Friday, May 18, 2012

Collecting Charles Bosseron Chambers, aka the Norman Rockwell of Catholic art

By Bruce Poston
"Here Am I for Thou Didst Call Me" by artist Charles Bosseron Chambers.
PENNSYLVANIA - Gregory Lynch, 61, of Exeter Township had a physician father who was an inspiration in life and also in the realm of religious art in the early 20th century. A model for the artist Charles Bosseron Chambers, known as the Norman Rockwell of Catholic art, the handsome Thomas F. Lynch (1911-1979) posed for a series of portraits in the the late 1920s and early 1930s encouraging young men to enter the priesthood. These days, Chambers' religious paintings have become highly collectible, his most famous being Jesus portrayed as a young boy in "Light of the World." [link]

The works of art, mostly charcoal drawings but some paintings, were often hung in Catholic homes and institutions in the 1930s, '40s and '50s and quickly became popular. Over the years, the Lynches collected other unframed prints in the series and either had them framed or gave them as gifts to nieces and nephews. Michelle said she has seen some of Chambers' original charcoal drawings featuring her husband's father listed at auction with opening bids of $500 and estimated values at between $1,800 and $2,800. "Greg and I were having a discussion regarding all the various items available for sale on eBay," Michelle said. "I half jokingly said to him, 'I could buy anything on eBay; I bet I could even buy your dad's picture on eBay.'