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American Paintings

Sotheby's

10:15 AM, May 24, 2000

Sale 7480

Detail of "The Farmyard Wall" by Winslow Homer

Detail of "The Farmyard Wall," Lot 21, Winslow Homer, watercolor

By Carter B. Horsley

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) is America's greatest artist and this auction has an extraordinary number of his works, including a fabulous watercolor and gouache, Lot 21, "The Farmyard Wall," that is the cover illustration of the catalogue.

This masterpiece, shown below and in a detail above, which is property from the G. Frederick Stork Family, was executed in 1873, most likely in Gloucester, Mass., and measures 7 1/4 by 13 3/4 inches. It has a very, very conservative estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 since it shows his own great impressionism to fabulous advantage. It sold for $1,545.750, including the buyer's premium as do all sales results in this article. That is a respectable price, but actually something of a disappointment considering how well the previous day American Painting auction at Phillips did, albeit with not such grand paintings, and how strong the art market has been despite the slump in economic markets. This is a quintessential Homer watercolor of the highest quality, far, far better than the good Adirondack watercolor that recently sold at auction for more than $4 million. Its price, indeed, well reflects, the somewhat lackluster results of this auction in which most lots sold within their pre-sale estimates and only 78.35 percent of the offered lots were sold.

Indeed, Peter Rathbone, the head of Sotheby's American Paintings Department, said after the sale that "while there were disappointments...overall the sale was strong with ten lots selling for over $1 million and records set for Ralph Albert Blakelock and John Sloan." "The fact that works which had been on the market within the last five years sold for far higher prices today shows how strong the market is for revered works of art and how the American paintings market is evolving," Mr. Rathbone added.

"The Farmyard Wall" by Winslow Homer

Lot 21, "The Farmyard Wall," by Winslow Homer, watercolor, 7 1/4 by 13 3/4 inches, 1873, photograph unfortunately has some reflections mostly on the left

Apart from its bravura flecks of light and great charm, this is a rather unusually long horizontal composition for Homer as well as one that is quite boldly abstract especially in its treatment of the vertical slats on the structure at the right.

"How Many Eggs?" by Winslow Homer

Lot 10, "How Many Eggs?" by Winslow Homer, watercolor, 13 by 9 inches, 1873, unfortunately the photograph has some reflections at the top

Incredibly, Sotheby's has placed a higher estimate on another 1873 by Homer, Lot 10, "How Many Eggs?, a 13-by-9-inch watercolor and gouache on paper, that sold at Christie's, Dec. 4, 1996. It is a strong and startling composition and a fine work, very vibrantly colored, but it cannot compare with the virtuosity and freedom of "The Farmyard Wall." It has a conservative estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000. It sold for $1,389,750, a good price, but much too close to that of Lot 21, a definitely greater work.

"In autumn Woods," by Winslow Homer

Lot 56, "In Autumn Woods," by Winslow Homer, watercolor and pencil, 11 by 7 1/2 inches, circa 1877

Many of the other Homer watercolors did not do very well, a reflection largely of their quality. Lot 56, "In Autumn Woods," is a pleasant Homer watercolor and pencil on paper, 11 by 7 1/2 inches, shown above, that was executed circa 1877 and has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $203,750. One of Homer's most fantastic female portraits was of a very elegant woman in a similar autumnal scene on a slope but it was a large oil with a far richer palette and was one of the jewels of the Paul Mellon collection for many years. This is much more sketchy and the woman's figure is not well articulated or drawn, which is unusual and the woman's face does not have the usual beauty that Homer endowed his models with at this time.

Homer would return to Gloucester in 1880 and his work of that period demonstrates a fine mastery of water reflections, but is generally paler in palette because of overcast weather and his focus on bay scenes. Lot 45, "The Lobster Pot," is a very pleasant 9 1/2-by- 13 1/4-inch watercolor of this period and has a conservative estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It failed to sell.

"A Sloop at a Wharf: Gloucester" by Winslow Homer

Lot 59, "A Sloop at a Wharf: Gloucester," Winslow Homer, watercolor, 9 by 13 1/2 inches, circa 1880

Lot 59, "A Sloop at a Wharf: Gloucester," is a 9-by-13 1/2-inch watercolor, shown above, circa 1880 signed Homer that has a rather abstract design that highlights the white hull of a sailboat moored at a pier on which several children, drawn with very little detail, are playing. Both this and Lot 45 are a bit heavy-handed for Homer in the treatment of distant shores and the clouds. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $203,750.

Lot 74 is a 7-by-5-inch watercolor portrait by Homer of his brother, Charles Savage Homer Jr. It was painted about 1860 and has great charm and a conservative estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It was once in the collection of John Wilmerding. It failed to sell.

Lot 75, "Starfish," is a 7 1/4-by-8-inch ink wash, gouache and pencil on paper by Homer of a woman bending over on beach to pick something up. It is excellent although mostly monochromatic in browns. It has a conservative estimate of $150,000 to $200,000 and the catalogue maintains it was executed in 1881-2. It sold for $104,250.

Lot 76, "The Fog Horn," which is dated 1883, is a 14-by-21 inch watercolor that is representative of Homer's interest in fisherwomen. Here, two of them stand side-by-side on a foggy beach rather sullenly, one of them handing a beautiful, bright red horn. Some of his depictions of women during this period get a little sloppy and bulky and not terribly refined, but these two are stoic and handsome and the horn centers and saves the picture that has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It failed to sell.

The sale also has two Homer oils, one a masterpiece and the other a rather murky, unresolved picture.

"Uncle Ned at Home" by Winslow Homer

Lot 33, "Uncle Ned at Home," by Winslow Homer, oil on canvas, 14 by 22 inches, 1875

The former is Lot 33, "Uncle Ned at Home," a 14-by-22-inch oil on canvas, shown above, dated 1875. Reminiscent a bit of Eastman Johnson's famous farmyard scene at the New York Historical Society, this is a magnificent depiction of a very elegant black man carrying a pail and standing in front of a sloping wooden farm structure whose roof is festooned with several delightful birdhouses. It is a marvelous, busy composition with plenty of angles and highlights, four children, many birds and a few cats. It has been widely exhibited and published. It has a very conservative estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $2,875,750. In 1993, this painting sold at auction for $992,500.

The latter, Lot 130, which is in the afternoon section of the auction, is a 8-by-10-inch oil on canvas, "The Haycart" and the catalogue maintains it was painted between the late 1860s and the early 1870s. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000 and bear's the artist's initials.

This auction has several important works that are not by Homer including several superb paintings of New York City, one by John Sloan (1871-1951), one by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), one by Everett Shinn (1876-1953), William J. Glackens (1870-1938), George Bellows (I 882-1925) and Jasper Francis Cropsey (I 823-1900).

"Bleecker Street, Saturday Night," by John Sloan

Lot 55, "Bleecker Street, Saturday Night," by John Sloan, oil on canvas, 26 1/4 by 32 inches, circa 1918

The Sloan, Lot 55, is one of the auction's highlights, a great urban scene, entitled "Bleecker Street, Saturday Night," a 26 1/4-by-32-inch oil on canvas, executed about 1918. The work has a conservative estimate of $1,400,000 to $1,800,000. It sold for $2,205,750, an auction record for the artist. The catalogue provides the following quotation from the artist about the work:

"This old thoroughfare in the Greenwich Village section was once a fashionable residence street. It has maintained a great deal of old architecture. On Saturday nights the small shops and sidewalk merchants do a lively business. The amputated building shown had recently been curtailed in cutting through the new 7th Ave. downtown. A cheerful, happy street, there's many another bleaker." Sloan is famous for his rooftop and ferry scenes but this and his "City From Greenwich Village," now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, are his great night-time street scenes. This painting was formerly in the collection of the IBM International Foundation.

"Central Park" by William Merritt Chase

Lot 60, "Central Park," by William Merritt Chase, oil on panel, 10 1/2 by 16 inches

The Chase, Lot 60, is a 10 1/2-by-16-inch oil on panel, shown above, that is a very beautiful and almost abstract scene of a meadow with a skyline, presumably Central Park South, in the distance at the top of the picture. Chase's smaller works are among his best and his is a very bold composition and quite lyrical in its soft green and pink palette. It has a very conservative estimate of $80,000 to $120,000 and the catalogue maintains it was painted around 1889-1890. It sold for $192,750. (Lot 61, incidentally, is a charming pendant for Lot 60 as it is a 7 1/2-by-12 1/2-inch pastel on paper, "The Garden Wall," shown below, that is also quite abstract and has a similar soft green palette with several tree-trunks against a beige wall. It has a very conservative estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for only $22,600.) (See The City Review article on the major exhibition in the summer of 2000 on William Merritt Chase at the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston.)

"The Garden Wall" by William Merritt Chase

Lot 61, "The Garden Wall," by William Merritt Chase, pastel on paper, 7 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches

The Shinn, Lot 65, "Washington Square Park, New York, is a superb 15 1/2-by-20-inch oil on canvas, dated 1952 that is a very painterly and lovely view from the southwest of the park's famous arch. It has a conservative estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $66,875. (The auction has two other very fine Shinns, Lots 80 and 81. The former is a Parisian street scene, a 25 1/2-by-36 1/4-inch pastel and charcoal on canvas, that has a modest estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It was withdrawn. The latter, "He's The Man For Me," is one of his classic clown paintings, a 30-by-24-inch oil on canvas, that has a modest estimate of $40,000 to $65,000, and was formerly in the IBM International Foundation collection. It sold for $87,000.)

"Washington Square Park" by Everett Shinn

Lot 65, "Washington Square Park, New York," by Everett Shinn, oil on canvas, 15 1/2 by 20 inches, 1952

A perfect pendant for Shinn's Lot 65 is Glacken's "29 Washington Square," Lot 52, a 25-by-30-inch oil on canvas, shown below, executed circa 1911-2. This charming and fine Glackens shows red apartment buildings on one side of the park with several children playing as one adult woman stands watch in the foreground. It has a conservative estimate of $700,000 to $900,000. It sold for only $487,750.

"29 Washington Square" by William Glackens

Lot 52, "29 Washington Square," by William Glackens, oil on canvas, 25 by 30 inches, circa 1911-2

The latter, Lot 24, "May Day in Central Park," is a 18-by-22 inch oil on canvas executed around 1905 that is a very strong and vibrant park scene with many children dressed in white beneath a bright orange decoration with a meadow in the background. It has an estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $885,750.

"May Day in Central Park" by William Glackens

Lot 24, "May Day in Central Park," by William Glackens, oil on canvas, 18 by 22 inches, circa 1905

The Cropsey, Lot 97, "A View in Central Park - The Spire of Dr. Hall's Church in the Distance," dated 1880, is a 17 1/4-by- 1 2 1/4-inch oil on canvas mounted on board. Dr. Hall's church is the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church that still stands on 55th Street. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $29,5000.

"Brooklyn Bridge" by Joseph Stella

Lot 184, "Brooklyn Bridge," by Joseph Stella, watercolor, 14 by 11 inches

There are several other New York pictures in the auction including a nice "Brooklyn Bridge" by Joseph Stella, Lot 184, a 14-by-11-inch watercolor, shown above, that has a conservative estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $41,000.

Other important highlights include a very major western landscape by Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847-1919), a very fine park scene and a pleasant girl and cat picture by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), a spectacular painting by Richard Edward Miller (1875-1943), a great floral painting by Maria Oakey Dewing (1845-1927), a beautiful river scene by Frederick C. Frieseke (1874-193 9), a lovely orchard scene by Theodore Robinson (1852-1896), some fine paintings by Jane Peterson (1876-1965), an interesting Middle East painting and a good painting of Corfu by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), a fine impressionist work by John H. Twachtman (1853-1902), a great portrait of his wife by William Merritt Chase and a sumptuous work by Robert Henri (1865-1929), a very nice landscape by Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), an excellent shore scene by John F. Kensett (1816-1872), a striking Indian portrait by Charles Bird King (1785-1862), and a major painting by Charles Sheeler (1883-1965).

"Indian Encampment Along the Snake River" by Ralph Albert Blakelock

Lot 155, "Indian Encampment Along the Snake River," by Ralph Albert Blakelock, oil on canvas, 47 1/2 by 84 inches, 1871

The Blakelock, Lot 155, "Indian Encampment Along the Snake River," is a 47 1/2-by-84-inch oil on canvas that is dated 1871 and is being sold by Phillips University, Inc., in Enid, Okla.

Blakelock is one of America's greatest painters whose reputation has been marred by questions of forgeries. He is best known for his dark moonlit scenes of silhouetted trees, often with Indian encampments and these works together with Albert Pinkham Ryder's famous marine pictures and George Inness's better Tonalist paintings comprise the core of very poetic, exotic, adventurous, mystical abstraction that many later modern artists would find highly influential.

This is the largest known painting by Blakelock and could be easily be mistaken for a major Albert Bierstadt landscape of the west.

The catalogue provides the following quotation about this work by Robin E. Kelsey:

"Both the picture’s size and the meticulousness of its execution suggest, quite correctly, that it represents a vital moment in the artist’s oeuvre. Blakelock was not only recording his impressions of the West, but also adopting and modifying the painterly conventions of his day. The tenebrous foreground framed at the sides by blasted trees, the careful massing of foliage, the sunlit waterway that arcs through the middle distance, the pale mountains, tinted with lavender, to which the water leads – in rendering these elements Blakelock asserted his mastery over the bucolic, Claudian scheme favored by the Hudson River school. Yet even as Blakelock displayed command of these conventions, he introduced pictorial elements and inflections of style that foreshadowed the distinctive qualities of his later work. We see this in the vigorous touches that enliven the sunlit areas along the river. We see this also I the treatment of the figures, their imbrication in the landscape, their nuanced gestures, and the subtle suggestions of a narrative that binds each group of figures to the next. From far away the present picture offers a bravura depiction of the West as Arcady; up close, it reveals signs of the innovative and enigmatic style that characterizes the best of the artist’s production of later years."

The painting has a very conservative estimate of $300,00 to $400,000. It sold for $3,525,750, or what a similar quality and size painting by Albert Bierstadt should sell for. It was a remarkable but not really unreasonable price given its quality and size. Towards the end of his life, Blakelock suffered from considerable mental anguish even as his paintings were selling for as much as $20,000, the highest amount at that time for American artists. The sale price at this auction set a record for Blakelock.

Hopefully, this great painting will begin to restore Blakelock to the pantheon of great American artists even though this is not what he is really "about" it is a knockout worthy of hanging in the same room as Albert Bierstadt’s "The Rocky Mountains" (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

"Lydia Resting On A Porch, Crocheting" by Mary Cassatt

Lot 14, "Lydia Resting On A Porch, Crocheting," by Mary Cassatt, oil on canvas, 15 by 24 inches, circa 1882

The Cassatt, Lot 14, "Lydia Resting On A Porch, Crocheting," a 15-by-24 1/4-inch oil on canvas, shown above, painted around 1882, is a very strong composition with a lovely cool palette. It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It sold for $1,215,750 and had sold for $860,500 in 1996. Cassatt is unfortunately best known for her pictures of mothers and children, but her other subjects, such as this, are her much, much better than the formula ones.

"Tea-Time" by Richard Edward Miller

Lot 46, "Tea-Time," by Richard Edward Miller, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 by 32 inches, 1913-4

Richard Edward Miller’s "Tea-Time," Lot 46, shown above, is a dazzling masterpiece that may well be the best pretty woman painting of the early years of the century, at least by an American. Miller lived for several years in France and summered at Giverny. "By 1914, Miller, acclaimed for his virtuosic brushwork, vivid color and appealing subjects, had sold four paintings to the French Government for its museums," the catalogue noted. The 39 ½-by-32-inch oil on canvas was executed in 1913-4 and has a very modest estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000. It failed to sell! At his best, which is usually pretty often, Miller melds the best aspects of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with memorable sentiment and bravura painterliness that transcends periods or styles.

The auction has three other paintings that should hang in the same room as "Tea-Time," Lots 27, 38 and 41.

"On The River," by Frederick C. Frieseke

Lot 27, "On the River," by Frederick C. Frieseke, oil on canvas, 25 3/4 by 32 inches

Lot 27 is "On the River," a 25 ¾-by-32-inch oil on canvas by Frederick C. Frieseke that depicts a woman in an elegant blue and white striped dress and very large hat seated by herself in a rowboat at a river’s edge looking directly at the view who also seems her reflection in the water. Frieseke is not as consistent as Miller and his style is a bit stiffer but at his best his dappled impressionism is frequently lovely and this is one of his very best works. It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $1,215,750 and had sold for $519,500 in 1994.

"In the Orchard" by Theodore Robinson

Lot 38, "In The Orchard," by Theodore Robinson, oil on canvas, 18 by 22 inches, 1895

Lot 38 is "In The Orchard," a 18-by-22-inch oil on canvas by Theodore Robinson that was painted in 1895 and is considerably brighter than many of his works and has a lovely ambiance. It has an conservative estimate of $500,000 to $700,000, which probably reflects his slightly disappointing recent auction performance despite his importance. It sold for $687,750, a respectable price since many fine Robinsons have not fared well at auction recently.

Venetian Scenes by Jane Peterson

Lots 1 and 2, Venetian scenes by Jane Peterson

Lot 41 is "In the Arbor," a 24 ¾-by-30-inch oil on canvas by Jane Peterson that was painted circa 1913-4 and has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. Peterson studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the London School of Art and traveled to Paris and then Venice where she painted with F. Hopkinson Smith who arranged for her to meet Joquain Sorolla y Bastida, the Spanish impressionist and they painted together and then traveled to Oyster Bay on Long Island where they visited Louis Comfort Tiffany who commissioned Sorolla to paint his portrait and invited Peterson to stay for the summer. She would return to Paris in 1912 where she became acquainted with Miller and Frieseke, the catalogue noted. Peterson has three other paintings in the auction, Lots 1, 2, shown above, and 8, extremely lovely Venetian scenes, the first two in beautiful gilded and painted frames. Each of these works is estimated conservatively at $25,000 to $35,000 and were painted about 1920 and they show Peterson’s more mature and much simplified impressionistic style that has always been very appealing with cool, bluish palettes. Lot 1 sold for $49,625 and Lot 2 sold for $52,500.

Landscape oils by John Singer Sargent appear fairly rarely on the auction market and usually are a bit muddy. This auction has two good examples, Lot 47 and 70. The former, "The Dead Sea," is a very fine Sargent landscape, 22 by 28 inches, painted in 1905, that has quite an abstract dynamic and bravura brushwork and the head of man in the lower right corner. It has a conservative estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It failed to sell. The latter, "Olive Trees, Corfu," a 20 ¼-by-24 ¼-inch oil on canvas painted in 1909 is a fine and unusually fluid work with a lovely sense of motion in the wispy, Barbizonisque trees and its overall composition. It has a conservative estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $192,750.

John Twachtman is America’s best "Impressionist," although he is uneven and was nowhere near as productive as Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase or Childe Hassam, the other "giants." At his best, Twachtman took Impressionism to an abstract extreme that was delicate and lyrical, but also quite powerful. His snow scenes tend to be a bit dull, but his summer landscapes are very fine and Lot 58 is an excellent example. Entitled "Weir’s Farm," this 19-by-15-inch oil on canvas is probably a depiction of property owned by Julian Alden Weir, one of two painter sons of Robert Weir, who taught painting at West Point for four decades. This painted is sort of a very bright version of a farmscape by Albert Pinkham Ryder, American’s great poetic visionary of the late 19th Century. This work has an ambitious estimate of $200,000 to $300,000 in light of the market’s overemphasis on the works of Chase and Hassam, who produced some brilliant works but fell into popular ruts. It failed to sell.

"Sunset at Shinnecock Hills" by William Merritt Chase

Lot 42, "Sunset at Shinnecock Hills," by William Merritt Chase, oil on canvas, 33 by 40 inches

Lot 42, "Sunset at Shinnecock Hills," is a 33-by-40-inch oil on canvas, shown above, by Chase that shows a lovely girl in a white dress covering her eyes with one hand to better see the viewer as she stands in a field. It is a good, but not masterful, example of Chase’s Impressionism but like many of his large Shinnecock paintings its composition is not exciting and a bit bland. The placing of the girl in the lower left corner helps this painting considerably, but the sky is a little disappointing. This work has an ambitious estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. It failed to sell.

Chase is at his best when he is more sketchy and Lot 88 is a good example of this looser brushwork. Entitled "Mrs. Chase in Spanish Costume," it is a 32-by-25-inch oil on canvas that was painted circa 1896 and is quite lovely. It is estimated conservatively at $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $357,750.

"Roshanara" by Robert Henri

Lot 94, "Roshanara," by Robert Henri, oil on canvas, 32 by 26 inches

A great pendant for "Mrs. Chase" is Lot 94, "Roshanara," a 32-by-26-inch on canvas, shown above, by Robert Henri that is fabulous for its wild brushwork and color. It is a portrait of Roshanara, a dancer whose real name was Olive Craddock. The catalogue notes that after her death in 1926, Henri described her as having given "beauty to the world in her dancing and by her spirit for grace and poise." The work is very conservatively estimated at $125,000 to $175,000 and is one of Henri’s masterpieces. It sold for $132,250.

"Isle of Shoals" by Childe Hassam

Lot 29, "Isle of Shoals," by Childe Hassam, watercolor and ink on paper, 13 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches

Hassam is one of the rare prolific artists who worked in many different styles. Lot 29, "Isle of Shoals," watercolor and ink on paper, 13 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches, shown above, is a very beautiful work that is quite different from most of his oeuvre with his delicate line work in the works and the very lyrical sunset. It sold for $148,750, nicely above its $120,000 high estimate.

"Indian Summer" by Sanford Gifford

Lot 118, "Indian Summer," by Sanford Robinson Gifford, oil on canvas, 8 3/4 by 15 3/4 inches, 1863

While the auction does not have many Hudson River School works, it has a couple of superb early landscapes by such leading painters of the school as Sanford Robinson Gifford and John F. Kensett. The former is showcased by Lot 118, "Indian Summer," a 8 ¾-by-15 ¾-inch oil on canvas, dated 1863, that is a very fine example of Gifford’s golden touch. The catalogue notes that the painting depicts three Indians in two canoes in the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire with the White Mountains in the distance. It is conservatively estimated at $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $247,750, which is still an impressive amount for such a size picture. The latter is showcased by Lot 137, "Connecticut Shoreline in Autumn," a very beautiful beach scene by John F. Kensett. The 14-by-24 ½-inch oil on canvas is different from most of Kensett’s fine shore scenes for its dramatic inclusion of three beautiful trees in the center of the composition. The work has a conservative estimate of $100,000 to $125,000. It sold for only $126,750.

"Connecticut Shoreline in Autumn" by John Kensett

Lot 136, "Connecticut Shoreline in Autumn," by John F. Kensett, oil on canvas, 14 by 24 1/2 inches

Another Gifford in the auction is Lot 126, "A Souvenir of the Catskills (Kaaterskill Clove)," a 8 by 9 inch oil on board, shown below, dated 1867. The painting of this famous landmark waterfall in the Catskill’s is rather dark with threatening storm clouds and has an ambitious estimate of $100,000 to $150,000 and is an unusual vista of this important landmark. It passed.

"A Souvenir of the Catskills (Kaaterskill Clove" by Sanford Gifford

Lot 126, "A Souvenir of the Catskills (Kaaterskill Clove)," by Sanford Robinson Gifford, oil on board, 8 by 9 inches, 1867

An important and impressive portrait of Moanahonga (Great Walker), an Iowa Chief, Lot 144, by Charles Bird King is a wonderful 20 ¾-by-16 ½-inch oil on canvas that is conservatively estimated at $80,000 to $120,000. It was withdrawn.

"San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf)" by Charles Sheeler

Lot 189, "San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf)," by Charles Sheeler, oil on canvas, 31 1/2 by 21 1/2 inches

Charles Sheeler is one of America’s great Modernists and Lot 189 is an excellent example of his stark, almost Cubist style. Entitled "San Francisco (Fisherman’s Wharf)," it is a 31 ½-by-21 ½-inch oil on canvas that depicts two boats seen from above. It has a conservative estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It sold for $329,750.

"Rose Garden" by Maria Oakley Dewing

Lot 18, "Rose Garden," by Maria Oakley Dewing, oil on canvas, 24 by 40 1/2 inches

Lot 18, "Rose Garden," by Maria Oakley Dewing, shown above, is fabulous. The 24-by-40 1/2-inch oil on canvas was once in the collection of Mrs. Whitelaw Reid. The artist studied under John La Farge and married Thomas Wilmer Dewing, the artist famous for his ethereal portraits of elegant women. The painting, which has a frame designed by Stanford White, has a conservative estimate of $200,000 to $300,000 and is a masterpiece. It sold for a respectable $1,160,750!

The quality of this auction is the highest in many years and it has an unusual number of spectacularly ornate and beautiful frames.

 

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 American Paintings auction at Phillips

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review Article on the Spring 1999 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the May 27, 1999 auction of American Paintings at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1998 Important American Paintings Auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s

See The City Review article on the Spring 1998 Important American Paintings Auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s

See The City Review article on the Fall 1997 Important American Paintings auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 1997 Important American Paintings auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's

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