Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: American modernism

The future of the American art market with Questroyal’s Chloe Heins

Main Gallery
Questroyal Fine Art

IN THEIR NEW BOOK, ALTERED TRAITS, PSYCHOLOGISTS DANIEL GOLEMAN  AND RICHARD DAVIDSON UNVEIL NEW RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF NEUROSCIENCE TO SHOW WHAT MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS DOES TO ACTUALLY CHANGE YOUR MIND, BRAIN AND BODY. MEDITATION INCLUDES A WIDE RANGE OF PRACTICES AND DIFFERING TYPES THAT PRODUCE UNIQUE RESULTS BUT A MIND UNDISTURBED IS A SIGNIFICANT GOAL IN ALL THE GREAT SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS. IN 1843, JOHN RUSKIN, THE ENGLISH ART CRITIC, PUBLISHED HIS FIRST VOLUME OF HIS MODERN PAINTERS , INSTRUCTING ARTISTS TO BE TRUTHFUL TO NATURE’S FORMS AS TRUTH IN APPEARANCE WOULD LEAD TO HIGHER MORAL AND SPIRITUAL TRUTHS. OUR HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL EMBRACED THIS AND DEDICATED THEIR WORK TO THE ACCURATE DEPICTION OF NATURE. STUDYING AND APPRECIATING WORKS THAT DEPICT THE SPLENDOR OF NATURE AND THE POWER OF GOD’S HAND AT WORK CAN INSPIRE THE SAME UNDISTURBED MIND.  THIS SCHOOL OF PAINTING MAKES UP THE HEART OF QUESTROYAL FINE ART’S INVENTORY.

George Lambdin
Floral Still Life
Oil on canvas

TODAY, CHLOE HEINS, THE GALLERY DIRECTOR, WILL SPEAK ABOUT ADVISING NEW COLLECTORS, THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET AND PLANS FOR THE FORTHCOMING SEASON.

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/

AS A YOUNG  COLLECTOR BEGINNING TO ACQUIRE WORKS OF ART, WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES TO CONSIDER AND YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO STEER THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

We advise collectors to buy the best painting they can afford. Rather than going for a subpar example by the biggest name or the highest volume of works within their budget, we advise them to begin with what they love. Then they can confirm that they are receiving a fair price and that it is a solid representation of the artist. There are many artists that are undervalued and never receive  the recognition they deserved and this can be a great opportunity for new collectors. Above all, buy what you love. This will never betray you.

Edward Moran
Lobster Fishing, Long Island
Oil on canvas

IN A TIME WHEN A FEW CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS SUCH AS BASQUIAT AND JEFF KOONS AND CONTEMPORARY MASTERS SUCH AS SIGMAR POLKE AND GERHARD RICHTER ARE COMMANDING RECORD AUCTION PRICES, HOW DO YOU INTEREST AND DIRECT A NASCENT COLLECTOR TO THE AMERICAN MARKET?

It is easy to get discouraged by the prices in the post-war and contemporary market and the rampant celebrity of the key artists, collectors, and dealers. This is why I like to discuss American art within the context of the better-known areas of the art market. Once collectors see the inexplicable discrepancy in value and realize they could buy the entire Questoyal inventory for the price of one Lucien Freud painting, they begin to take notice! We have broken down boundaries by advertising in non-art-specific publications which attract a different type of client. Bringing new collectors into the American art market is essential.

Charles Burchfield
Woodland Scene

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET?

While it can be unpredictable, the American paintings market does not trend towards a bubble. It’s relatively steady compared to other genres of art. The new interest in American art that we are seeing indicates a bright future. Just this year, several of our colleagues have also met new clients who have become very active at a high level. However, American art dealers have to be comfortable and confident in the shadow of the post-war and contemporary market and many dealers have given up.

I am cautiously optimistic that the American art market will continue to grow, and hopefully our colleagues in the gallery and auction sectors will remain dedicated. We certainly are!

Questroyal Fine Art
Be Uncool
Published November 2017

WHAT EXHIBITIONS AND PUBLICATIONS CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE 2017-2018 SEASON?

Our annual hardcover Important American Paintings catalogue became available in early October. Volume XVIII: Be Uncool is an exciting addition to the series and features 37 collection highlights. The concept stems from our ongoing advertising campaign urging collectors to “be uncool” and seek what is timeless, not trendy.

“Be uncool” has become an effective headline for us, capturing the attention of many readers of the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and Architectural Digest. But it is more than just a promotion; it is a philosophy and a call to action…Will you accept my challenge to be uncool? Will you follow the preference of your heart and question the opinion of others ? Are you willing to sacrifice the fleeting rewards of all that is timely for the transcendent satisfaction of pursuing what is truly timeless ? 

Excerpt from the foreword by Louis Salerno, Volume XVIII, “It is Wise to be Uncool”.

CHLOE, THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOUR LOVE OF AMERICAN ART AND ITS IMPORTANCE RESOUNDS IN EVERY WORD.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE NEXT POST TO WELCOME KATE ABRAMS, AN ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AT HAUSER & WIRTH, ONE OF OUR MOST RESPECTED AND IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY GALLERIES. WITH LOCATIONS IN NEW YORK (2), LONDON, LOS ANGELES, ZURICH, STAAD AND SOMERSET, ENGLAND, WE HAVE PLENTY OF TERRITORY TO COVER. WE COULDN’T HOPE FOR A BETTER GUIDE THAN KATE.

 

American Art, from Blakelock to Porter, at Questroyal Fine Art, with director Chloe Heins

Questroyal Fine Art

IN A GALLERY PUBLICATION OF QUESTROYAL’S  Important American Paintings SERIES, CHLOE HEINS EXPRESSES HER DEEP COMMITMENT TO AMERICAN ART AND TO NURTURING AN INTEREST IN ITS BEAUTY AND VALUE FOR EXISTING AND NEW COLLECTORS.

IN HER OWN WORDS….

At Questroyal we spend a lot of time trying to determine what motivates people to buy art, specifically American paintings. It is probably for the best that we can’t solve this mystery, otherwise our role as art dealers would become formulaic. Yet, we still attempt to get to the heart of the matter—to understand the habitual and complex relationship between collectors and paintings.

What makes certain paintings resonate so deeply? When looking at art, what we see is ultimately a blend of the artist’s vision merged with our own perception. In a metaphoric visualization, I picture looking into a mirror and seeing the artist’s face, which then gradually begins to resemble my own reflection. The American painters I am most drawn to lived and worked using unique methods of self-discovery, reflection, and observation. Evidence of their process and perspective permeates their artwork. In the gallery, there are paintings I will hardly notice for months and others I immediately find magnetic. We all share this experience to varying degrees. But what is it about those paintings that we can’t forget?

Important American Paintings, Volume 16, Foreword

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH THE GALLERY’S DIRECTOR, CHLOE HEINS.

HOW WAS QUESTROYAL ORIGINALLY FORMED, WHEN DID IT OPEN? HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN IN THE  SAME LOCATION AND HOW HAS IT EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?

Questroyal was established by owner Lou Salerno in the late 1980s. Lou initially had a small gallery on E.80th Street before coming to 903 Park Avenue, our current location. In its first iteration at this address, Questroyal occupied two units on the 3rd floor. Over the years, the gallery expanded and now spans the whole floor.

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/

Exhibition
Questroyal Fine Art

Lou’s oldest son Brent, Questoyal’s co-owner, has been involved with the gallery since its early years. The Salernos share a passion for American art and a client-forward approach. Our inventory has also grown in size and diversity. Hudson River School paintings have always been the foundation of Questroyal’s inventory, however, over time we began to selectively purchase American Impressionism and Modernism which has become an essential part of our collection. Furthering this, over the past decade, we have pushed our twentieth-century inventory to new heights with important modern acquisitions, like Fairfield Porter’s masterpiece, Sun Rising Out of the Mist, 1973. The gallery has organized many important exhibits.

Fairfield Porter
Sun Rising Out of the Mist
1973

DO YOU ACT IN A CURATORIAL CAPACITY OR IS IT A COLLECTIVE PROCESS? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF GALLERY EXHIBITIONS?

Our Ralph Albert Blakelock exhibition last November was a career highlight for Lou, Brent, and me. We were thrilled with its success and continue to be amazed by Blakelock’s influence and impact. We are now gearing up for our Henry Martin Gasser exhibition this November. We have found that Gasser appeals to many types of collectors though he is far lesser-known than some of his contemporaries. Over the past few years, we have seen a considerable rise in his popularity and are excited to exhibit over 40 works in the show. His unique illustrational style is unparalleled—it is a modern, yet relatable aesthetic. The gallery has organized many important exhibits.

Ralph Albert Blakelock
Evening Slhouettes
Oil on canvas

https://www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/ralph-albert-blakelock/

THE GALLERY PUBLISHES COMPREHENSIVE AND SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS AND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE SO GENUINE AND WELL-WRITTEN. WHAT ARE SOME ESSAYS THAT CONTRIBUTE THE MOST TO OUR UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF AMERICAN ART?

Thank you! Each year, I contribute the forward to our fall catalogue. I task myself with choosing a theme that is both relevant to the present day and the legacy of our nineteenth- and- twentieth-century American paintings. My goal is to help collectors see this “historic” art in current terms and to address the extreme valuation discrepancies in the art world. I like to give American art a context within the sea of other art and the constant chatter about the contemporary art market.

Our Important American Paintings catalogue series includes inspiring and relevant information on the many artists in our inventory as well as insightful comments from Lou who has an irrefutable instinct for this business.  

Vol17-Enduring-2016

Henry Martin Gasser’s private opening reception on November 9th benefits Caring Kind.

IN OUR NEXT POST, CHLOE WILL PROVIDE HER INFORMED OPINION ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN ART.

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG, PLEASE CONTINUE TO DO SO!

 

Avis Berman, curator and writer, documents the radical transformations of 20th Century American Modernism

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Semé, 1953. Oil on canvas, 52 × 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Semé, 1953. Oil on canvas, 52 × 40 in.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN  ART, CELEBRATING ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY IN ITS GLORIOUS NEW RENZO PIANO BUILDING AT THE BASE OF THE HIGH LINE, OPENS STUART DAVIS: IN FULL SWING, ON JUNE 10th. STUART DAVIS WAS A REVOLUTIONARY MODERNIST ARTIST FIRST TO APPROPRIATE IMAGES FROM THE WORLD OF ADVERTISING INTO HIS PAINTINGS. HE CREATED AN ART THAT MERGED EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDE ABSTRACTION WITH THE ENERGY OF FAMILIAR AMERICAN SIGNS AND SYMBOLS , THUS SETTING THE STAGE FOR JASPER JOHNS, ED RUSCHA, BARBARA KRUGER AND COUNTLESS “WORD AND IMAGE” ARTISTS WHO FOLLOWED.

http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/StuartDavis

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Owh! in San Paõ, 1951. Oil on canvas 52 1/4 × 41 3/4 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Owh! in San Paõ, 1951.
Oil on canvas
52 1/4 × 41 3/4 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

THIS WILL BE THE MOST RECENT OF MANY EXHIBITIONS, IN BOTH MAJOR MUSEUMS SUCH AS THE WHITNEY AND MORE MODEST REGIONAL AND UNIVERSITY  MUSEUM VENUES THAT FOCUS ON THE TRANSFORMATIVE PERIOD OF MODERNIST AMERICAN ART REPRESENTING ONLY ONE DYNAMIC ASPECT IN THE EXPLOSION OF 19th CENTURY NORMS IN SOCIETY AND CULTURE IN GENERAL.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG WELCOMES BACK AVIS BERMAN,  WRITER, CURATOR AND EXPERT ON AMERICAN MODERNISM.

AVIS, YOUR NUMEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS INCLUDE NEWSPAPER PUBLICATIONS SUCH AS THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE BOSTON GLOBE, JUST TO NAME A VERY FEW. I AM ASSUMING THAT YOU WERE ACTING IN THE ROLE OF A REVIEWER OF EXHIBITIONS.

I almost never review exhibitions. I prefer to write long, research-based pieces that rely on primary sources. These articles were profiles of artists, observations on the social history of the art and artists, art-travel pieces, and book reviews.

ELIE NADELMAN Seated Woman, 1924 Estate of Elie Nadelman Photo courtesy of AFA)

ELIE NADELMAN
Seated Woman, 1924
Estate of Elie Nadelman
Photo courtesy of AFA)

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS THAT, IN RETROSPECT, WERE PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT AND WHY?

One of the most significant articles that I wrote was called “Sculptor in the Open Air: Elie Nadelman and Folk and Popular Art.” It was the first research to delve deeply into the myriad aspects of artist’s connection with aspects of Polish, French, American, and other European folk arts, and I presented many new ideas, based on both my own analyses and on previously overlooked archival sources. The essay was for an AFA exhibition called “Classical Folk.” It was an excellent show, but it didn’t receive much publicity, especially because the Whitney was mounting a large Nadelman retrospective shortly to follow, but the article has been consistently cited (and sometimes plundered) ever since.

Elie Nadelman: Classical Folk by Elie Nadelman and Suzanne Ramljak Essay contribution: Avis Berman

Elie Nadelman: Classical Folk
by Elie Nadelman and Suzanne Ramljak
Essay contribution: Avis Berman

Recently I wrote two different types of articles that gave me much pleasure because they were so different from the norm.  One was an essay about images of urban night in early twentieth-century American painting and photography for the catalogue of “Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960,” an exhibition at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

 

Night Vision: Nocturnes In American Art, 1860-1960 Essay contribution: Avis Berman

Night Vision: Nocturnes In American Art, 1860-1960
Essay contribution: Avis Berman

THE CATALOGUE OF NIGHT VISION: NOCTURNES IN AMERICAN ART, 1860 – 1960 MEMORIALIZED A MAJOR EXHIBITION OF AMERICAN ART AT THE BOWDOIN COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART IN MAINE FROM JUNE – OCTOBER 2015 . THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SURVEY OF  AMERICAN NIGHT SCENES BY ARTISTS SUCH AS ANDREW WYETH, GEORGIA O’KEEFFE AND WINSLOW HOMER, IT EXPLORES THE DEPARTURE FROM THE CONVENTIONAL STYLES AND TRADITIONS THAT  TRANSFORMED OUR AMERICAN ART  AND CULTURE  WITH THE ADVENT OF NEW POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND TECHNOLOGY.

http://store.bowdoin.edu/collections/art-museum/products/night-vision-nocturnes-in-american-art-1860-1960-pre-order

AVIS, WHAT WAS THE FOCUS OF YOUR ESSAY IN THE CATALOGUE AND WHY?

For “City Lights: Urban Perceptions of Night,” I approached the work of artists from Hassam and Steichen and Stieglitz to Sloan and Hopper and Martin Lewis as evolving responses to the phenomenon of New York jettisoning gas lamps for electrification. Focusing on these images in relation to a new technology fascinated me. 

IN HER OWN WORDS, SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE ESSAY:

 JAMES ABBOTT MCNEILL WHISTLER Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), 1875


JAMES ABBOTT MCNEILL WHISTLER
Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), 1875

Beginning in the early 1880s,New York’s main source of nighttime light was no longer the faraway moon or the stuttering flame of a gas lamp, but the clear, steady glow of the incandescent filament. These brilliantly illuminated streets, public places, and private residences changed entire patterns of existence, to which contemporary artists had to respond. Elec­trification catapulted New York into the modern age and pushed artists to chronicle the city’s altered tempo and appearance. Just as Whistler’s melding of forms, textures, and colors of his night scenes took him to the brink of abstraction, most daringly in Nocturne in Black and Gold. The Falling Rocket (fig. 1), contending with the electrified city after dark meant that his successors would reveal a host of new forces at work in their representations of New York….

Childe Hassam Cab Stand at Night, Madison Square, New York Smith College Museum of Art Northampton, MA

Childe Hassam
Cab Stand at Night, Madison Square, New York
Smith College Museum of Art
Northampton, MA

When the Bostonian Childe Hassam moved to New York in 1889. he was determined to capture the daily occurrences of urban life, at least in the city’s more refined precincts. His vision extended beyond New York’s streets, buildings, and inhabitants to include the exploitation of natural phenomena. Like Whistler and the French Impressionists, he sought to capture atmospheric light in all its embodiments— during rain, snow, and mist, and after dark. These interests coalesce in Cab Stand at Night, Madison Square,  especially as Hassam was an eager portrayer of horse-drawn cabs. Sometimes he even hired one as an on-site studio, using the seat in front of him to set up an easel.3 In describing how he created the painting that is probably Cab Stand at Night, Madison Square, Hassam stated, “I use an ordinary sketch book and pencil a great deal for making notes of characteristic attitudes and movements…

Alfred Stieglitz Reflections - Night (New York), 1897 Gelatin silver print Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Alfred Stieglitz
Reflections – Night (New York), 1897
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

One would hardly expect to find affinities between the talented but moderate Hassam and Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, innovators who were leaders of the photographic avant-garde. Stieglitz claimed to be the first photographer to achieve success with night photography and, in 1898, a year after he began com­posing nocturnal scenes, he stated that their expressive potential opened “up certain possibilities that have not as yet been attempted.” 

Berenice Abbott Night View: Midtown Manhattan, (New York at Night), 1934 Gelatin silver print Smith College Museum of Art

Berenice Abbott
Night View: Midtown Manhattan, (New York at Night), 1934
Gelatin silver print
Smith College Museum of Art

The unalloyed triumphs of technology without which the modern city is inconceivable—incandescent lighting and the tall building—are apotheosized in Berenice Abbott’s anthem to the electrical grid, New York at Night (alternately titled Night View:Midtown Manhattan). The spectacular Olympian view of towers blazing like icy prisms on a dry winter evening was taken from a high floor of the Empire State Building, the successor to the Flatiron and the Chanin buildings as New York’s reigning icon of architectural modernity. Abbott had to calibrate exactly when the night would begin in order to get what she envisioned. She knew that most employees worked in their offices only until about five o’clock, after which the lights would be turned off. She thus waited until one of the shortest days of the year December 20.1934 – to create the photograph. At sunset, shortly before five, when evening began for most workers, Abbott exposed the negative for fifteen minutes and created an immaculate image of “the vertical city with its unimaginable diamonds. Night was no longer there to veil New York’s architecture: it was to exalt it. Artificial light had conquered nature and taken possession of it.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, AVIS WILL INFORM US ON HER STUDY OF THE NEW HALL COLLECTION AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY’S MURRAY EDWARD COLLEGE, A BODY OF WORK SHE DISCOVERED, PUBLISHED IN ANTIQUES MAGAZINE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

A collector’s passion with Howard Godel and Katherine Baumgartner of Godel & Co

Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967) Frosted Windows, 1917 Watercolor and pencil on paper, 26 x 20 inches Signed and dated lower right: Chas Burchfield / Jan 1917

Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967)
Frosted Windows, 1917
Watercolor and pencil on paper, 26 x 20 inches
Signed and dated lower right: Chas Burchfield / Jan 1917

CROSSOVER AUCTIONS ARE VERY MUCH THE CURRENT TREND IN THE AUCTION WORLD ESTABLISHING A NEW MARKETING APPROACH IN THE ART MARKET.  THE SALES COMBINE, EITHER THEMATICALLY OR SIMPLY IN TERMS OF THE PERIOD, SEVERAL CENTURIES OF ARTWORKS  WITHIN A SINGLE SALE. IN NOVEMBER 2015, PHILLIPS OFFERED WORKS BY LIVING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AND MODERN MASTERS BUT CHRISTIE’S IS THE HOUSE THAT HAS TRULY INSPIRED THIS APPROACH AS REMARKABLY SUCCESSFUL. TO DATE, IN MAY 2015, CHRISTIE’S HELD A BLOCKBUSTER SALE ORGANIZED BY CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIST, LOUIC GOUZER,  ENTITLED LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PAST THAT REALIZED $705.9 MILLION, AGAIN IN NOVEMBER 2015, IT HELD ANOTHER THEMED SALE, THE ARTIST’S MUSE THAT INCLUDED AS DIVERSE WORKS AS MODIGLIANI’S NU COUCHE AND LICHTENSTEIN’S NURSE.  IN OUR FORTHCOMING NEW YORK MAY AUCTION SEASON, ONCE AGAIN CONCEIVED BY CHRISTIE’S LOIC GOUZER, BOUND TO FAIL WILL EXPLORE CREATIVE RISK IN A CURATED SALE OF MODERN, POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART.

“CROSSOVER APPEAL” IS NOT LIMITED TO CURATED SALES. IN NOVEMBER 2014,  FOLLOWING A CHRISTIE’S SALE OF AMERICAN ART , ELIZABETH BEAMAN, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, OBSERVED IN ARTnet NEWS THAT “PRICES FOR O’KEEFFE, EDWARD HOPPER AND MILTON AVERY SHOW THE CONTINUED CROSSOVER APPEAL IN AMERICAN ART FROM POSTWAR AND MODERN COLLECTORS”.

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/was-christies-46-million-american-art-auction-a-flop-176025

GODEL & COMPANY OPENED OVER 30 YEARS AGO, AS A TRIBUTE TO HOWARD GODEL’S PASSION FOR 19th AND EARLY 20th CENTURY ART. TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO SHARE HIS EXPERTISE  AND THAT OF HIS GALLERY DIRECTOR, KATHERINE BAUMGARTNER, ON THE AMERICAN ART MARKET AND HOW BEST TO NAVIGATE IT AS A NEW OR SEASONED COLLECTOR.

HOWARD AND KATHERINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GREAT CONTRIBUTION.

http://www.godelfineart.com/

IN THE POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY MARKETS, ART FAIRS DOMINATE THE MARKET AS A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MEANS OF EXPOSURE AND SALES. IN THE AMERICAN MARKET, THE CHOICES ARE MORE LIMITED. DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN ART FAIRS AND, IF SO, WHICH ONES AND WHY?

KATHERINE: Right now we participate in two art fairs: The American Art Fair, which coincides with the fall American paintings sales in New York, and the Philadelphia Antiques Show, which takes place in April. We will add another New York show to our schedule, because collectors from all over the country still come here to buy the kind of art we handle.

Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948) Lady in Black: The Red Room, 1890 Oil on panel, 16 x 10 inches Signed and dated lower left: to my friend Chase / Irving R. Wiles 1890

Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948)
Lady in Black: The Red Room, 1890
Oil on panel, 16 x 10 inches
Signed and dated lower left: to my friend Chase / Irving R. Wiles 1890

KATHERINE, YOU ARE INVOLVED BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY AS PART OF THE AMERICAN ART WORLD “FAMILY”. YOUR HUSBAND, ERIC BAUMGARTNER, IS AN ASTUTE DEALER, SENIOR VP AT THE ESTEEMED HIRSCHL AND ADLER.  GIVEN YOUR SHARED PASSION FOR AMERICAN ART, ARE YOU COLLECTORS IN THIS FIELD?

It’s true that we are passionate about American art, particularly the Hudson River School, and I have a soft spot for 19th century narrative pictures. I could very happily have a house full of paintings by John Krimmel, William Sidney Mount and Winslow Homer! Since that is not likely to happen, we have resigned ourselves to being grateful that we work in a field we know and love. If we collect anything, it’s early American furniture (William & Mary and Queen Anne styles) and decorative arts.

The Godel residence Mount Kisco, New York

The Godel residence
Mount Kisco, New York

I SUSPECT THAT HOWARD IS AS DEDICATED AND OBSESSIVE A COLLECTOR AS HE IS A DEALER. HE AND HIS WIFE, MELINDA, LIVE IN THE HUDSON RIVER VALLEY, THE HISTORICAL HOME OF SUCH GREAT AMERICAN ARTISTS AS JASPER CROSPEY AND FREDERIC CHURCH. HOWARD, WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR COLLECTION?

HOWARD: Melinda and I love our field and have over seventy artworks hanging throughout our home, including in the kitchen and guest rooms. We own important works by James Peale, Francis A. Silva, Jervis McEntee, Walter Launt Palmer, J. G. Brown, Eastman Johnson, and A. F. Tait. We also have outstanding works by less well-known artists like Frank Anderson, C. P. Ream, and Arthur Parton.

Thomas Anshutz (1851-1912) Woman Reading at a Desk, c. 1910 Oil on canvas, 26 x 24 in. Signed lower right: Thos Anshutz

Thomas Anshutz (1851-1912)
Woman Reading at a Desk, c. 1910
Oil on canvas, 26 x 24 in.
Signed lower right: Thos Anshutz

KATHERINE: Howard and Melinda frequently host museum and collectors’ groups at their home, and I am often invited to attend these events to help answer questions about the collection. Howard regales his visitors with stories about how he acquired this or that painting, and they love it! Melinda serves an elegant luncheon in the dining room (whose walls are lined with twenty-five exquisite American still lifes), then Howard takes everyone up to the attic to see his vast collection of antique cast-iron toys and trains! There is something for everyone at the Godel’s house.

The Godel residence Mount Kisco, New York

The Godel residence
Mount Kisco, New York

FOR COLLECTORS WITH AN EMERGING INTEREST IN AMERICAN ART, WHAT ADVICE AND GUIDANCE WOULD YOU PRIORITIZE TO MAKE THEIR ADVENTURE AND JOURNEY BOTH A SOLID AND A PLEASURABLE ONE?

KATHERINE: Find an area of collecting within American art that really speaks to you, and that you feel connected to for some reason. Never buy art for investment alone, and always buy the highest quality you can afford. Good dealers take the time to educate their clients about condition, provenance, appropriate framing, and current research. I’ll even give them a reading list if they ask for it! Visit museum exhibitions that focus on your area of collecting. Attend lectures. Join your local museum’s collectors group. Even if you don’t intend to buy at auction, go to the previews. They’re free! It never hurts to see and absorb as much as you can. Attend art fairs; they are a great way to see a lot of material, and to meet dealers from all over the world. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most dealers absolutely love to talk about their art and are happy to share their expertise.

The Godel residence Mount Kisco, New York

The Godel residence
Mount Kisco, New York

HOWARD: Try to talk to more than one dealer and ask around about reputations. It is important to know the difference between a smooth talking salesman and a dealer who truly wants to guide and educate, and who will answer every question you can think of.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL NEW SPACE, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXHIBITIONS AND PLANS THAT GODEL & CO HAVE IN 2016?

KATHERINE: We are very excited about the new gallery and love showing it off! With the enormous task of moving behind us, we can now focus on planning our exhibition schedule. The size and breadth of our inventory is such that many shows can be organized from stock, but we are not averse to borrowing from our colleagues, or even from private collectors willing to lend. Some ideas for future shows are American sporting art, regional schools of still-life painting, and maybe another focused on narrative painting. We love paintings that tell stories!

Godel & Company New York

Godel & Company
New York

I think it would be great to host a lecture series with some of the brilliant independent curators and art historians we work with. The new space is perfectly suited to such events.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, WE ARE VERY PLEASED TO INTRODUCE CLAUS ROBENHAGEN, DIRECTOR OF LISSON GALLERY, ESTABLISHED IN LONDON FOR MANY YEARS FEATURING INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS SUCH AS AI WEI WEI AND ANISH KAPOOR. LISSON IS OPENING A SPECTACULAR SPACE THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY IN NEW YORK WITH A SOLO EXHIBITION OF THE WORK OF CARMEN HERRERA WHO WILL BE HONORED WITH A RETROSPECTIVE AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM THIS FALL.

CLAUS OFFERS AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD AND IT IS A PLEASURE TO WELCOME THIS GOOD FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Three decades of American Art at Godel & Co.

William Michael Harnett (1848-1892) Still Life with Book, Jug, Pipe, Tobacco and Matches with a Newspaper, 1878 Oil on canvas, 18 x 15 in. Signed and dated lower left: Harnett / 1878 GODEL & CO

William Michael Harnett (1848-1892)
Still Life with Book, Jug, Pipe, Tobacco and Matches with a Newspaper, 1878
Oil on canvas, 18 x 15 in.
Signed and dated lower left: Harnett / 1878
GODEL & CO

ALTHOUGH AMERICAN ART SPANS ONLY THREE CENTURIES, THANKS TO OUR PIONEERING SPIRIT AND PATRIOTISM, MANY OUTSTANDING MUSEUM COLLECTIONS HOUSE TREASURE TROVES OF AMERICAN ART, AMERICAN ARTISTS’ STUDIOS AND HOMES ARE LANDMARKED AS HISTORIC, VISITOR SITES, AND A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF MUSEUMS ARE DEDICATED EXCLUSIVELY TO AMERICAN PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND WORKS ON PAPER FROM THE 18th TO THE 20th CENTURY.

The Course of the Empire Thomas Cole New-York Historical Society

The Course of the Empire
Thomas Cole
New-York Historical Society

THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY WAS ONE OF THE EARLIEST MUSEUMS TO HOUSE A WORLD-CLASS COLLECTION THANKS TO THE PHILANTHROPIC GENEROSITY OF THE 19th CENTURY COLLECTOR LUMAN REED.  HIS 1858 DONATION OF  HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL PAINTINGS INCLUDED MAJOR WORKS BY THOMAS COLE AND FREDERIC CHURCH AND ICONIC GENRE PAINTINGS BY WILLIAM SIDNEY MOUNT AND EASTMAN JOHNSON.

The American Wing Metropolitan Museum of Art

The American Wing
Metropolitan Museum of Art

IN 1870, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM BEGAN TO ACQUIRE IMPORTANT EXAMPLES OF AMERICAN ART AND DESIGN AND TODAY, THE MET’S AMERICAN WING HOUSES SOME 1700 WORKS OF DECORATIVE AND FINE AMERICAN ART FROM COLONIAL PORTRAITS TO EARLY 20th CENTURY ASH CAN SCHOOL WORKS. THE SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM IN WASHINGTON, D.C.  ALSO IS CELEBRATED AS ONE OF OUR FIRST AND LARGEST COLLECTIONS AND PROVIDES AN UNPARALLELED RECORD OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Arkansas

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Arkansas

THE MOST RECENT CONTRIBUTION TO THE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND APPRECIATION OF AMERICAN ART, THE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART IN BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS WAS ESTABLISHED JUST  A FEW YEARS  AGO IN 2011 BY COLLECTOR AND PHILANTHROPIST, ALICE WALTON.  THE MUSEUM RECENTLY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO TRANSFORM AN OLD KRAFT CHEESE PLANT INTO AN ADDITIONAL SPACE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITIONS, ARTISTS’ PROJECTS, MUSIC, THEATER AND FILM.

Melinda and Howard Godell at home beside a genre scene by S.S. Carr (1837–1908)

Melinda and Howard Godell at home beside a genre scene by S.S. Carr (1837–1908)

HOWARD GODELL, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF GODEL & CO., AND GALLERY DIRECTOR, KATHERINE BAUMGARTNER, HAVE ENCOURAGED AND CONTRIBUTED TO THIS AREA OF COLLECTING SINCE THE GALLERY WAS FOUNDED THIRTY YEARS AGO.

http://www.godelfineart.com/

Howard, what was the collector profile for American Art during the gallery’s formative years? Has it changed and, if so, in what ways?

HOWARD: When I first opened the gallery, most of the collectors we sold to were doctors and small businessmen and women who could easily afford works that cost $5,000 to $25,000. Many of those early clients went on to form major collections of American art. The market has matured and changed, and people with serious wealth have entered

market, especially in the last 20 years, creating high demand for masterpiece level works. Single pictures by the top artists in our area of expertise are now worth millions, and that is not likely to change because demand outstrips supply by a large margin.

Levi Wells Prentice (1851-1935) Apples by a Tree, c. 1885 Oil on canvas 10 x 18 inches GODEL & CO.

Levi Wells Prentice (1851-1935)
Apples by a Tree, c. 1885
Oil on canvas
10 x 18 inches
GODEL & CO.

Katherine, Godel & Co. enjoys very strong support from museum curators, boards and groups. How were these museum relationships developed? In what way does the criteria of placing work in museums parallel the requisites of private collectors and in what ways does it differ?

KATHERINE: While I think most curators of historical American art are familiar with our reputation, and know that we have one of the most extensive and wide-ranging inventories in the country, we still make a point of reaching out to them and visiting museums is a high priority for us. I learn so much when curators take me through their galleries, and it is always a treat to tour a special exhibition with the curator who organized it! Part of my job is to know what a particular museum owns, and if there are any “holes” in the collection. So we meet curators on their home turf, but we also encourage them to visit the gallery, whether they are searching for acquisitions, or if they are doing research for an exhibition. We are always happy to loan paintings to museum exhibitions. Not only is it good publicity for the gallery and adds value to the artwork, it also enhances our understanding and appreciation of it. We host many museum collectors’ groups throughout the year. Sometimes they just want a tour through the gallery, but more often than not, the curators have acquisitions in mind and ask us to focus on specific paintings, often ones they have vetted beforehand. I find that most of the curators I work with are very savvy about the art market and make every effort to know what’s on the market at any given time.

Severin Roesen (1817-1872) Still Life with Fruit and a Bird's Nest Oil on canvas 30 x 40 inches

Severin Roesen (1817-1872)
Still Life with Fruit and a Bird’s Nest
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches

Our criteria for selling to museums and private collectors is the same, really. Museums can just take a bit longer to make decisions, as acquisitions usually have to be approved by their boards and donors. All of our clients, be they private collectors or museums, rely on us to provide them with high quality, well researched works of art, at fair prices.

What are some of the most memorable works that the gallery has placed with both private and institutional collectors?

We work with over 350 museums, large urban ones, as well as smaller regional ones, and it’s always gratifying to sell to them. It means that we must provide works of exceptional quality and condition, with accurate and verifiable provenances, etc. For me, all of the museum sales are memorable and each has its own story. One of the most memorable sales we made to a museum was a rare still life by Raphaelle Peale to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Howard had purchased it for his private collection, and when we mounted an exhibition of still-life painting in 2006, he loaned it for the show, with absolutely no intention of selling it.

Maximilien Colin (!862-1894) Woman Seated in an Interior Oil on canvas 29 x 36 1/4 inches

Maximilien Colin (!862-1894)
Woman Seated in an Interior
Oil on canvas
29 x 36 1/4 inches

When I took Margi Conrads (then curator of American art at the Nelson-Atkins) through the show, the Peale stopped her in her tracks. It took some doing, but Margi and I persuaded Howard to let it go. I think I remember some “pretty pleases” during that negotiation! As hard as it was for him to part with it, I know he is proud that “his” Peale is now part of a world-class collection of American art. We are also proud to have placed a rare Pre-Raphaelite forest interior executed in 1863 by William Trost Richards in the National Gallery of Art, and an exquisite floral still life by Severin Roesen in the Baltimore Museum of Art. We’ve sold significant works to many museums, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Terra Foundation of American Art, High Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Greenville County Museum of Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.

EACH GENERATION OF COLLECTORS IDENTIFIES A PERIOD OF ART THAT RESONATES WITH THEM. MANY ACTIVE  COLLECTORS ARE COMMITTED TO ACQUIRING CONTEMPORARY ART. A SHIFT WITHIN THE AMERICAN ART MARKET IS FROM 19th CENTURY HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL AND AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST WORKS ADORED BY THEIR PARENTS’ GENERATION TO THE MODERNIST SENSIBILITY OF WORKS OF THE EARLY 20th CENTURY.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, KATHERINE WILL EXPLORE THE NATURE OF THIS EVOLUTION OF TASTE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE AMERICAN ART MARKET. PLEASE JOIN US!

The New-York Historical Society: Making History Matter

Paterson Strike Pageant in Madison Square Garden organized by John Reed, Margaret Sanger and Mabel Dodge June 7, 1913

Paterson Strike Pageant in Madison Square Garden organized by John Reed, Margaret Sanger and Mabel Dodge
June 7, 1913

THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY IS A TREASURE TROVE OF REMARKABLE WORKS OF AMERICAN ART AND A STRONGHOLD OF VITAL HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, THUS PROVIDING A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO APPRECIATE THE INTELLECTUAL AND VISUAL SYNERGY BETWEEN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY AND ART AND CULTURE. IN THE ARMORY SHOW AT 100 EXHIBITION, WALL TEXTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEOS AND CAMPAIGN MEMORABILIA INVITED THE VIEWER ON A JOURNEY THROUGH THE POLITICAL CLIMATE OF THE 1910s IN NEW YORK WHILE THE PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE DOCUMENTED THE REVOLUTIONARY EFFECT OF THE EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDE ON AMERICA’S DEFINITION OF ART. NEW YORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MECCA FOR INTELLECTUAL PIONEERS AND SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ACTIVISTS AND THE EXHIBITION NOT ONLY ADDRESSED THE AESTHETIC TRANSFORMATION BUT ALSO THE PIVOTAL POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES OF THE TIME: THE SUFFRAGETTE MOVEMENT, SOCIAL REFORM AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.

IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG, CURATOR AND ART HISTORIAN, MARILYN KUSHNER, HEAD OF PRINTS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARCHITECTURAL COLLECTIONS AT THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY, SHARES HER IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THIS UNIQUE MOMENT IN AMERICA AND ITS LEGACY TODAY.

The International Exhibition of Modern Art opens in New York February 17, 1913

The International Exhibition of Modern Art opens in New York
February 17, 1913

MARILYN, YOU STRUCTURED THE ARMORY SHOW AT 100 TO REFLECT NOT ONLY THE SHATTERING EFFECT OF THE ORIGINAL ARMORY SHOW ON AMERICAN IDEAS ABOUT ART BUT ALSO THE SEISMIC SHIFTS IN SOCIETY IN THE 1910s. WHAT INSPIRED THIS CURATORIAL PERSPECTIVE?

One was left with the idea that the Armory Show was the only great thing that happened in 1913. Yet, there were women marching on the streets for suffrage, there were workers marching in the streets for their rights and they were going out on strike. Greenwich Village was becoming the village of the Bohemians and young people who were going to change the world. They were breaking away from their Victorian parents and they felt that they were the future.

Women's Suffrage Parade

Women’s Suffrage Parade

DON’T YOU THINK THE ART WAS JUST A METAPHOR?

Yes and it was the revolutionary spirit of the time.

So there was all of this was going on. Politics – Teddy Roosevelt runs in 1912 on the Progressive platform pushing for universal health care. Women were not only marching for the right to vote, they were marching for the right to have children out-of-wedlock, to have open marriage. We thought that was all new in the 1960s and it wasn’t. There was a great deal of ferment about the New then: it was the new woman, the new Negro, the new writer, the new art, new dance – everything was new.

Times Square at Night 1913

Times Square at Night
1913

What I like to say is that we can’t be surprised that the Armory Show happened. The question is not why the Armory Show happened. The answer is that it happened because the artists were looking at the new just like everyone else. The real question would have been if the Armory Show hadn’t happen then why didn’t it happen? “If there had not been an Armory Show, why not?” But there was, because the artists were right there, thinking about the new and they wanted to bring the new to New York audiences. The Armory show was part of the whole zeitgeist of the time.

Now, we have given the Armory Show a whole other meaning – we have placed it within the context of the new. As such, we had address the historical context of the art exhibition and Kim and I made certain that there were a number of historians writing about what was going on in history at the time. So we didn’t do just straight art history, we did art and we did history. And, that is what the New-York Historical Society does.

Grand Central Terminal opens February 2, 1913

Grand Central Terminal opens
February 2, 1913

IN OUR LAST LRFA POST WITH MARILYN, WE WILL EXPLORE THE MANY CONTRIBUTIONS THE  NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAKES TO ENRICH OUR APPRECIATION OF NEW YORK, THE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IT  OFFERS SCHOLARS AND HISTORIANS, ITS GREAT EXHIBITION PROGRAMMING, PARTICULARLY FOR CHILDREN AND SCHOOL GROUPS, AND ITS FUTURE PLANS.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THIS WITH ALL OF YOU. THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG!

 

A curatorial tour de force: The Armory Show at 100 at the New-York Historical Society

The Armory Show at 100 New-York Historical Society October 2013 - February 2014

The Armory Show at 100
New-York Historical Society
October 2013 – February 2014

ON OCTOBER 11, 2013, THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY LAUNCHED A MONUMENTAL EXHIBITION CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL OF A LANDMARK EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF MODERN ART. The Armory Show at 100  GATHERED MORE THAN 90 MASTERWORKS FROM THE ORIGINAL 1913 EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS, SCULPTURE AND WORKS ON PAPER BY THE EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDE AND ICONS OF AMERICAN ART OF THE PERIOD.

http://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/armory-show-at-100

 

The Armory Show 1913

The Armory Show 1913

THE ORIGINAL International Exhibition of Modern Art  WAS LAUNCHED AT THE 69th STREET REGIMENT ARMORY ON LEXINGTON AVENUE AT 25th STREET. TO PUT IT SIMPLY, IT CHANGED THE WAY IN WHICH ARTISTS, COLLECTORS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC THOUGHT ABOUT ART. THE ARMORY’S ENORMOUS DRILL HALL PROVIDED OVER 30,000 SQUARE FEET TO DISPLAY AN ESTIMATED 1,400 WORKS OF ART, HALF OF AMERICAN ORIGIN AND HALF EUROPEAN. ALTHOUGH ONLY A FEW ARTISTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE ARMORY SHOW ARE REMEMBERED NOW, THREE HUNDRED EXHIBITED, SOME ICONIC MASTERS TODAY, OTHERS  LONG FORGOTTEN. THE AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN PAINTINGS IN THE ARMORY SHOW DOCUMENTED THE ENORMOUS VARIETY OF STYLES AND MOVEMENTS, FROM FRENCH IMPRESSIONISM TO REVOLUTIONARY EUROPEAN FAUVIST AND CUBIST WORKS TO THE URBAN REALISM OF THE AMERICAN ASHCAN SCHOOL.

Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2 Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2
Marcel Duchamp

IT IS A PRIVILEGE TODAY TO HAVE MARILYN SATIN KUSHNER, CO-CURATOR OF THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S BENCHMARK EXHIBITION, THE ARMORY SHOW AT 100, SPEAK ABOUT THE AESTHETIC AND SOCIAL DYNAMICS THAT DOMINATED THE ART WORLD IN THE 1910s.

MARILYN, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ART WORLD IN AMERICA AT THE TIME OF THE ORIGINAL ARMORY SHOW?

Let’s take ourselves back to 1913. What the American public knew about the art that was being created in Europe at the time was basically through black and white photographs or black and white prints (there was color photography then but it wasn’t widely disseminated). If you were part of that upper crust of New York society that went over to Europe every summer then you saw that work in color, but the great majority of the American public didn’t often get to Europe so the Armory Show was an eye opener for them. The original European work that was seen here in the United States at the time was not from the early 20th century. Americans knew about French Impressionism and perhaps also Post-Impressionism but if they hadn’t seen these works as originals, they probably would have had no idea about the importance of color in them.

The Red Studio Henri Matisse

The Red Studio
Henri Matisse

I ASSUME THAT, IN MUSEUMS, ONLY EARLIER PERIODS OF ART WERE AVAILABLE FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW.

That’s right. The first Cézanne that ever came into an American museum was bought out of the Armory Show. So that while some of those late-nineteenth-century/early twentieth century paintings were in private collections here, they were seen by the American public for the first time at the Armory Show. That was a revelation to the Armory Show audiences. A number of the American artists had been over to Europe and when they returned some of them did paint modernist works but generally American art did not really change a lot, even after the Armory Show. I would say until the later 1940s with the New York School did the Americans begin to paint in a revolutionary manner. Then European artists began to travel here to become part of the avant-garde scene.

What the Armory show did do was wake up the American public to modern art but it took a long time for many of our artists to get on the band wagon, so to speak.

Still Life No. 1 Marsden Hartley

Still Life No. 1
Marsden Hartley

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

Because it takes time.

Hackensack River Oskar Bluemner

Hackensack River
Oskar Bluemner

Oskar Bluemner had four paintings in the Armory Show and his sketches indicate that the images he exhibited were quite traditional landscapes. He was so blown away by the avant-garde modernist works that he saw that after the Armory Show he painted over all four or his paintings and the “new” work depicted abstracted landscapes in brilliant colors.

John Sloan who was an Ashcan painter and a wonderful painter saw the Armory Show. He said it affected him greatly but his art didn’t change. He made one or two forays into abstracted work but then went back to the style for which he was known. But, he did say that the Armory Show gave him a freedom to think the way he wanted to, as if he was unshackled, and in that way the exhibition actually affected him quite a bit. 

Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair John Sloan

Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair
John Sloan

In general, the Armory Show gave a lot of artists here a freedom to paint what they wanted to but that didn’t necessarily mean that their style changed all that much.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, MARILYN PROVIDES AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF THE SCALE AND SCOPE OF A CURATOR’S MISSION WHEN ASSEMBLING AN EXHIBITION OF THIS MAGNITUDE.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS TO ADDRESS TO THIS GREAT SCHOLAR OF AMERICAN ART, FIRE AWAY – AND THANK YOU, ALWAYS, FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Hirschl and Adler’s Eric Baumgartner on the American art market

 

Edward Hopper Hirschl and Adler Galleries New York

Edward Hopper
Hirschl and Adler Galleries
New York

OVER THE PAST DECADE, AMERICAN ART HAS COMMANDED OVER 100 WORLD RECORDS AT AUCTION. AT THE SOTHEBY’S SALE OF AMERICAN ART LAST NOVEMBER,  GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S EXQUISITE JIMSON WEED, WHITE FLOWER NO. 1 SOLD FOR $44.4 MILLION, BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR A FEMALE ARTIST AT AUCTION. http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/blogs/all-blogs/sotheby-s-at-large/2014/11/female-artist-record-iconic-okeeffe-flower-painting.html AT CHRISTIE’S IN DECEMBER 2013, THE DEPARTMENT SET A NEW WORLD RECORD FOR EDWARD HOPPER WITH THE SALE OF EAST WIND OVER WEEHAWKEN AT $40,485,000 MILLION. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101249817#.

AMERICAN ART HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE MARKET FOR MANY YEARS AND HAD GAINED A PRONOUNCED UPTICK IN RECENT YEARS. IT IS AN EXTREMELY SELECTIVE MARKET AND THE DEPARTMENTS AT BOTH AUCTION HOUSES ARE REAPING THE REWARDS OF CAREFUL EDITING OF THE WORKS FOR SALE AND EQUALLY JUDICIOUS ESTIMATES. THERE HAVE BEEN A “HANDFUL OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, WHICH IS VERY EXCITING”,  ACCORDING TO ELIZABETH GOLDBERG WHO HEADS SOTHEBY’S AMERICAN ART DEPARTMENT. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, THERE IS DEFINITELY  CYCLICAL INTEREST IN DIFFERENT PERIODS OF AMERICAN ART. OF LATE, AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST MASTERS SUCH AS WILLIAM MERRITT CHASE AND CHILDE HASSAM HAVE TAKEN A BACKSEAT TO THE ENERGY AND MORE AVANT-GARDE SPIRIT OF THE AMERICAN MODERNIST MASTERS.

OF COURSE, QUALITY IS THE NORTH STAR OF ALL COLLECTING.

THE  LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO HAVE AMERICAN ART EXPERT, ERIC BAUMGARTNER OF HIRSCHL AND ADLER GALLERIES SHARE HIS ASTUTE KNOWLEDGE OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET.  THE GALLERY IS LOCATED AT THE CROWN BUILDING ON 57th AND FIFTH IN NEW YORK, THE EXHIBITIONS REFLECT THE GALLERY’S EXTENSIVE HISTORY, KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE OF AMERICAN ART AND FURNITURE.  http://www.hirschlandadler.com/

ERIC, DO YOU SEE AN EBB AND FLOW OF INTEREST IN DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS AND AREAS OF COLLECTING OF AMERICAN ART AND, IF SO, IN WHAT WAYS?

As far as American art is concerned, most definitely! For instance, middle-range 19th-century American paintings are more challenging to sell today, while on the other hand, interest in a broad spectrum of American modernism is growing. Collectors of modernism are moving beyond the core group of artists associated with Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery stable—Demuth, Hartley, Marin, O’Keeffe, Sheeler—and embracing surrealism (John Atherton, Charles Howard, Kay Sage) and early abstraction (Howard again, Henry Fitch Taylor).

CHARLES HOUGHTON HOWARD Bouquet, 1932 Oil on canvas 31 x 41 inches

CHARLES HOUGHTON HOWARD
Bouquet, 1932
Oil on canvas
31 x 41 inches

Another branch of modernism that is seeing market growth is Regionalism. As great works by the core Regionalists Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood have gotten nearly impossible to find, deserving attention is being paid to artists who, in their day, didn’t break through to a national audience: Marvin Cone of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Alexandre Hogue of West Texas; Joe Jones of Saint Louis, Missouri; and John Rogers Cox of Indiana come to mind.

 

THOMAS COLE An Italian Autumn Oil on canvas 32 x 48 inches

THOMAS COLE
An Italian Autumn
Oil on canvas
32 x 48 inches

Having said that, however, we still feel that there is a viable and competitive audience for blue-chip works by such 19th-century artists as Thomas Cole, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Martin Johnson Heade, and Winslow Homer; it’s an example that buying into real quality never goes out of fashion.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE GALLERY SYSTEM? IS EVERYONE ON STAFF AN EXPERT IN A PARTICULAR AREA AND HOW DOES THE CURATORIAL/EXHIBITION CALENDAR EVOLVE? DO INDIVIDUAL STAFF MEMBERS PROPOSE EXHIBITIONS OR DO YOU HAVE A CURATORIAL TEAM?

Hirschl & Adler Galleries is organized by department: American art, European art, American furniture and decorative arts, and contemporary art. I head the American department, Gregory Hedberg leads our European department, Stuart and Liz Feld head our decorative-arts program, and Shelly Farmer runs our contemporary division, Hirschl & Adler Modern. However, none of us are pigeonholed; for example, I can bring in European paintings on consignment for sale, and have done so on many occasions. Of course, the entire sales staff has full access to our extraordinarily large and diverse inventory, so when it comes time to offering—and, we hope, selling—each sales person can tap into works from any department to meet the needs and interests of our clients. Our gallery exhibition calendar is generally established on a six to nine-month lead, and anyone on our very talented staff can propose and curate an exhibition that fits our program. In fact, two of our more popular and successful summer exhibitions—Duets (2013) and Our American Life (2014)—were organized and curated by our support staff.

DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR PERIOD OF ART THAT RESONATES THE MOST WITH YOU?

My love of Hudson River School landscape paintings began in my college years when I wrote my senior honors thesis on John Frederick Kensett’s luminist pictures. Kensett painted many traditional landscapes—scenic views of the Catskills, White Mountains, and Adirondacks—in a picturesque style that prevailed at mid-century, but when he hit the New England coast, particularly the coast of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, his compositions turned remarkably spare. I find this dichotomy in his work utterly fascinating, and have often wondered what drove him to adopt such a different style. Kensett, one of the most traditional pictorialists in the Hudson River School, quite suddenly switched to a revolutionary compositional technique of expansive sky, open horizon lines, and an accentuated awareness of atmosphere. Kensett was not alone, of course, as his contemporaries Sanford Robinson Gifford, Martin Johnson Heade, Fitz Henry Lane, and occasionally William Trost Richards, also embraced this compositional formula that we today call luminism.

WILLIAM TROST RICHARDS Along the Shore, New Jersey, 1870 Oil on canvas 14 3/8 x 26 3/8 inches

WILLIAM TROST RICHARDS
Along the Shore, New Jersey, 1870
Oil on canvas
14 3/8 x 26 3/8 inches

DO YOU AND YOUR WIFE, ALSO A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND DEDICATED AMERICAN ART GALLERIST, COLLECT?

My wife, Katherine, and I collect New England furniture from the first half of the 18th century, the so-called William and Mary era. “Collect” is perhaps too generous a term. We own a handful of pieces and enjoy living with them. I personally love photography—I have been pursuing photography myself in a serious way since about 1972—and hope to one day collect vintage photographs. At the moment, our vintage photography collection numbers a grand total of one: a black-and-white photograph of the Norfolk & Western railroad by O. Winston Link. I suppose it’s a start!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, ERIC BAUMGARTNER WILL INTRODUCE US TO HIRSCHL AND ADLER MODERN. WE WELCOME ALL COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS, AND APPRECIATE YOUR CONTINUED READERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION!

Gavin Spanierman recollects past success and explores future plans

Installation view Max Weber: Revisiting Still Life April 8 - May 3, 2013

Installation view
Max Weber: Revisiting Still Life
April 8 – May 3, 2013

 

IN APRIL 2014, GAVIN SPANIERMAN AND GERALD PETERS MERGED THEIR NEW YORK GALLERIES BRINGING AN ENORMOUS ROSTER OF BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE CLIENTS A WIDE OFFERING OF MUSEUM QUALITY WORKS OF AMERICAN ART. THE LASTING EFFECTS OF THIS COLLABORATION THAT SPANS THE ART OF THREE CENTURIES WILL COME INTO FULL FRUITION THIS FALL. I, FOR ONE, LOOK FORWARD TO THE EXHIBITIONS THAT GP GALLERY IS PLANNING, THEIR EXPANDED PRESENCE AT ART FAIRS, AND THE ROSTER OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS THAT THEY ANTICIPATE ADDING TO THE GALLERY LOCATED IN A BEAUTIFUL TOWNHOUSE AT 24 EAST 78th STREET,  BETWEEN FIFTH AND MADISON AVENUES, ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN. THIS BUILDING INCORPORATES TWO FLOORS OF EXHIBITION SPACE, SEVERAL PRIVATE VIEWING ROOMS, A LIBRARY, STORAGE FACILITIES AND OFFICES AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, A DIVERSE AND EXCEPTIONAL INVENTORY OF WESTERN ART, HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL PAINTING, AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM AND AMERICAN MODERNISM. www.gpgallery.com

 

 

Tracy Harris Flywheel, 2013 Encaustic on wood 24 x 24 inches

Tracy Harris
Flywheel, 2013
Encaustic on wood
24 x 24 inches

 

GAVIN SPANIERMAN BRINGS A UNIQUE ENERGY AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT TO VETERAN DEALER AND COLLECTOR, GERALD PETERS, AND IT IS A PLEASURE TO CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION TODAY IN THE LRFA BLOG.

GAVIN, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE WORKS THAT HAVE PASSED THROUGH YOUR HANDS AND WHY?

I have had the privilege of handling some very special works in my career. The Cummer Museum in Florida acquired one of the last great Twachtman waterfall paintings painted on his property in Greenwich. Crystal Bridges acquired a marvelous work by George Pettit, a little known Philadelphia portrait and allegorical painter from the 19th century. The painting is entitled The Union Refugees, and it depicts several familial groups fleeing what appear to be their burned out Southern homesteads. I placed an extraordinary Homer painting with a private collector that depicts two young boys in a meadow laying on their stomachs courting a young girl. The LA County Museum of Art acquired a great Albert Bloch painting titled Boy Eating an Apple. Bloch was from St. Louis but traveled to Berlin in 1910 where he was introduced to the work of Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and the other German Expressionists. He was so taken by their work that he invited Kandinsky and Marc to his studio to see his painting. They were so impressed that they invited him to exhibit with them, and the rest of the Blau Rider group despite the fact that he was American.

ARE THERE CERTAIN COMMON TRAITS THAT GREAT COLLECTORS SHARE, AND IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?

My favorite collectors are passionate about their areas of interest. They are interested not only in the aesthetics but also the importance of the artist, the quality and condition of the work, and how historically significant it is within the artist’s oeuvre.

Dan Rizzie exhibition September 23 - October 22, 2010

Dan Rizzie exhibition
September 23 – October 22, 2010

WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS FOR GALLERY EXPANSION? DO YOU SUPPORT THE MORE TRADITIONAL CONCEPT OF A STAFF THAT WORKS TOGETHER SUPPORTING THE ARTISTS, EXHIBITIONS AND INVENTORY SALES AS A TEAM? DO YOU THINK THERE ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND COMPETITIVE WAYS TO STRUCTURE A GALLERY?

I think the formula for a successful gallery has changed radically. The increased competition from the auction houses, the transparency in the market as well as the globalization of the art market that the internet provides require a gallery to be more price conscious than in the past. Participating in art fairs, however costly, has also become necessary to remain competitive. We will continue to deal in the very highest quality traditional American paintings ranging from the 19th century to early Modernism.  The area of expansion will be to develop the contemporary program to represent more significant artists and artists’ estates, as well as to participate in more of the art fairs that focus on post-war, modern art. We are scheduled to participate in Expo Chicago in September as well as Art Miami in December.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, WE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE  THE  LATEST OUTSTANDING NEW TECHNICAL TOOLS THAT EXHIBIT-e, THE WEB DESIGN TEAM FOR THE ART WORLD, HAS CAREFULLY RESEARCHED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS. EXHIBIT-e HAS LAUNCHED AN INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES A WEB-BASED SOLUTION FOR TRACKING EVERY ASPECT OF A GALLERY INVENTORY OR PRIVATE COLLECTION. THE SYSTEM COVERS EVERY ASPECT OF AN ART TRANSACTION,  CONTACTS, THE OWNERSHIP HISTORY OR PROVENANCE OF A WORK, AS WELL AS RECORDING AUXILIARY COSTS OF OWNING OR HANDLING A WORK, EVERYTHING FROM THE COST OF PHOTOGRAPHY, FRAMING, INSTALLATION, SHIPPING AND INSURANCE. IN THIS 2.0 WORLD OF GLOBAL ART FAIRS AND AN INTERNATIONAL ART MARKET, A 2.0 SYSTEM FACILITATES THE MAINTENANCE OF GALLERY INVENTORY OR PERSONAL HOLDINGS.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THEIR NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND CASE STUDIES WITH YOU AND WILL PASS ON ANY TECH QUESTIONS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE FOR THEIR EXPERT REPLIES AND KNOWLEDGE.

UNTIL THEN!

 

 

GP Gallery, New York: Three centuries of American art

Georgia O'Keeffe Red Pepper, Green Grapes 1928 Oil on board 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches

Georgia O’Keeffe
Red Pepper, Green Grapes
1928
Oil on board
8 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches

WHEN GERALD PETERS GALLERY, NEW YORK, AND GAVIN SPANIERMAN LTD. MERGED GALLERIES  IN THE SPRING OF THIS YEAR, TWO STRONG LEADERS IN THE AMERICAN ART MARKET CONSOLIDATED THEIR FORCES TO UNITE A WEALTH OF INVENTORY, EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE. GERALD PETERS HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE ART BUSINESS FOR OVER FORTY YEARS BOTH AS AN INFLUENTIAL DEALER AND AN IMPASSIONED COLLECTOR OF AMERICAN ART. HE IS AN AUTHORITY ON THE ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST, PARTICULARLY ARTISTS FREDERIC REMINGTON AND CHARLES RUSSELL AS WELL AS GEORGIA O’KEEFFE WHOM HE REPRESENTED IN THE 1970s. GAVIN SPANIERMAN IS HIGHLY RESPECTED FOR HIS KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN THE HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL, SUCH LUMINARIES AS FREDERIC CHURCH, SANFORD GIFFORD, AND ALBERT BIERSTADT, AND IN AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM, ARTISTS THAT INCLUDE  WINSLOW HOMER, CHILDE HASSAM, JOHN TWACHTMAN AND JOHN SINGER SARGENT.

TODAY, I AM VERY PLEASED TO HAVE GAVIN EXPAND ON THE SCALE AND SCOPE OF THE MERGER OF THE TWO GALLERIES.

GAVIN, THANK YOU FOR CONTRIBUTING. I ASSUME YOUR GALLERY, GAVIN SPANIERMAN, LTD.  AND GERALD PETERS GALLERY WILL MERGE INVENTORIES. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WORKS IN THE GALLERY THAT RESONATE MOST STRONGLY WITH YOU?

Yes, I have moved my office to the townhouse on 78th and we will merge inventories. As you mentioned earlier, Jerry has a deep and varied inventory of Modernism, and one of the works that I am particularly smitten with is a wonderful cubist work from 1911 by Max Weber. It depicts a rather bawdy scene of 2 men and a woman chatting at a table with a cabaret performance in the background that takes place at Joel’s café. A popular watering hole for artists, writers and the bohemian crowd located in Times Square after WWI.

DO YOU AND JERRY ANTICIPATE A DIVISION OF LABOR WITH YOU OVERSEEING NEW YORK AND JERRY MORE INVOLVED WITH THE GALLERY IN SANTE FE? HOW WILL IT WORK?

Our merger is only related to the NY Gallery. Santa Fe will still remain under the full directorship of Jerry.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS PARTNERSHIP?

The advantages for me are a great inventory of both historic American and post war art, as well as a wonderful history upon which to call upon for exhibitions and future inventory. For Jerry, the advantage is to have feet on the ground in NY that he can rely on to generate those exhibitions and further the brand of Gerald Peters gallery as well as make significant sales.

Installation View Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision November 15 - December 21, 2012

Installation View
Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision
November 15 – December 21, 2012

I KNOW YOU HAVE A STRONG KNOWLEDGE AND INTEREST IN CONTEMPORARY ART AS WELL AS SECONDARY MARKET MORE HISTORICAL WORKS. HOW WILL THAT AFFECT THE GALLERY ROSTER AND EXHIBITION SCHEDULE?

My plan is to continue to deal in significant traditional American works, expand the opportunities to deal in secondary market works, as well as continue to build a roster of contemporary artists.

WHAT CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS DO YOU PLAN TO EXHIBIT AND WHAT HISTORICAL EXHIBITIONS ARE IN THE PLANNING STAGES?

We have an exhibition of Frank Wimberley, and Tracy Harris slated for the fall, two Abstract artists with very different interpretations of the Nature from the East End of Long Island. Next spring we are planning an exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work, the scope of which has not yet been determined.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FUTURE PLANS THAT YOU HAVE IN TERMS OF THIS COLLABORATIVE EFFORT?

The Georgia O’Keeffe show is a perfect example of our upcoming collaboration. Jerry was her dealer in Santa Fe for the last 20 years of her life and has handled some of the more important works she produced. We intend to call upon the expansive archive of these works to produce the exhibition.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE GALLERY EXPANDING WITH THE BENEFIT OF TWO VERY EXPERIENCED DEALERS WHOSE EXPERTISE SPANS SO MANY AREAS OF BOTH AMERICA AND EUROPEAN ART?

Jerry and I both bring to the table expertise in different parts of the American art world. I am very well versed in Hudson River and Impressionist art, ant Jerry has extensive knowledge in Western and American Modernism. Between the two of us we are able to serve a wide variety of collectors and museums with our respective knowledge.

IN OUR NEXT BLOG, I AM VERY PLEASED TO DOCUMENT GAVIN’S PROFESSIONAL HISTORY, ONE THAT BRINGS SUCH RICH WEALTH AND KNOWLEDGE TO THIS MERGER AND EXPLORE HIS INTEREST AND AESTHETIC RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ART, AN AREA THAT GP GALLERY PLANS TO EXPAND UPON AND DEVELOP AS WELL.

I WELCOME ANY COMMENTS THAT YOU MAY HAVE – AND OFFER THE EXPERTISE AND ARTICULATE PERSPECTIVE OF GAVIN’S EXPERIENCE AND POINT OF VIEW TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ON THIS RICH PERIOD OF AMERICAN ART.