. Before Leeteg, black velvet painting was primarily considered a hobby, not an art.[citation needed]

[edit] Early career

Leeteg initially worked as a billboard painter and sign writer in California before losing his job due to the depression. Taking a small inheritance, Leeteg moved to Tahiti in 1933 with a few brushes and some paint stolen from his previous employer[1]. Using the women of the island as his models, he sold paintings to visiting sailors.

[edit] Rise to popularity

Leeteg's best work was done between the years 1933 and 1953. He lived in Cook's Bay, Tahiti using the dark skinned women of the island as his models. His main subject was beautiful Polynesian women, and he painted them amidst their background, their culture and their history. The eroticism, colour and detail of these paintings made him famous.[2]

Leeteg's popularity soared following a fortunate meeting with Honolulu art gallery owner Bernard Davis, who became his patron. It was with Davis' help that Leeteg built his great Villa Velour estate in Tahiti[3]. Davis worked as Leeteg's agent and they had a fruitful and profitable relationship together. His paintings were popular in bars in America and Polynesia.

Davis branded Leeteg the 'American Gauguin', and soon Leeteg's paintings were being sold for thousands of dollars. However, fame as an artist is something he never expected saying "My paintings belong in a gin mill, not a museum. If this modern crap is art, then just call my paintings beautiful. Don't call them art."

Edgar Leeteg died in 1953 of a motorcycle crash at the age of 49.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Kofoed, Kristian (September 1, 1999). "Paradise painted". Seattle Weekly. http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:6_-ohbpHcLcJ:www.seattleweekly.com/1999-09-01/arts/paradise-painted.php+leeteg&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=18&gl=us&client=firefox-a. Retrieved on 2007-04-23.
  2. ^ "Edgar Leeteg: The Father of Modern Velvet Painting". Barracuda Magazine. http://www.barracudamagazine.com/leeteg.htm. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
  3. ^ "Edgar Leeteg: Father of Velvet Painting". Jen Longshaw. http://www.passionforpaint.com/EdgarLeeteg.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:22 AM
Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:27 AM
Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:29 AM

On 2008-07-11 13:31, TikiTres wrote:
Personally I think the reason the chin looks so pointy is because of the shading on the right cheek. He should have lightened up that area to get rid of the "wicked witch of the west" appearance. There's also a heck of a lot of gumline showing, but that may be accurate to the subject of the painting. And the lack of any highlighting of her body makes it look like a disembodied head floating in an odd location on the "canvas" (felt). But hey, could I do better? Highly doubtful :)

For you future viewers of this thread who are cursing the fact that the eBay link you're clicking on in the first post is long dead, here are the pictures from the auction:


And the description:

"Edgar Leeteg
This Auction is covered by a Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee and is offered with No Reserve Price. Up for Auction is a beautiful Signed Original Oil on Black Velvet Portrait Painting by Well Listed Tahitian Artist Edgar Leeteg (1904-1953). This artwork is in excellent condition, no sign of paint loss, damage or repair. There is some minor scuffing to the velvet at the borders. Leeteg is a highly collectible artist whose works rarely become available with auction records at Butterfields and the like, and an auction high price realized of $2,487 (Butterfields 9/19/1990). We are offering this wonderful artwork in a No Reserve Auction, high bidder wins the auction and the Edgar Leeteg Original Velvet Painting. The Artist is Listed in:

The frame measures 14 by 14 1/2 inches, the art, 13 by 13 1/2."

UPDATE: for any future viewers of this thread that are curious, the painting sold for 519.09.

[ Edited by: TikiTres 2008-07-15 08:37 ]

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:31 AM

On 2008-09-12 11:10, Babalu wrote:

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:34 AM


Book

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:38 AM

Nude blond woman

:o

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 1:29 AM

Ay mamacita!

I LOVE art!
:o :D

T

Now that is one sexy momma! Great picture. :D I would love to have one of these done of myself, but at this stage in my life it's way to late. :lol: :lol: Is this your self portrait Zeta?

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 1:42 AM

I wish!

On 2007-06-16 01:32, TabooDan wrote:

The rarely seen Leeteg velvet painting tucked away in the Menehune Room. This one is also hard to see because it is recessed in the wall and the bulbs that give it a light glow have been burnt out for quite some time. This room is also one of the rooms that is only open for special events. Nows your chance!!

TabooDan, please upload the picture again! That wahine seems to have a beautiful lower back!

Here's THE Leeteg book to get (hard to find):

Bigbro,
My folks who passed away 10 years ago, had a paper napkin boxed set of that 'people are no damn good' nebish, and a bunch of other cartoons with sayings like that. They had enamel ashtrays with that guy and his sayings on them. I'll try to find them (packed away) and post some pics.

Q

Another great source of Leeteg's life is recounted in Michener's epic book "Rascals in Paradise". It's fairly easy to find and has an entertaining account of Leeteg's wild/tragic/humorous life. The book is also a tremendous historical resource that appears to be well researched and is replete with horrific tales of explorers, pirates and scoundrels in the South Pacific.

Here is an article from Barricuda Magazine with some interesting tibits on Edgar Leeteg.

http://www.barracudamagazine.com/leeteg.htm

DC

T

On 2009-03-24 01:42, Zeta wrote:
I wish!

On 2007-06-16 01:32, TabooDan wrote:
The rarely seen Leeteg velvet painting tucked away in the Menehune Room. This one is also hard to see because it is recessed in the wall and the bulbs that give it a light glow have been burnt out for quite some time. This room is also one of the rooms that is only open for special events. Nows your chance!!

TabooDan, please upload the picture again! That wahine seems to have a beautiful lower back!

Okay, here it is!! Enjoy!

I will go to the original thread of the Waldorf and fix those pictures as well.
Mahalo, TabooDan

M

On 2009-03-24 00:38, Zeta wrote:
Nude blond woman

:o

I know where the original painting is (much larger than most Leeteg's), and the subject is still alive and well, living here in Honolulu.

Just my 2 cents, but I think Leeteg was one of the greatest American artists ever. I hope someday to own an original, and actually the prices for one are still fairly reasonable.

M

He used the best medium - velvet, the best subjects - polynesia and babes, had one of the best abilities and styles, which deffinitely equals (...at least one of) the best artist in American history.

I think they are a bargain also. As much as I like Shag's stuff, you could probably buy a couple of original Leeteg's for less than a Shag painting. Apples and oranges, but I would rather have something vintage.

I have an original Leeteg painting, not sure just what the real name for it is. We just called it the "naked lady" which really doesn't narrow it down with a Leeteg. I will see about getting a picture of it. It was originally my Grandmothers and I know it's at least 47 (or more?) years old.

K

I know where the original painting is (much larger than most Leeteg's), and the subject is still alive and well, living here in Honolulu.

Msteeln - you must be referring to the velvet at Lai Fong, of which you've written previously. Tell us more - who is the lady? If you'd rather not say who she is, then what's her story? Did she actually pose for Leeteg? Does she have any memories of that experience?

Z
Zeta posted on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 11:06 PM

M

On 2009-03-27 02:53, Koolau wrote:

Msteeln - you must be referring to the velvet at Lai Fong, of which you've written previously. Tell us more - who is the lady? If you'd rather not say who she is, then what's her story? Did she actually pose for Leeteg? Does she have any memories of that experience?
About all I can answer at this point is, yes, it's just sitting on the floor(!?!) at Lai Fong, and she did pose for the painting.
I'm remiss in getting further info on the matter, but have been hoping to do so and will expound on it's origin and subject when I can. I'd love to convince the owners to revamp the whole store into something even more special than it currently is, with the Leeteg as one of many centerpieces, and it's already long been the coolest and unsung spot in all of old Honolulu and Chinatown.

D

I have one of two Edgar Leeteg paintings that were given to my father in 1978. A 24" X 34" picture of a polynesian woman with a fishing net. It seems that this painting is named "Hukilau Girl" from the information I have seen. I am looking for more information about it.

D

I have this Leeteg painting that was given to my father in Hawaii in 1978 for his service. I am trying to find out more about this painting

O

Shag has even done his own tribute to Leeteg.

Some old photos of Leeteg paintings from the Bob Brooks Seven Seas restaurant in Hollywood.

Also a Leeteg portrait of Bob Brooks from Tiki Shakers postcard.

And the Leeteg from Don the Beachcomber's collection that was used on a menu cover.

DC

This one is at Billy's at the Beach in Newport Beach.

The Leeteg Tahia #2, for sale on ebay.

Came from the Davis gallery.

DC

8T

I currently have this on eBay but I wanted to add the photo here before it sells.
This one hadn't already been part of the thread.

1

On 2011-01-07 19:39, RevBambooBen wrote:
This one is at Billy's at the Beach in Newport Beach.

Not any more .It has been removed and replaced with a plasma TV.
Billy sold the restaurant to Fletcher Jones Jr. and removed his Leeteg and tiki mugs
from the restaurant .

1

This original recently offered on ebay for a ridiculous price @$10,000


Barney Davis authorized authentic copy

O

I'm not so sure that the blue version is an original. If it's the one I think, it came up on eBay about a year and a half ago with some better photos. I'm not an expert but I saw some minor accent colors in the eyes and other places that a) weren't in the palette I'm familiar with after seeing the many photos in Leeteg of Tahiti b)didn't fit with his style by adding an extra color in such a small amount. Look at the yellow beads mixed in with the white. Not to mention that the painting just doesn't look right. The right wrist is funky.

I emailed the seller, thinking they just didn't know themselves, and explained the problems I thought the painting had and that it might be a copy. They stopped listing it after that. I guess it popped up again later.

From Leeteg of Tahiti: Paintings from the Villa Velour

[ Edited by: Okolehao 2011-01-11 20:32 ]

[ Edited by: Okolehao 2011-01-11 20:33 ]

On 2011-01-11 15:23, 1961surf wrote:

On 2011-01-07 19:39, RevBambooBen wrote:
This one is at Billy's at the Beach in Newport Beach.

Not any more .It has been removed and replaced with a plasma TV.
Billy sold the restaurant to Fletcher Jones Jr. and removed his Leeteg and tiki mugs
from the restaurant .

When did that happen?

My mistake Ben.They took it out of the plexiglass cover that was above the bar it was
in and put in the back of the restaurant above a booth in a new frame which is what
your pic shows .I noticed they took out the display of tiki mugs Billy had in there,
and put some new crappy looking wall paper in .I also noticed they stained the bamboo
thru out the entire place dark brown , which does not look as good either.Buzzy's two
piece tiki looks great in there covering up that floor to ceiling pipe that was there .
Oh well the Mai Tais are still good at happy hour for $6.00 .

[ Edited by: 1961surf 2011-01-15 10:10 ]

Got this old sepia mezotint photo of a Leeteg recently.
Photo was luckily found within the DJ flap of Hubert Sieben's 1965 TAHITI book.
This work is not pictured in any of Leeteg's books.
Would love to see the original.

T
TikiG posted on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 5:18 PM

Nice find, Jason - very similar to Leeteg's "Joie de Vivre" - could this be his favorite model, Jacquie?

Another great painting/image to research, huh?

Thanks for posting. G

LT

Wow - that's beautiful.

Z
Zeta posted on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 5:38 PM

Double Wow! She looks just like my girlfriend!
I... like... BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE...

P
phinz posted on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 3:33 PM

She's amazing.

On 2011-03-01 17:18, TikiG wrote:
Nice find, Jason - very similar to Leeteg's "Joie de Vivre" - could this be his favorite model, Jacquie?

Another great painting/image to research, huh?

Thanks for posting. G

Right on Greg! looks like it could be the pose before or after "Joie de Vivre". Not sure if it is
Jacqueline though. Some of his paintings are easier to tell if it is her or not.

Just found this recently. Same pose and all but definitely a different version than my photo.

T
TikiG posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 2:01 PM

Nice!!

G

Original/Classic Leeteg

Just took this out of the mothballs.

My dad picked this up sometime in the late 50's, early 60's while globetrotting with the Navy.

Very sure its original. What is the best way to sell an item like this?

Cheers,

Son of D. Foster, Seabee

On 2011-01-11 15:33, 1961surf wrote:

The fingers look like they were painted by a retard.
(not that there's anything wrong with that!)

O

On 2011-04-11 17:56, gofoster wrote:
Original/Classic Leeteg

Just took this out of the mothballs.

My dad picked this up sometime in the late 50's, early 60's while globetrotting with the Navy.

Very sure its original. What is the best way to sell an item like this?

Cheers,

Son of D. Foster, Seabee

I have a feeling it’s not an authentic Leeteg. It isn't of his quality and to have it loose and not mounted would be very unlikely. His velvets were sold out of galleries already framed and his paintings weren’t cheap. Probably the best thing to do would be to frame it yourself and sell it on eBay under the Black Velvet Paintings category.

M

If that's a Leeteg, then so am I.

I saw this old Leeteg brochure from the Davis Gallery.

The line up of paintings to choose from.

Only $37 for a reproduction!

DC

T

Got two Leeteg tahiti copies over the weekend will post pitures soon.

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