The Estate Of John Douglas Patrick


John Douglas Patrick

John Douglas Patrick ( 1863-1937) was born in Pennsylvania. His family moved to the Lenexa area when he was young. Patrick was proficient at creating artwork at a young age. Because of this his family sent him to Paris, France to study and create art. He took to that endeavor with gusto.

During his time in France, Patrick was prolific in creating drawings and paintings. His drawings are focused on figures and studies. His paintings feature portraits, landscapes and images from his daily life.

In the 1880s Patrick was a member of the French Salon. In 1889 his work “Brutality” earned a Gold Medal at the Salon. Not only was his work “On The Line” but was recognized as the best. He was the first American to earn that award.

In the 1890s Patrick came back to the United States. He spent some time teaching in St. Louis. Patrick had works featured in the Kansas Pavilion in the 1894 World’s Fair.  Patrick came back to Lenexa and the Kansas City area around 1900. 

Patrick taught at a school that he founded for a couple of years and was then hired on as one of the original instructors at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). Patrick retired from teaching in 1936. KCAI produced a retrospective of his work in December of 1936 and John passed away in January of 1937.

Patrick was a prolific creator of artwork his entire life, sketching hundreds of drawings and painting hundreds of images. His work was such an integral part of himself he chose to keep his creations rather than offer them for sale.

When Patrick died in 1937 his daughter kept the artwork in one bedroom of her two bedroom apartment. The artwork was more important than a second bed in the house.

When Patrick’s daughter passed the collection down to her daughter the paintings and drawings were stored in a basement. That is where the majority of his works have been for decades.

John Douglas Patrick’s most important work is “Brutality” and this work can be seen at any time in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in Kansas City. It is an impressive and powerful work. Not just in quality, but in size and message. Through this work Patrick gave an early voice to the idea that animals deserved to be treated with respect and civility.

“Brutality” was gifted to the Nelson-Atkins in 1996. In recognition and appreciation of this gift, the Nelson produced a showing of his works. 

We are extremely honored, humbled, and excited to bring this historic collection to you. In the auctions that follow you will experience the quality, quantity, breadth and depth of his work. You will have the opportunity to acquire works that were produced in Paris, France; Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City; Lenexa, Kansas; and many other places. 

The variety of works include quick sketches in graphite, completed drawings, studies for paintings (including study work for Brutality), and hundreds of paintings done in oils. Some works are spectacular and ready to hang in your home, gallery or museum. Other works are in states best described as estate fresh.

Other highlights from the collection include hundreds of pieces of correspondence from patrons, friends, institutions, and others. His personal collection of brushes, pallets and items used to create his art. The traveling trunk he used when he traveled to and from France and various items from throughout his career. 

As we continue to organize and catalog thousands of items from this collection we will continue to share items of interest and wonder.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire items created by, and used by an American Master who has long gone unnoticed. 


Here’s a small sampling of the dozens of paintings and drawings from the estate of artist John Douglas Patrick. We had several paintings cleaned and restored by Peggy Van Witt of Van Witt Fine Art Conservation, and you can see the incredible difference between the before and after photos.