WEBER, MAX. 1881-1961, et al.
1. Approximately 250 drawings and sketches executed in a variety of media, including charcoal, pastel, pen and ink, gouache, and watercolor, many housed in sketchbooks, others on loose leaves, covering a variety of subject matters, including nudes, landscapes, still lifes, figural studies, and abstract pieces, most unsigned but many with identifying labels supplied by Helaine Blum, condition varies. (A more detailed listing available upon request.) Among the large collection of drawings and sketches are more finished works, including: Still life with flowers, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches; Abstract pastel, 13 x 17 inches; Lake scene, pastel on paper, signed lower right, 1954, 8½ x 11½ inches.
2. Approximately 115 Autograph Letters Signed ("Max"), approximately 220 pp, various sizes, most from Great Neck, Long Island, NY, 1953-1958, to Helaine Blum, many with original transmittal envelopes and with enclosures of drawings and small lithographs to leaves; discussing art and poetry and their relationship.
3. ZORACH, WILLIAM. 1887-1966. Approximately 26 Autograph Letters Signed ("Bill"), approximately 35 pp, various sizes, various places including Robinhood, ME and Brooklyn, 1950-1962, to Helaine Blum, many with original transmittal envelopes; together with offprints and ephemera relating to Zorach gallery openings, many signed. WITH: Landscape, watercolor on paper, 14½ x 22 inches, signed at lower right, framed.
4. [GROSZ, GEORGE. 1893-1959.] Sketchbook, 51 pp, folio, together with 26 loose pages in portfolio, n.p., n.d., attributed to Grosz by Helaine Blum (with her autograph notations), mainly figural studies in charcoal and pastels, some smudging and wear throughout.
5. BLUM, HELAINE. 1909-2010. A large collection of nudes, landscapes, portraits and still lifes, including notebooks containing written notes of her classes with Weber.
The Blum archive also includes a large selection of correspondence to Blum from economist OTTO NATHAN, for many years a trustee of the Einstein literary estate; MARCEL MARCEAU; STEPHEN KAYSER, and many members of her extended family, including her father and mother and cousins in Paris (comprising several hundred letters sent over a span of 5 decades). PLUS an extensive collection of photographs of the Blum family, 1900-1930s, plus later images, and a small archive of color slides of work by Blum, Weber, and Zorach.
Provenance: estate of Helaine Blum.
Born in Poland, Max Weber immigrated to the US with his family at the age of 10. He studied art as a young man and went to Paris in 1905 where he discovered the work of modernists like Rousseau, Matisse, Picasso, and other members of the School of Paris. Four years later he returned to New York and helped introduce Cubism to an American audience. By the 1930s and 1940s, his work was highly regarded, though he continued to support himself through teaching (as he had done since his return from Paris). His style today is characterized as lyrical expressionism, and his work includes landscapes, domestic scenes, nudes, spiritualism, and social issues.
Sculptress Helaine Blum was born in Cleveland, OH, to a wealthy family. She and her twin sister were both of an artistic bent, and traveled in Europe in their 20s. Helaine returned to Cleveland in her 20s, but after the sudden death of her twin sister in childbirth, vowed to live her life to the fullest. At that point she moved to New York to study painting and sculpture, and soon developed a close relationship with two of her teachers, Max Weber and William Zorach. Blum herself enjoyed success with her art: she produced many bronze busts of famous figures, often interviewing them heavily or even moving in with them during the creative process. Some of her subjects include Albert Einstein, Max Weber, Linus Pauling, and David Ben-Gurion.
- Please note that the William Zorach watercolor landscape is not included in the present lot, but will be offered as part of sale 20050 on October 21, 2012.