Pigeon on Magnolia Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
Signed Baishi, with three seals of the artist
Dated wuzi year (1948) 138.5cm x 39cm (54½in x 15¼in).
Provenance: Col. Thomas E. Williams (1915-1992), purchased directly from the artist in Beijing in 1948 By descent to his children in the USA
Exhibited: Long-term loan to the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, from 1971 to 2009 (with the return receipt issued by the Denver Art Museum)
Col. Thomas E. Williams (September 26, 1915 to February 6, 1992) was a retired US Marine Corps colonel who served two tours of duty in China during World War II. As Assistant Chief of Staff of Intelligence for the 6th US Marine Division stationed at Qingdao, Shandong province (1945-6), he documented the defeat of the Japanese navy. Later he worked as Assistant US Naval Attaché for the American Consulate in Beijing (1948-9). Col. Williams was an academic scholar before and after his military service. His research was instrumental in preparing for the establishment of a national central intelligence organization.
In his memoirs written in the late 1970s, Col. Williams recalled visiting Qi Baishi in his Beijing atelier three times in 1948, when he was stationed in Beijing during his second tour of duty. On the first visit, he commissioned from Qi bird-and-flower paintings, as well as those of fish, prawns and crabs. He also took a photo of the artist on this occasion, later recalling that "the artist looked the archetype of a venerable Chinese gentleman, even to his wispy beard." On his second and third visits, Col. Williams purchased additional paintings from the artist.
The two Qi Baishi paintings owned by Col. Williams and his wife Rachael included in this sale were on long-term loan to the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA from 1971 to 2009. In 1986, Col. and Mrs. Williams gifted the paintings to their two children, who kept them on loan to the Denver Art Museum until 2009. Col. Williams passed away in 1992.
湯瑪斯威廉姆上校 (Colonel Thomas E. Williams, 1915-1992) 為美國海軍陸戰隊退役軍人。在二次大戰末期間，他曾經兩次到中國服役。1945至1946年間，他擔任駐中國山東省青島市之美國海軍陸戰隊第六師情報署課長，在任期間，他記錄了日本海軍受降過程。1948年到1949年間，則擔任駐北京美國領事館海軍武官隨員。威廉姆上校於服役前後均從事學術研究，美國中央情報局之成立，即採用了不少威廉姆上校所作之情報研究為基礎。
Col. Thomas E. Williams, with the mayor of Qingdao, China, in 1945 1945年威廉姆上校與青島市長合照
On 16 July, 1946, Colonel Williams was presented with the "Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner with citation by the National Government of the Republic of China" 1946年3月1日國民政府為威廉姆上校頒綬雲麾勳章證書
Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner (obverse) 威廉姆上校所領綬之雲麾勳章（正面）
Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner (reverse) 威廉姆上校所領綬之雲麾勳章（背面）
(Plate 1) Qi Baishi 'Magnolia' （圖一）齊白石〈玉蘭〉
(Plate 2) Qi Baishi 'Magnolia and Chicks' （圖二）齊白石〈玉蘭小雞圖〉
(Plate 3) Detail of Lot 613 （圖三）拍品編號613細部
(Plate 4) Actual photo of a pigeon （圖四）斑鳩真實照片
(Plate 5) Qi Baishi 'Feeding the Fledglings' （圖五）齊白石〈哺雛圖〉
(Plate 6) Qi Baishi 'Pigeon in a Cage' （圖六）齊白石〈籠鳩圖〉