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Carlo of Hollywood

***This page only pertains to Carlo of Hollywood watercolors. If you have questions about Carlo oil paintings I am not really an authority on those pieces. Mel and I only collect the watercolor paintings.***

Mel and I are such big fans of Carlo of Hollywood watercolors that we wanted to start a running gallery to showcase our ~80 Carlo of Hollywood paintings. We gravitate towards the forced perspective/angular framed watercolor pieces. The styling of the frames and the subject matter make these pieces of art scream “1950′s”. Carlo also used other mediums like oils, velvet etc. that tend to be less desirable and valuable. Here are some things that I have been told about or found through research about Carlo of Hollywood and his artwork (though not verifiable, this artist remains an enigma):

• It has been rumored that Carlo was a set designer on the “I Love Lucy Show”.

• These pieces were like “move in” gifts from the home builders for new tract homes in the 1950′s.

• These pieces were also sold through larger department stores.

• Carlo sketched the the pieces in pencil and had students paint the watercolor portion of the art. A good way to verify authenticity of your watercolor by Carlo  is to look for visible pencil sketching.

There appears to be very little information on Carlo of Hollywood. If you know anymore about him and his artwork please feel free to share with the rest of us.

Though the artwork is really cool, in my opinion the best part of these pieces are the frames. These frames have a unique wood grain to the surface. This was achieved through media blasting which helped define the wood grain. The frames came in a few different finishes that I have seen such as bare wood, white washed, and painted.

Additional info on Carlo found online:

Little is known about Carlo, other than his ubiquitous signature on many 1950s decorative art. He landed some major gigs, including art already in tract houses like those in the original Levitown , NY . The studio, known as ARTCRAFT was located in the Lincoln Heights Station area of Los Angeles . Considered one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA, the region once was graced by large Victorian mansions on the bluffs above the Los Angeles River . By the end of the 1940s, however, many of the neighborhood’s middle class residents began the exodus out of the city, leaving MANY storefronts and warehouses/lofts available for fledgling artists and their companies. ARTCRAFT was such a company when they set up shop in what’s known affectionately as “the hills.” Carlo was a real artist who hired out equally talented artists while he collected incredibly lucrative gigs for his hand-painted, ORIGINAL art. ARTCRAFT did not have the money or techniques to make machine-prints. Instead, each image put out by the company is unique and has the essence of the founder: CARLO OF HOLLYWOOD . My own research on Carlo uncovered the following interesting bit of information for all your retro-mid-1950s art sleuths. He painted as early as the 1950s. Carlo uses many mediums, typically focusing on oils and watercolors. The style and subjects of each medium are usually unique to that medium and differ from the others. His oils are often grand landscapes while his watercolors are typically portraits and action scenes. His art was carried in department stores and included with tract housing.

Some Carlo paintings still have a back sticker from the company:

 “About Our Paintings – Artcraft of Hollywood is fortunate to have under exclusive contract 43 talented young artists who paint by special order only the beautiful originals our art directors create. Each and every artist has his own technique and style which therefore prohibits the finding of another painting exactly such as this. It is our aim to turn art “yearners” into art owners by offering sensibly priced Originals by American Artists. We hope you feel the same emotion when looking at this beautiful painting as the artist felt when he was painting it. Judge its value by how much feeling you get out of it and how strong the feeling registers. –Artcraft of Hollywood

Source: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/carlo-hollywood-ballerina-134221539

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This is an original tag that would have been on a Carlo of Hollywood piece. This is the rarest of the rare. Most of these tags were discarded.

Our Collection

tropical
XL Carlo of Hollywood Tiger Watercolor

XL Carlo of Hollywood Tiger Watercolor 

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Underwater Trio
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Carlo of Hollywood Bongo Player & Dancer
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ballerina
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western
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bull
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Carlo of Hollywood Bullfighter
misc
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79 responses »

  1. The paintings are quite beautiful. I just inherited one from a 96 year old woman. It is different from any I have seen and also quite large. It is 58 1/2″ across the top, 27 ” down each side and 24 1/2 inches on the bottom. It is very lovely. Rather Egyptian, I think, with a man and woman dancing and a bongo sitting and playing. It has an anchor with a fish net hanging where they hang their fish. Sorry, Hard to explain. I can send pictures if you would like to see it.

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  2. Hi,
    I have an original Carlo painting, I think is Venezia, is really nice 48×60″ oil paint on canvas

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  3. I just got an oil painting by artcraft of Hollywood and was trying to find information on it. I couldn’t find anything on it, I was wondering if you would be able to help me out. It is a large piece of a Spanish conquistador. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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  4. My husband has a carlos, it is a painting of the desert. I personally think it is ugly. I wonder what it’s value is?

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  5. I have an “Original by Carlo” of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Ca. It has the original sticker on the back, very very good condition. Turquise oil on canvas with white horses. We love it. It measures 49 W X 36.5 high. I know that someone was trying to start a website to showcase any of his art, as he is becoming collectible. Seems no one is really sure how many pieces he painted and what they are. I find his art very unique.

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  6. I have a Carlo piece and would like to try and get some info on it

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  7. Kathy Wegmann

    I have two Carlo pieces that I would like some info on.

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  8. Pingback: Carlo Of Hollywood “Copy Cat” |

  9. Have you ever seen the film, I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941 – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033740/?ref_=sr_1 )? I saw it this weekend, and I could have sworn I saw a couple of Carlo’s in the set design. One in particular was a two-panel room divider that featured a large cat (like a leopard or jaguar) about to pounce on an elk or deer amongst some large leaves or foliage. The divider seemed to stand about 6-ft tall. I immediately thought of you because you recently posted that painting of the 2 large cats.

    There were a couple of other possible paintings on the walls that may have been Carlo’s work as well. The room divider was particularly impressive.

    Unfortunately, I was watching a 16mm with a group of 20 other classic film lovers; otherwise, I would have paused it and taken photos of the screen to post for you to see.

    Seek out the movie if you haven’t seen it. Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis star in this early Film Noir flick. We really enjoyed it – it was especially good to see Betty Grable in a more gritty role than she normally plays.

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    • No, I have not. I have heard of this film because I watch TCM all the time and because I am a HUGE fan of Film Noir. I will see if I can get a copy of it. I am excited to see that room divider you mentioned. When ever I watch these old movies I keep my eye peeled for home decor. I have seen a lot of killer bamboo furniture, Fredrick Weinberg pieces and other cool items in mid century movies. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Hi!! i a painting framed looks just like a Carlo. its signed CROWE any ideas??? its beautiful! same angular frame. actually when i spotted it at the flea market i ran up to it thinking it was a carlo but not… thought you may know! Thanxx

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    • I have heard of that artist before but I dont know anything about him. If I recall he was an artist with Metalcraft the same as Carlo.

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      • Also an artist TONI did oils on some kind of board. I have a large oil on board of flowers in a vase it looks like an early modern but not abstract. It’s definitely a quality painting and has the sticker Artcraft Original by Carlo” of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles CA, but it’s signed TONI

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  11. ARRGG I missed one at a goodwill didnt know there was such a following but I did take a picture

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  12. Woody Cafarelli / Koolsville Kollectibles

    Was wondering if the Carlo watercolors wit the Bongos r still available or are any of the Carlos still available for sale
    Thnx Woody

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  13. Hi, Is there a way to know the paintings done by Carlo??? I have clown signed Carlo but I don’t what medium is used …looks like paper but then you can see texture? Has anyone seen any clowns done by Carlo?
    thanks,
    gini

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  14. Bill…..ans these frames are massive and heavy!

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  15. I found oil painting by Carlo. It is an abstract. It is for sale. 6 ft wide beautiful.

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  16. I have a large painting of a bull without the bullfighter there are numbers on back 1880A & 275VR- & it is signed in front Carlo

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  17. Have a Carlo painting from a relative I’m struggling to identify. It’s a darker colored setting of a sea and shore setting with a solitary figure in a orange hat standing in shallow water. There is one ship out on the water, and another just getting into the water. Down the shoreline there is a stone structure overlooking the sea.

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  18. Hello. My mom has 2 color palm tree paintings by him. Is there anyway to try and see how much they are worth.

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  19. I have an aprox 30x40in abstract oil painting signed carlo that looks like it could be a windmill. Do you have any idea of what its worth? My parents bought it early 60’s for 325.00.

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  24. Hello,
    I am admiring all of your pictures of your amazing home! I am a huge Heywood Wakefield fan and that is how I happened upon your site.
    Thank you for introducing me to Carlo of Hollywood! I especially like the bullfighter watercolors. Do you know where these can be purchased? Do you know if prints/copies have been made from these watercolors? I’m ignorant about much of art, so I don’t even know if prints can be made. Thank you in advance for your response. And thank you for sharing your beautiful collection with us!

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    • Hi Jody,

      Thanks for your comment! Most of our collection is from private collectors and the antique mall where we are dealers (Midway Antique Mall). Yes, prints were made, ours are all original. We sold the few prints we had. Try to stick with the originals. I’ll let you know if we come across any duplicates that we already have in our collection.

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  25. Would you happen to have a list (partial or otherwise) of the other artists who painted at the Artcraft Studio?

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  26. hi, i buy an oil paint and the person who sold me the painting told me that was original, how can i know is that is a true fact?

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  27. I just purchased the Carlo of Holywood watercolor painting of a tropical sunset with palm trees overlooking water. I wanted to know if you’ve seen it before or know anything else about it. It’s in a forced perspective frame. The dimensions are: framed 52”W x 33.5”H x 3”D; painting 43.5”W x 27”H I can send you a photo if you tell me how.

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    • Hi Claudia. Yes, we are familiar with this piece. It looks like you have the large piece to the trio. Here is a link to a pair we recently sold that sounds like what you are describing. You’ll see them at the top of the picture.

      We have a duplicate pair we plan to sell as well. Let us know if you are interested in the pair to complete your trio and we can send pics/price.

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  28. hey thanks for showing all these they rule ! i just bought a Carlo from the antique mall on san carlos and i was wondering if you could give me a round about estimate of its value? thanks in advance -NIck

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  29. Pingback: Carlo of Hollywood Stallion Partner | Hepcat Restorations

  30. I think I have Carlo paintings. These are as tall as me. Please email me, so I can show you photos. I like to know about these paintings.

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  31. I have one of Carlo’s water colors and I love it. Parents bought it before I was born. Always hung in our living room. It was my dads favorite piece of art. Once he passed away, all I requested was his painting. So many memories attached to it. Frame is unique part of it.

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  32. I have a really amazing original Carlo on my wall. Email me and I will send you a picture of it. If you admire this mans talent then you want to see this one. It survived a house fire 🔥

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  33. hello found your site very interesting. i currently just found 3 Carlo of holly wood paintings at my local goodwill 2 are signed toni and one by someone else dont have them in front of me at the moment. all three measure approx 50″ long by 18″ tall .. of south west theme abstractish style… bought all three for $10 all together…. great find….

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    • I do not know much about them as seems many do not…. not sure of possible value of the 3 sofa paintings… but each do have the carlo of Hollywood label on the them….they could use a bit of cleaning on frames and such…. but the images to me were very interesting.

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  34. i have two carlo ballerina watercolors that compliment each other. what do you think they are worth?

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  35. I got an oil painting by artcraft of hollywood signed KK. The painting is abstract but beautiful. Couldn’t find anything about it. Painting measures 36w/25high. It would be greatly appreciated if you can tell me anything about it .

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  36. I have a picture painted by carlo wondering the worth number is 9093329155

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  37. DESIRAE MARNELL WEAVER

    I HAVE CARLO PAINTINGS AND THE FRAMES ARE BROKEN CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME TIPS ON RESTORING THEM?

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  38. I think my mother has an original Carlo painting I would love to get some feedback on it.

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  39. Hi I just aquried a painting by Carlo and was wondering what I could find out about it thanks Tina

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  40. Hi I would love a Carlo painting! Do you currently have any for sale?

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  41. Hi, just got one of these paintings from an estate. Any info or opinions would be great.

    Thanks, Mike

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  42. Timothy Simmon

    How can you tell the difference between a water and oil painting. i have a rather large Carlo of Hollywood Painting that i’m trying to sell. if you could help that would be great Thanks!!!

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  43. My Mother purchased a painting in the early 1960’s with the signature “Serio”. She gave it to me in ’96. It is an oil painting of a clown (36″x48″). I recently found the Art of Hollywood card “About Our Paintings” on the back. Any more info on Serio available?

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  44. Gayle Brosnan-Watters

    I think I’ve got one – it’s a couple of roosters fighting, in watercolor. It’s signed Carlo, and I think it’s kind of weird, but it looks like other things I’ve seen. I will try to take a picture and send it to your e-mail address.

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