Can you solve the mystery of a Leeds painting found in Texas?

The painting is believed to be of Queen Street in Morley, and the artist lived in East Ardsley
The painting is believed to be of Queen Street in Morley, and the artist lived in East Ardsley

An American musician is trying to find out more about a mysterious painting of a Leeds street scene he discovered at an antique sale in Texas.

Paul Sonnenberg found the artwork, which appears to depict Queen Street in Morley, in his home city of Austin, but cannot identify the painter or trace its trip to the US.

The townscape appears to have been painted in 1987 by an artist who was then living at 91 Main Street in nearby East Ardsley - but their signature is illegible.

The back of the canvas board also features a poem hinting at a tragic backstory:-

“Queen Street was,

The place she lived,

My sister Shirley,

And two kids,

She left [them?] years ago,

When cancer came to claim her,

Now she’s in the great unknown,

Where angels sing,

And pain unknown.”

Mr Sonnenberg was so fascinated by his find that he even wrote a song about the picture, which he believes was inspired by the painter's childhood memories of their sister.

As the scene appears to be from the early 20th century, he thinks the artist may have been elderly in 1987 and will have since passed away, but is hoping a relative or friend who has knowledge of the painting may come forward.

"The signature of the painter (repeated after the poem) has eluded my attempts to decipher it. But I did research the address, and have even tried to access public records to help determine who it is, and whether they have any family remaining who might be interested in the painting, song and story. Given the style of dress, shop sign etc in the painting, I can only assume the painter was elderly when it was created, and is no longer with us," said Mr Sonnenberg.

If you have any information about the artist, email Paul at sonnenberg@mac.com.