Déjà vu, I feel like I have seen this before

William Trost Richards' Seascape, From New York to Baltimore
William Trost Richards' Seascape, From New York to Baltimore

One dealer at the Baltimore Antiques show relayed a story about two antique dealers stranded on a deserted island. One day a chair washes ashore and from then on they were both able to make a good living. So is the case when a booth has an item that seems more than familiar. A large seascape by William Trost Richards that was in poor condition when it sold at Doyle Auctions in April was proudly hung in a booth from the Hudson River Valley, obviously having undergone restoration and repair to the frame and canvas. I was present at the auction when it sold for $3,125 including premium. It was offered for $22,000 at the Baltimore show. It makes all the difference being in ready-to-hang condition, however and the retail price for such a large canvas may still present potential for an investment-level purchase.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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