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Rembrandt Peale’s iconic portrait of George Washington realized a new world record for a porthole portrait by the artist when it sold for $662,500- a record for a porthole portrait by the artist-to lead Heritage Auctions’ recent American art events in Dallas. Peale’s portrait of Washington was presented with his equally iconic portrait of Martha Washington, which reached $158,500. It followed other important offerings including John McCrady’s Steamboat ‘Round the Bend, a mammoth tribute — both figuratively and literally — to Southern regional art. At 14-feet wide, the 1946 commission for Delmonico’s Restaurant in New Orleans is recognized as McCrady’s most famous mural, helping it realize $542,500 — a new world record for the artist. Jerome Thompson’s 1865 oil on canvas titled Riverbank in Bloom sold for $512,500 to shatter its $8,000+ pre-auction estimate and set the new record for this artist.
Grant Wood’s sketchbook containing images related to a 24-foot stained glass window in Cedar Rapids will be auctioned May 12 at Leslie Hindman in Chicago.
The 24-foot tall window in the Veterans Memorial Building in Grant Wood’s hometown was the largest in the United States in 1929. It features a central figure of a Lady in Mourning, modeled after the artist’s sister and sitter for the iconic painting, American Gothic, Nan Wood. The figure is flanked by life-size soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the First World War. It is the only known stained-glass window designed by Wood.
The 48-page sketchbook embellished with over 70 preparatory drawings and studies for the window has signed the cover of the small journal and an inscription from the artist’s sister, signed and dated May 1, 1946, confirms: “This book was the property of Grant Wood. It contains sketches and ideas for the stained glass memorial window he designed for the memorial building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The sketches were made in 1929.”
There are no known sketchbooks attributed to Wood in institutional or private collections, and the auction house is confident it will exceed its $40,000-60,000 presale estimate.
A major painting by 19th-century landscape artist Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872), the first African-American artist to achieve international acclaim, has been purchased by Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Painted in 1869, the work titled The Caves was originally owned by Cincinnati Abolitionist Richard Sutton Rust (1815–1906), and it remained in his family until the museum purchased it in late 2012.
Because it has been in a private collection for nearly 150 years, the painting will be accessible to the public for the first time beginning May 4, when it is displayed in the Amon Carter’s galleries.
“Duncanson is an immensely important figure in American art,” says Andrew J. Walker, director of the Amon Carter. “He was a self-taught, black artist from Cincinnati and a leading landscape painter of his time, which was a monumental accomplishment during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Owning a work by this esteemed artist greatly enriches our collection.”
Impressive in scale, the painting is approximately three feet tall and depicts an intimate view of the wilderness, with unusual geographic features of steep ravines and sandstone cliffs perforated by a canopy of evergreens and a trio of caverns.
Duncanson’s paintings seldom overtly depict the political and cultural issues of the years surrounding the Civil War, such as slavery and discrimination, according to Margi Conrads, deputy director of art and research. Instead, the artist may have included subtle cues in his landscapes that conveyed his anti-slavery position.
“His depiction of caves poses intriguing questions about whether the painting includes references to the abolitionist movement or the role of African-Americans in everyday society,” says Conrads. “Caves were among the safe havens for runaway slaves through the Civil War. Additionally, both before and after the War, African-Americans guided tourists through caves, and it’s possible Duncanson is referencing this in his painting through the figure at the cavern’s mouth.”
Four watercolors from the museum’s permanent collection by Adrien Mayers (1801?–1833) will be exhibited near the Duncanson painting through September 4. The watercolors portray an early view of Cincinnati, Duncanson’s adopted hometown and the place that nurtured his career.
Northern Liberties may be a Philadelphia neighborhood, or a suburb of Brooklyn. It may be hard to tell when the Brooklyn Flea opens up shop next month. The popular market’s website shows Mark Wahlberg sporting vintage Philadelphia Eagles gear announcing the June 2 opener. Brooklyn Flea Philly will include mainstay vendors, and undoubtedly some from the city to the south and will be open every Sunday throughout the summer.
Bloomberg News reports that Christie’s will hold its first auction in Mainland China this fall. In doing so it will become the first international auction firm to hold its branded events there. The article cites the European Fine Art Foundation which concludes the $13.7 billion market is the second-largest in the world. The move may begin a shift from Hong Kong as the center of the Chinese art market to Shanghai. READ THE ARTICLE
Presented by The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, curators say a new exhibit called Painters and Paintings in the Early American South is the first exhibition of its kind that explores the scope of this region of early American art while bringing new vitality, excitement and scholarship to the forefront. “Nothing like this has been done before,” says Carolyn Weekley, Colonial Williamsburg’s Juli Grainger Curator, ”having all these wonderful examples in one place at the same time.
“Most importantly, the exhibition will illustrate the myriad connections between art centers of the early South, New England, the Middle Atlantic and Europe.”
Included more than 80 portraits, landscapes, seascapes and other artworks pertinent to the Atlantic coast states from Maryland southward and the upper coast of the Gulf of Mexico. All were created in or for the South between 1735 and 1800. Participating institutions include The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Charleston Museum, The Corcoran Gallery of Art,The Dallas Museum of Art, The Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum and others.
A second and similar exhibition featuring works dating prior to 1735 is planned for a 2015 opening in Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth will present an installation of Texas paintings that curators say captures a pivotal moment in the state’s cultural history. In the 1930s, a group of young artists—including Jerry Bywaters, Alexandre Hogue, William Lester, Thomas Stell, Harry Carnohan and Coreen Spellman, among others—gained national recognition for their scenic and ideological interpretations of the local environment. Although they depicted the people and landscapes of Texas in identifiable and representational manners, each artist possessed their own style, often combining realism with modernist influences ranging from Cubism to Surrealism. These evocative paintings provide a poignant glimpse of life and art in Texas during the era of the Great Depression. The exhibit opensApril 30.
A new exhibit coming to two The Phillips Collection and the Cleveland Museum of Art will take a new look at the artistic process of Vincent van Gogh- and reunite several masterpieces.
The museum’s say the exhibition is the first to focus on van Gogh’s “repetitions”—a term the artist used to describe his practice of producing multiple versions of a particular subject. Van Gogh Repetitions is inspired by the artist’s iconic work The Road Menders (1889) in The Phillips Collection and a painting of the same subject (also from 1889) in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
“This exhibition gives us a rare opportunity to get to know one of the world’s most recognizable artists in a fresh, new way,” says Dorothy Kosinski, director of The Phillips Collection. “He is such a beloved figure, but there is still much more to be learned. Through a close examination of this fascinating but only partially understood aspect of his work, we can create a richer, more meaningful understanding of both his personal life and artistic production.”
The exhibition invites deep, focused study of the similarities and differences between the two paintings, as well as van Gogh’s process and motivation in repeating himself. Paintings by van Gogh from some of the world’s most renowned collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and the Art Institute of Chicago will also be on view.
Van Gogh Repetitions runs from Oct. 12 through Jan. 26, 2014 at the Phillips and March 2, 2014 through May 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Diamonds.net reports U.S. Antique Shows has completed the purchase of the Miami National Antiques Show & Sale from Dolphin Promotions. U.S. Antiques Shows produces antique jewelry and watch shows in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Miami. This year the show was held one week prior to the company’s own Original Miami Beach Antique Show. The company says many dealers exhibit at both shows.
Director of Business Development Andrea Canady told reporters that producing both shows will allow us to develop more distinct and comprehensive selling opportunities for dealers, while broadening the reach for each of these two well-established events.