Danica and I hoped to recognize the street William Kurelek painted in 1972. Titled “Balsam Avenue after a Heavy Snowfall”, it fetched $240,000 at auction in 2008.
We found the house easily enough. 175 Balsam Avenue is marked with a front yard plaque.
The house, like the rest in the area, has been altered and renovated extensively. Trees are 45 years older, or gone altogether, and telephone poles have been replaced. The changes, plus the snow covering in the painting, make recognizable landmarks difficult to identify.
What looks like a red brick schoolhouse in Kurelek’s picture is nowhere in evidence. A newer school sits on Balsam to the south of Kurelek’s old house. We guess that the old one was knocked down and replaced.
Next: the view looking north, also from in front of the house. Kurlek probably referred to his photos for details, but rearranged perspectives and composition to compress and strengthen his image.
The view looking north is more uphill, like the painting, but this shot was taken across the street from the house, to show the curve. It would have been barely visible from Kurelek’s side.