Washington Square Park signed 'Johann Berthelsen' (lower right) oil on canvas 12 x 16in
PROVENANCE: The artist Acquired by Mr. Milton Schepps, New York Thence by descent to the present owner
Mr. Milton Schepps, a close personal friend of Johann Berthelsen, owned a jewelry store at 554 Madison Avenue from the 1930s until it was relocated in 1969. Mr. Schepps displayed many of Berthelsen's paintings on the walls of his store, several of which he sold bearing the label "Traders in Treasures." Mr. Schepps kept a few of the paintings for himself including the first six lots of this sale which have remained in the family's collection.
Known as New York's 'Jeweler to the Stars', Mr. Schepps introduced Berthelsen to Frank Sinatra, who bought nearly 30 works from the artist. Mr. Schepps also likely introduced Berthelsen to Louis Armstrong, who commissioned a painting from the artist in 1954 depicting Times Square and the Paramount Theatre. Not only a gifted painter, Berthelsen was also an exceptional opera singer and must have had much to share with the talented jazz musician.