For decades, Baltimore artist Jacob Glushakow painted and sketched "the melancholy peripheries of urban life," as one critic put it.
He created haunting images of pre-renaissance Baltimore - dilapidated buildings and tattered market stalls from the days before the Inner Harbor became a tourist destination. Many feature rundown buildings in the throes of demolition, or rotting piers in the harbor.
But Glushakow, who died last year at the age of 86, never thought of these scenes as dreary or depressing.
"He looked at it as the natural change and evolution of a place," said Richard Hall, an appraiser and cataloguer for Alex Cooper Auctioneers in Towson "He wasn't recording demolition. He was recording change. It was all part of life, the way he looked at it."
Several dozen of Glushakow's oil paintings and pen and ink drawings of Baltimore will go up for auction this Sunday, as part of a two-day sale conducted by Cooper. The images are the last of three groupings of Glushakow's work slated for sale this fall on behalf of the artist's estate. "After this, there's no more," said auctioneer Joseph Cooper.
The acclaimed artist was born at sea in 1914, the oldest of 11 children. Days before World War I broke out, his parents fled from Russia to the United States on the steamship Brandenburg.
After the family settled in Baltimore, his father worked as a clothing presser and candy maker and also was host of a Jewish-American radio program. His mother kept the East Baltimore home where he was raised, at Eden and Baltimore streets.
Glushakow studied at City College and the Maryland Institute College of Art before enrolling at the Art Students League in New York, which he attended from 1933 to 1936.
Afterward, "Jake" returned to Baltimore and made his living as an artist and art teacher. For many years he taught art at the Jewish Community Center. His work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Phillips Collection in Washington.
Although he painted or sketched many areas of Maryland from the 1930s until his death, Glushakow became best known for scenes of Baltimore neighborhoods undergoing change, such as Reservoir Hill, Fells Point and the area around Lexington Market.
He often focused on tailor shops, dry cleaners and other storefront operations in working-class sections of town. Sometimes he would sketch a doorway, or a vegetable stall, or a junk yard. Together his works define a city in transition - as derelict housing and shops gave way to new structures, and as cars supplanted horse and pedestrian traffic.
He was "a Baltimore original who captured the essence of the city," local artist and writer Bennard Perlman said shortly after Glushakow's death.
The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday at 908 York Road in Towson. Bidders in the two previous sales have shown strong interest in Glushakow's work, with some paintings selling for 10 times the pre-auction estimate.
Cooper attributes the interest in part to the fact that many of the buyers either were taught by Glushakow or had some personal connection with the buildings he depicted. But more than anything, Cooper said, "he was a good artist."
Baltimore architect Phillip Worrall and Baltimore County Councilman T. Bryan McIntire received an Innovative Future Award this fall from the 1000 Friends of Maryland for their role in decreasing the number of homes planned for a 7,000-acre parcel in the county.
The project that drew recognition involved the down-zoning of land from the RC-4 category, which allows one dwelling per every 1.5 acres, to RC-2 status, which allows one dwelling for every 50 acres.
1000 Friends of Maryland is a statewide organization that promotes revitalization of established communities and protection of the natural environment as an alternative to sprawl. McIntire is a Republican who represents Owings Mills and other parts of northern Baltimore County. Worrall is the president of GWWO Inc., a full-service firm that specializes in designing cultural and educational buildings, with an emphasis on "sustainable" and "green" design.
Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, architects and pioneers of the "new urbanist" design movement that has produced such neo-traditional communities as Seaside in Florida and Kentlands in Montgomery County, will receive the Vincent J. Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in a public ceremony Dec. 16.
Established to honor Scully, a Yale professor and author, the $25,000 prize recognizes exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, landscape architecture, preservation, planning and urban design. For the past 20 years, Duany and Plater-Zyberk, who are married, have spearheaded the planning movement known as new urbanism, which promotes development patterns that minimize sprawl and revive traditional ideas of livable communities.