Among 188 lots offered at “American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture” sale at Christie’s today, some were consigned by prestigious art institutions such as the Montclair Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Denver Art Museum and the Delaware Art Museum. Not all deaccessioned museum pieces received equal attention from the public. Two out of the four John Sloan’s paintings from the Delaware Art Museum failed to find a buyer. According the the press release, 123 lots were sold for $2,057,400 which leads to 65% sold by lots and 79% by value, a less than exceptional sale compared to the sales in the art boom period or the Asian sale two weeks ago.
Aviva Itzkowitz, the Head of Sale commented: “We are delighted with the new world auction records achieved today for works by American artists Edward Kemeys, John Fabian Carlson, Rolph Scarlett, and Thomas Manley. Museum provenance clearly enticed bidders today, with works consigned from the collections of the Montclair Art Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden yielding particularly strong prices. In all, we were pleased to see so many private collectors competing aggressively for the top works in today’s sale. We now look forward to our December sale of Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture here in New York.”
“Summer Mist”, a painting by Soren Emil Carlsen was the top sold lot which fetched $80,500 (including buyer’s premium), exceeding its high estimate of $50,000. Of the eleven paintings consigned by the Montclair Art Museum, only an Arizona landscape by Nordfeldt failed to sell. Will a total of $156,330 for ten paintings help relieve the museum from their two million dollars endowment shortfall? (Note, the first batch of deaccesioned works from the Montclair Museum was auctioned in Spring by Christie’s.)
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