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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lee Burr, Lee Reynolds, Lee Burr Reynolds, Vanguard...And The Ubiquitous "What's It Worth". Status: Open For Debate.


This is my second run in with this very interesting wrinkle in the fabric of Vintage Modernism. A friend of ours had a "Vanguard" acrylic painting that they found in a closet of their home just after closing and moving in. It was not their style and thought I might like to have it.

I didn't think it would quite fit my personal taste but it was in the right vein. I told them I'd sell it

for them. And sell it I did! The thing is, I didn't really know if it was worth anything more than for

it's general aesthetic beauty as a decorative painting. Who was "Vanguard" and is his work

valuable? Ya gotta love this day and age. This is the kind of information you can now get on

your phone nearly instantly while at the Goodwill by just poking around on a touch screen! So

very Star Trek!


Well, turns out that Vanguard is the studio where Lee Burr made paintings....hundreds...of

perhaps...Thousands...of paintings. Why would anybody sign a painting Vanguard if that was

the studio name? Dunno for sure but since the actual painter (note: not artist) wasn't going to

sign his or her name...well, what difference does it make What name is on it? "The actual

painter (note: not artist) wasn't going to sign his or her name
"? Right. Even the paintings with

the name Lee Burr or Lee Reynolds were not painted by Mr. Lee Burr Reynolds (except for a

very few me thinks...and we are not likely to stumble upon them at the thrift store so put your

$$$$ dreams away)
but by the staff of painters (Ok...who may be very fine artists but aren't

proving it by just churning out copy after copy of the same thing as prescribed by



So really, even when you find a genuine painting by Lee Burr, Lee Reynolds, Reynolds or

Vanguard (maybe even more Nom De Plumes) you still just have a mass produced piece of art.

Sucks right? No. It doesn't. It just means it's not gonna finance your retirement. Generally, by

what I've seen, the most one of these paintings might fetch (like in a shop) is about a couple

hundred...and that would be a stretch. I'd never pay that much. The thing is, these painting and

prints are only appreciated by a small percentage (somewhat kitschy art lovers) of a small

percentage (vintage modernists) of the general population (regular folks). The demand is not

great, but just enough to keep a good number of these out of the landfill and on the walls of

mid century homes and shops.


This particular piece is just a print (a print of a mass produced painting...that's just too funny)

and has a few small defects from going through the Thrift Store donation process. Since it's a

print it'll be easy to fix the little spots that are lacking color. Actually they can be left as is since

it's difficult to even tell that the spots of white aren't there on purpose! I'll leave it up to the next

lucky owner of this print to fix or leave as is. So yeah, this is available. I'll have it on my ad(s)

soon. If anybody locally would like to snatch it up leave a note here or contact me via my

craigslist ad.


  1. "Print of a mass produced painting"... that is hysterical. It almost sounds like a band name...they could be POMPP for short.

    Anyways, I have seen similar paintings thrifting nice to know someone recuses them. While it isn't my taste I can see it working in a room with the right colors.

  2. i own a painting of lee reynolds and it's a beutiful painting, it even sign by him! Can it be worth something?

    1. Hi Karels. Is your painting a painting OF Lee Reynolds or BY Lee Reynolds. I've never seen a painting of Lee so I'm going to answer assuming it's a painting by L. R. If it is a real painting and not a print it was likely painted buy a studio artist and not Lee Reynolds.It's worth basically whatever someone will pay for it. I'd ask (here in St.Louis) about $75 to $125 depending on conditipn and subject. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is actually signed by Lee Reynolds...well that is a different story all together and I really wouldn't have any idea what that would be worth!

    2. i just ran across a very large painting in a similar style. its signed "chanel". i'm sure its just a coincidence, but its fun to dream.

  3. My husband and I just purchased a very large (approx. 48 x 48 )canvass print of a lighthouse (bold yellows and bright colors) signed "Lee Reynolds". There is a number "646" on the canvas and the wooden frame that it is stretched on. There is not any stamp from Vanguard. It came from a sale of a an elderly woman's home and she was a collector of fine arts and antiques. I would love to know the potential value - either original or student done.

    1. Hi Tammy123. Please see my answer to Karels above and read the text of the posting. There's not much info out there on the value of a painting that was done by Lee Reynolds but it's a moot point unless you have some way to prove yours was. I don't think a signature in this case is enough.

    2. I have one of these same paintings...same number, etc. I am trying to sell on Ebay for a friend...prices range from $400-$1500 but since I am a dealer, I would guess that if you got $300 for it that would be a good price. I am not expecting to get even that much

  4. Lee Burr is my grandmother's cousin, what does that make me to him?

  5. hi:)i was just cleanong my apt out and am unsure what to do with my Lee Reynolds oil painting..it is signed by him and beautiful.could it be worth anything?

    1. varies. most sold in the 60-80s at stores like JC Penny and such. some of the 40x50 pieces were selling around 300 or so. The most I would pay for a Lee Reynolds is around 50-150, and have picked them up as low as 20.00. for the early pieces signed Lee Burr, slightly higher. Now if you ever come across one signed Lee Reynolds Burr, which is very unlikely as those are privately commissioned pieces. More info in a post of mine a few more down.

  6. Hi I also have a beautiful painting of a lighthouse, size a 4x5/48x60 signed Lee Reynolds with the number 646 PS. Wow this is strange, however I would like to know if it is worth anything. I forward my pictures of the painting and per his son my painting was suppose to be hanging in one of the twin towers. I sure would like more information if anyone has information.


    1. Retail at a gallery.... you might see them for sale as low as 200-300, and the less knowledgeable galleries I have seen priced over a 1000.00. Should have seen their mouths dropped when I offended 100 cash!!:!! A true authentic Lee Reynolds will be signed Lee Reynolds Burr. The lighthouse is a nice piece. If you like it, keep it ;-)


    1. How much did you pay for it back then? did you pic it up at JCPennys?

  8. If you ever wonder if you actually have a Lee Reynolds Burr..... You more than likely do not. Less than a dozen have been authenticated to be from his hand. However in the 90's, Lee made it very clear to avoid confusion, he now signs his art Lee Reynolds Burr. And your still not likely to ever own one of those as those pieces are privately commissioned. However his nephew Chris Burr has been seeking out Lee Reynolds Or Lee Burr pieces, as some by his own hand were not destroyed during the mass production process. Almost a dozen have been identified so far

  9. Hello,

    I was wondering if you might lend your expertise to me on this painting I have. It would be greatly appreciated :0)

    This is signed, Reynolds. It appears to be a Lee Reynolds Burr piece. What is different about this piece is; It is signed Reynolds in the left hand corner and at the bottom of this painting is a capitol letter "L" followed by two smaller letters that appear to be two lower case e's. Might you be able to enlighten me on this particular piece?

    I could forward a picture of it if that would help you.

    Thank you for your time,


    Christy Spargo

  10. Reynolds is in the upper left hand corner and the "L" ee at the center bottom of the painting

  11. I have done a little research on the studio Reynolds founded, (Art masters Studios of San Fernando California). My question is: I have an Evans and it is signed, labeled, and numbered from that studio. What did I find and is there anyone out there that may know more about the artist?

  12. what I am more curious about is the studio artists which did the paintings. I assume each number on the back refers to the actual painter. Its there a roster anywhere? I would be very curious to hear the stories of artists who worked for Vangard as well. It must have been bitter sweet job. (I Always picture the artists in Xanadu who painted large versions of album covers.

    Also,I am curious is because all the styles vary so much, and I LOVE the painting I have of people flying kites in a field. I don't care about monetary value as I would not sell it anyway, I just love this painting and am curious as to whether the studio artists ever went on to produce similar works. I am an artist myself and the brushwork in this painting is really cool. I think it would be fascinating to hear the studio artists stories from obscurity.

  13. I have a painting signed Lee Reynolds of a gorgeous old plane, and we've always been curious to know its value, if any. I'd never get rid of it, its gorgeous, but just to know would be nice ! Is there anywhere online where you can see actual original prints done by Lee Reynolds ? I'd love to have a look ...


  14. http://www.artworknetwork.com/leeburr/?page_id=about

  15. Oy! I also have a large `4'x5' painting signed Lee Reynolds. it is of a path through the woods,and is very striking!! from what you've said, it does sound like it was a studio artist's work. But it apparently is a painting as opposed to a print. nice to find information on it,thanks. ps keeping it,too!

  16. I have 4 lamps that were "painted" and signed by lee reynolds, anyone know anything about things he painted, possibly this was a gift he had given to the woman that owned the lamps, any suggested values

  17. I have an oil painting of Lee Reynolds. It has a number on the back, sc or SL2943. The signature is in all caps and signed on the lower right corner. The price was $169 paid in the 60's. Found this at a rummage sale for $25. Can you tell by the number is this is a reproduction?

  18. found a lee reynolds portrait of a water fountain surrounded by large collums,it was also painted on partical board ,what do you think this painting may be worth?

  19. I have a Thomas Lee painting of ocean and waves, acryllic, greens yellow
    Can't find any info on it.
    Any ideas?

    Its 4ft by 6 ft size roughly

  20. I received oil painting from my neighbor who didn't want it. it is a 4'x5' oil on canvas of lilacs in a vase and the paint gives it a kind of 3d look and signed Lee Reynolds in the bottom right corner. the e's run into each other and I was wondering if you may know anything about it.

  21. i have an painting that only says "Reynolds" I´ts a seated geisha painting and i´ts big.

  22. I have a painting that only says "Reynolds" in the right hand corner. It is 41" x 41" and is an ocean sunset scene with seagulls. I have not seen another one like it anywhere in my research. I love it and would not sell but I would like to know its value. Can you help me?

  23. I am very confused about this. I have 2 paintings clones. They are original on wood canvas. They are signed VanGuard. They are oil. Any info about this will be great. I want to know about the capitols in VanGuard. Others apparently are not capitalized in this way. Thank you.

    1. I also have a painting with Van Guard signature more info would help I can't find anything on the internet not even the pic

  24. I have a lee Reynolds painting of the twin towers. Does anyone know the value?

  25. I've read a lot about the different signatures but nothing about the painting that are signed "Reynolds" ONLY... Can you tell me anything about these?

  26. I have a large painting signed Lee Reynolds which I am not looking to sell. It came with a house I bought and I suspect came from J.C. Penny It has a white sun and a number of sailboats in front of a village which looks a bit Mediterranean. Are there a lot of pictures like this one?.