NEW YORK, NY. - Sotheby’s December 3 sale of American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture will be highlighted by several important private single-owner offerings, among them: Property from the Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., Property from a Southwestern Collection and Property from the Collection of Mrs. Novella and the late Edwin C. Lineberry. The 184 lots included in the sale will be on exhibition in Sotheby’s New York galleries beginning November 29.
Property from the storied American Paintings Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., will feature important 19th century landscapes, still lifes, and genre paintings. In 1982, the Ganz collection was the subject of one of the first museum exhibitions comprised solely of 19th-century paintings from a single private collection, entitled An American Perspective: Nineteenth-Century Art from the Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., which toured to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ganzes have supported various institutions over the years with generous gifts of a number of their prized paintings to both the National Gallery in Washington and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sotheby's is privileged to have the honor of offering a selection of twenty-four paintings and works on paper that represent the intimate nature and elegant sensibility of this celebrated collection. Highlights of the Ganz collection include Francis A. Silva’s luminist Sunrise at Tappan Zee, (est. $1.5/2 million), as well as Jefferson David Chalfant’s major trompe l’oeil The Old Flintlock (est. $750,000/1 million), which is accompanied by the artist’s own gun that served as a model for the painting. Three works by noted Hudson River School painter Sanford Robinson Gifford will be offered, including a serene view of Long Branch Beach (est. $750,000/1 million). Also on offer will be a selection of genre paintings by artists such as Seymour Joseph Guy, Eastman Johnson and J.G. Brown.
Property from a Southwestern Collection comprises important works by American Modernist painters including Georgia O’Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Robert Henri, Marsden Hartley, and Rebecca Salsbury James, all of whom chose to paint in New Mexico during the early part of the 20th century. Painted during Georgia O’Keeffe’s first extended trip to New Mexico, O’Keeffe’s 1929 canvas After a Walk Back of Mabel’s (est. $2/3 million) was likely inspired by the landscape surrounding the home of noted art patron Mabel Dodge Luhan, with whom she stayed on this visit. Her unusual choice of the colors of the American flag for the background offers a view of America different from the Manhattan-centric one made fashionable by the international avant-garde. Stuart Davis’s Still Life with Map, New Mexico (est. $1.5/2.5 million), painted during his short five month stay in New Mexico, was formerly in the collection of the Downtown Gallery’s Edith Halpert and subsequently owned by David and Peggy Rockefeller. The collection also includes two of Robert Henri’s portraits of Santa Fe children including Young Buck of the Tesuque Pueblo (est. $700/900,000).
Property from the Collection of Mrs. Novella and the late Edwin C. Lineberry includes important Taos School works collected by the city’s eminent patrons Edwin Lineberry and Duane Van Vechten throughout their forty year marriage. Two years after Duane’s death in 1977, Edwin married his second wife Novella who shared her husband’s passion for art and joined him in collecting and preserving the artistic heritage of the Taos school. At the sprawling Lineberry estate, El Rancho de la Mariposa, Edwin, Duane, and later Novella assembled a collection featuring works by Taos artists such as Oscar Berninghaus, Eanger Irving Couse, and Joseph Henry Sharp as well as Russian immigrants Nicolai Fechin and Leon Gaspard with whom Edwin hunted and fished. Together Edwin and Novella opened the Van Vechten-Lineberry Museum in Taos in 1994, in honor of Lineberry’s first wife, Duane.
Among the highlights of the Lineberry collection is Nicolai Fechin’s Portrait of Duane, (est. $800,000/1.2 million) and Leon Gaspard’s Mongolian Girl with Sled and White Horses (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Works by Taos school artists such as Catharine Critcher, whose Indian Mystic is estimated at $100/150,000, and Eanger Irving Couse, whose depiction of Indian Drinking is estimated between $250/350,000, will also be offered.
The sale features two works from the Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield, New Jersey. Benjamin M. Day, Jr, who was Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island from 1926-1931, donated Winslow Homer’s 1875 canvas Winding Lane (est. $2/3 million) to the Plainfield Public Library in 1931. Day’s father considered himself a friend of Winslow Homer’s and purchased Winding Line, along with two other works, directly from Homer in the 1880s. Depicting a contemplative young man sitting alone on the edge of his boat, the calm quietude of Homer’s scene reflects a country forced into maturity by the hardships of the Reconstruction era. Also on offer to benefit the Plainfield Public Library is Hiram Powers’ bust of George Washington, which is estimated at $150/250,000.
The nineteenth-century works from the Ganz Collection and Plainfield Library will be accompanied by several antebellum genre paintings including William Ranney’s The Lazy Fisherman (est. $500/700,000); Thomas Birch’s The Battery and Harbor, New York (est. $400/600,000); and Robert Weir’s Greenwich Boat Club (est. $400/600,000), a jovial scene from 1833, when the artists and his friends escaped the cholera epidemic that plagued lower Manhattan in the early part of the decade. Works from the turn of the nineteenth century by American Impressionists Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast and John Singer Sargent include a previously unknown Venetian watercolor by Sargent entitled Summer on the Giudecca (est. $1.5/2.5 million).
The group of American modernist works from a Southwestern collection will be accompanied by other works by the notable members of Alfred Stieglitz’s circle, including John Marin’s 1928 Movement in Brown with Sun from the collection of Andrew J. Crispo, New York (est. $700/900,000), and an early Marsden Hartley painted circa 1908 entitled The Silence of High Noon (est. $1.5/2.5 million). Two additional works by Georgia O’Keeffe will be offered, Blue Wave, Maine (est $1.5/2.5 million) painted in 1926 shortly after the artist’s marriage to Stieglitz, and White Barn with Cart, no. 2 from 1932 (est. $800,000/1.2 million). The sale also includes several works by Milton Avery including a whimsical Self-Portrait (est. $400/600,000).
Alongside the Collection of Mrs. Novella and the late Edwin C. Lineberry, the fall sale will again include strong works of Western art, led by cast no. 6 of Frederic Remington’s Mountain Man. Estimated at $1.2/1.8 million, this example is one of only a few versions of the Mountain Man where the rear leg of the horse is in the air. After cast no. 7, Remington adjusted several details, changing the rider’s head, the flintlock gun, the tail, and most notably bringing the hind leg down to the precipice. Other Western highlights include Joseph Henry Sharp’s Hunting Son and Bawling Deer (est. $600/800,000) and William R. Leigh’s Arizona Landscape with Two Riders (est. $300/500,000).
Sotheby’s will also offer two notable examples by American illustrator Norman Rockwell. Painting the Little House (est. $1/1.5 million) was an advertisement published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1921 using one of his most popular models, Franklin Lischke. The sale also includes Rockwell’s charcoal drawing of Girl With Black Eye (est. $200/300,000), a study for the May 23, 1953 cover of The Saturday Evening Post in which a young girl with a black eye sits outside the principal’s office, shirt half-untucked, proudly grinning.