Title of Work
Date of Work
Oil on canvas
University Art Collections: Art & Design Study Collection
Stored: Room 211, W01
UND Art Collections Repository
Born in Iowa, Ashford grew up in South Dakota before studying art in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. In 1907, he moved to Paris, France, where he painted until the outbreak of World War I. Returning to the United States in 1914, his last years were spent in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Ashford's painting, which was executed in Paris, appears to be a literary subject, perhaps related to Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Prior to 2004, when the painting was removed from public display at UND, it suffered from both careless neglect and intentional abuse while hanging in a public hallway on campus. Still in serious need of restoration, it serves as the UND Art Collections unofficial "poster child" for artworks needing conservation.