Most of Danny Allen’s Art is Now Back with His Family

Danny Allen, watercolor of Bill Whiting, not signed or dated, ca. 1971.

Danny Allen, watercolor of Bill Whiting, unsigned and undated, ca. 1972.

I had a wonderful visit with Dan’s sister, Christine and her husband, Art. We had a very specific agenda–to return almost all of Danny work to the Allen family. I’ve asked to keep three pieces that have a particular sentimental value for me, but I now consider those pieces to be on loan from the Allen family. The piece shown above is currently at the framer. Chris and I discussed trying to put together a retrospective of Dan’s work, but no particular location has been selected. Christine likes to cut mats, so she certainly has her work cut out for her–there are a lot of pieces of art to be matted and framed.

I greatly enjoyed my time with Chris and Art, and I loved getting to walk them from pillar to post showing them the historic sites here in Philadelphia. I only live a couple blocks away from some of the most famous places in early American history.


Danny Allen, India ink on newsprint, 1973.

Danny Allen, India ink on newsprint, 1973.

But back to Dan’s art… One of Dan’s pieces that I’m particularly fond of is a drawing of an Egyptian done in India ink on newsprint. That piece has a hairline tear down the middle, and I’d like to keep it at least until I’ve found a proper paper conservator to repair the damage. It doesn’t show while in the frame, but the tear was discovered when I unframed it to have it photographed for the book. I’m not sure what a conservator will do, but I’m thinking they would most likely add a fine linen backing or something similar to strengthen the brittle old paper. This piece took a very circuitous route to find it’s way back into my hands after a series of different owners. That story is covered in the book.


Danny Allen, unsigned and undated, ca. 1974.

Danny Allen, unsigned and undated, ca. 1974.

The final piece I’m keeping for the time-being is an unfinished acrylic of a young man kissing a orchid. I’ve always loved this painting, and have it framed in a lined shadowbox so the painting itself floats as if hovering in midair.

Handing over Dan’s art back to his family is another giant step in healing and moving forward–and long overdue. I believe the final puzzle piece for my own personal bucket list of accomplishments would be a retrospective of Dan’s art. we’ll find a way to make it happen.


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