Mystery solved: Identity of artist stumped Niles art group members

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, January 20, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Arlene Brown solved the mystery. She was able to fill in the details about the painting that Costek and Lorraine Dembinski own and have been wondering about for the past few years.
Brown, who was born and raised here in the Niles area, was able to tell the Dembinskis and Patti Rose, who is president of the Niles Art Association, quite a bit about the painting.
Brown lived in the 1300 block of Wayne when she was a child and the Sim &Sons painting business was directly behind her house. Her mother passed away when she was only six years old and her father, who worked for the railroad at the time, was gone quite often.
When her father was gone, Brown would go and stay at Samuel and Grace Simpson's house. She even called Grace "Grandma," seeing as how she had no grandparents of her own.
The Simpsons had two sons, Elden and Lyman. Lyman was an artist in both the commercial sense, such a lettering on business signs, as well as the type of things you would see in museums.
Brown said Lyman Simpson painted the mystery picture, which was featured in a story in the Niles Daily Star recently. From what she knows, he was one of the best commercial artists in the county at the time it was done.
Brown thinks the painting was created sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s and that Simpson was most likely in his 30s when he painted it.
The painting itself hung in the Simpsons' dining room and Brown remembers seeing it when she would go over to the Simpsons' home.
Rose, president of the Niles Art Association, said the painting will remain on display in the gallery which is located Fisher Innovative Technology building, 306 E. Main St., for a few weeks, before her mother takes it home and puts it back on the wall.
For her efforts Brown along with Ray Connors of Niles, who called in shortly after Brown did with her information, with his own bits and pieces of information, will receive a one-year, $25 membership to the Niles Art Association.