NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 27, 2022) – A New Philadelphia man is asking the public for help in jumpstarting efforts to locate the artwork of his late great-grandfather.
Andrew Kamban estimates his great-grandfather, Carlisle “John” Brobst, sold hundreds of pieces of his work to supplement income during the Great Depression in the 1930s in the Dover, Strasburg, and Massillon areas.
“When times got hard, he went door to door trading pieces for coal or a little bit of money,” said Kamban.
He says Brobst used everything from ink to oil paints and acrylics. The works featured landscapes, still life, and different subjects.
“He was really diverse in his artwork. Some of them are a little bit more surreal, some of them are more realistic.” Kamban said.
The family is currently in possession of approximately 30 pieces of Brobst’s artwork in all. Kamban says his grandmother and her sister started searching flea markets and auctions in the 1950s and 1960s. But it’s been about 15 years since the last one was discovered, in the Strasburg area.
“At first it seems like they were able to find quite a few and then over time it’s just been harder to find any,” he said.
Kamban says the easiest way to recognize the artwork is by the signature ‘C.J. Brobst.’
“A few pieces I think would be scattered throughout homes in the community, people just not realizing,” he said.
Kamban has contacted different news agencies about running stories on his family’s search, but he says nothing new has come of it so far.
Kamban says he and his family members are interested in either purchasing or just seeing any of these paintings.
He can be reached at 330-407-3043.