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Art sale to benefit historical society

Noted Thiensville artist's work is featured

An unnamed piece of Raine’s demonstrates his stenciling technique.

An unnamed piece of Raine’s demonstrates his stenciling technique.

Nov. 12, 2013

Thiensville — An upcoming art sale Friday and Saturday will both celebrate deceased Thiensville artist Earle Raine and raise money for the Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society.

The Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society is a recent recipient of a matching grant from the Wisconsin State Historical Society, President Bob Blazich said, and auction company owner Tarq Durante will donate 50 percent of the sale proceeds to help the historical society raise funds for the grant.

On Friday, the nearly 100 available works of Earle Raine will be 50 percent off, or best offer, at Cedarburg Auction and Estate Sales, 227 North Main Street. On Saturday the works will be marked down further, an auctioneer said.

According to an MTHS statement, Raine was a nationally acclaimed artist who graduated from the former Layton School of Art in Milwaukee in the 1930s. He was a longtime Thiensville resident and died in 2005 at the age of 94.

Sale prices range from $10 to more than $700. Works include World War II paintings from Raine's time in France, artwork for Collier's magazine covers and cartoons, as well as sketches and paintings of people, area buildings and landscapes.

Longtime Thiensville resident, artist, and former teacher Allen Caucutt said Raine's work is an excellent example of popular styles dating from the late 1920s to early 1950s. Caucutt said Raine was a master of the contour drawing method, a practice in which artists kept their eyes on their subjects and their hands moved unseen across the canvas.

Raine also innovated an early method of stenciling which mixed painting and graphic art processes, Caucutt said. In a number of works, the same figure is multiplied several times over by stencil but shaded differently, a technique which suggests the inherent similarities and differences in all of us.

"He was a very quiet, soft spoken artist," Caucutt said. "He didn't try to push his art or ideas about art. He thought his art would speak for itself, and anyone who knew anything about art would pick up on that."

In the years before his death, Raine had been the head of the Ozaukee County Art Show, one of the oldest county shows in Wisconsin, and had a reputedly good eye for talent in young and upcoming artists.

Caucutt describes him as a contemplative and assured artist, one who would ponder a scene at length before beginning to work. Unlike many artists, he would make his strokes with singular confidence, very rarely revising or restarting a piece.

"An eraser was not his friend," Caucutt said. "He didn't have one. A rubber crutch was what he called it."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Earle Raine art sale

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Cedarburg Auction and Estate Sales, 227 North Main St.

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