An extraordinary volume of American art was sold in New York between the Ebsworth Collection, the inclusion of American art in the Contemporary Evening sales and the regular category sales in American art.
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American Art Sales Highlights
Jacob Lawrence, The Businessmen ($1.5-2m) $6.17m
This November was an unusual season for the American art category with so many works on offer in other sales. There were several works by Georgia O’Keeffe in the evening sales of Contemporary art, Jacob Lawrence had a star turn at Sotheby’s during their Evening sale, and the sale Barney Ebsworth’s collection of American art meant there was an additional day and evening sale of American art at Christie’s.
By our count, when you add in the O’Keeffes and the Lawrence from the Contemporary sales and take away the artists sold in the Contemporary category from the Ebsworth sales, the total volume of American art was around $233m this month.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Sotheby’s American Art sale + O’Keeffe Museum sales = $76.6m
- Christie’s American Art sale = $26.49m
- Ebsworth Collection Evening sale (American Artists) = ~$114m
- Ebsworth Collection Day Sale = $5.3m
Georgia O’Keeffe, Cottonwood Tree in Spring ($1.5-2.5m) $3.8m
At Sotheby’s, the highlights were:
- Edward Hopper’s Two Comedians sold for $12.5 million
- Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze‘s Western Emigrant Train Bound for California Across the Plains, Alarmed by Approach of Hostile Indians made $4.8 million in excess of the $3.5 million high estimate, that’s more than double the previous world auction record for the artist. The work was sold to benefit the Dover Free Public Library in Dover, New Jersey, where it has resided since it was gifted to the institution in 1943
- Thomas Moran, Big Springs in Yellowstone Park, sold above estimate for $1.9 million. Showcasing his mastery of the medium, the watercolor was commissioned as part of the United States Congress’s geological survey of the Yellowstone Territories led by Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden in the 1870s.
- Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cottonwood Tree in Spring, which sold for $3.9 million above its $2.5 million high estimate, to benefit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Acquisitions Fund, the three paintings sold last week by O’Keeffe together achieved $23.3 million.
- Horace Pippin’s Holy Mountain, I achieved $3.3 million, more than eight times the artist’s previous auction record of $385,000 which was set by the very same painting in a Sotheby’s New York auction in 1987.
Childe Hassam, The El, New York ($500-700k) $1.27m
At Christie’s, the highlights were:
Barney Ebsworth’s Collection had:
- Gaston Lachaise Standing Woman [LF 92] ($1.5-2.5m) $3,732,500
- John Marin, My-Hell Raising Sea ($250-350k) $1,572,500
- Charles Sheeler, Still Life ($250-350k) $588,500
- Morris Kantor’sOrchestra make $516,500 against an estimate of $70-100k
- Albert Bierstadt’s Western Landscape ($150-250k) $348,500
- George Copeland Ault, Universal Symphony ($50-70k) $348,500
- Andrew Dasberg, Landscape ($50-70k) $250,000
In the American Art sale these remarkable sales took place:
- Maxfield Parrish, Venetian Night’s Entertainment ($1-1.5m) $2.052m
- Childe Hassam, The El ($500-700k) $1.272m
- Jacob Lawrence, Letter from Home ($250-350k) $636,500