THE most popular painting in the sizable collection of the Des Moines Art Center is the late George Wesley Bellows' Aunt Fanny (opposite), and her box-office appeal is well deserved. In the wrinkled skin and watchful eyes of the brisk old lady Bellows has reflected the feeling of affection tinged with awe that almost everyone has about a favorite aunt.

The artist's own aunt was Elinor ("Fanny" was a nickname) Smith, his mother's sister, who lived with the Bellowses when George was a child. Aunt Fanny, who had no children of her own, helped keep the house spick & span, saw to...

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