Cover Artist

Baker painting

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Jim Brotherton, whose Baker painting is on the cover, wants to document the machines of all major manufacturers.

A newspaper in Iowa, his home state, called him 'The Iron Audubon'--in other words, he is doing to steamers what Audubon did to depict birds. The newspaper said:

'Probably only their giant cousins, the steam locomotives, have engendered a greater romance between man and machine. Among those who knew them, intimately or casually, the steam engine is a lasting symbol of the early agricultural and industrial development of our country.

The world of James Brotherton embraces the farms and fields of the Mississippi Valley in the late 19th and early 20th century. Then, as now, this land reverberated with the great sounds of steam and sweat, gas and grime.

Mr. Brotherton has, for ten years, been documenting and painting the mammoth steam tractors and farm machinery of that era. His watercolors reflect the melancholy and nostalgia of another time. To see his art is to poignantly recall that past.'

Jim operates a sign and painting service on Main Street, Tiffin, Iowa (52340). A native of Iowa City, he served in the Air Force, then studied art at UCLA, University of Mexico, University of Iowa, and Chicago Art Institute.

He did a set of watercolors titled 'Four Seasons,' of which the IMA cover is one. He is expanding this to 12 'The Regions of America' with the aim of 50 watercolors.

'Eventually,' he says, 'I want to document the machines of all major manufacturers in the United States but feel that will require time and money. I feel obliged to undertake such a task because, except for patent and engineer renderings, no one has explored the equipment in an artistic format. It should be done!'

His work is shown in galleries in London, England, Vienna, Austria, Mexico City, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. Prints and printings are owned by private collectors and are in the collections of the Vatican, Rome; Steaming LTD., London; U.S. House of Representatives; University of Iowa Museum of Art; Agricultural Hall of Fame; Amana Corporation, and Bell Telephone Company.

'Gone With the Wind' is the title of the painting on the cover by Jim Brotherton, of Tiffin, Iowa. It is appropriate for the season.

It shows the flywheel side of a 21-75 HP Baker owned by B. Cappon of Woodland, Mich., built probably in 1925 by the company in Swainton, Ohio. Research was done at the Michigan Steam Engine Show in Mason, Mich., and the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1975 and 1976.

For more information on the artist, see article in this issue.