American Art
4 Dec 2013
New York

New York - Representing more than 200 years of artistic expression, Bonhams December 4 American Art sale features paintings, drawings and sculpture from the field's most important figures. Notable movements such as Hudson River School Painting, American Impressionism, Realism, Modernism and Illustration Art will all be represented.

Iconic works by Norman Rockwell lead the sale. Girl Choosing Hat, which was the cover for the January 31, 1931 edition of the Saturday Evening Post is the auction's top lot, executed at the start of Rockwell's most fruitful years at the magazine (est. $400,000-600,000). This work comes to sale directly from the artist's family. Another important Rockwell highlight is a study for The Facts of Life in which a father appears to explain a most delicate subject to his son. The work was completed for the July 15, 1951 issue of the Post (est. $300,000-400,000).

Splendid compositions from Childe Hassam lead a strong selection of American Impressionism on offer. In a private collection since 1964, East Gloucester, End of the Trolley Line, 1895, exemplifies Hassam's mature style (est. $300,000-500,000). Effectively juxtaposing both the urban and rural aspects of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Hassam's practice of quick brush strokes to create a light, impressionistic touch is complemented in this work with his use of a palette knife. Also on the block, the artist's 1900 composition Land's End, Coast of Maine characterises his exceptional talent in rendering the fleeting effects of light and shadow through his looseness of brushstroke (est. $200,000-300,000).

Additional painting highlights from luminary artists include Girl with the Sea Beyond by William McGregor Paxton (est. $120,000-180,000), In Bloom by Abbott Fuller Graves (est. $100,000-150,000) and Greenwood Lake, N.J. by Jasper Francis Cropsey (est. $100,000-150,000).

Striking sculpture in both bronze and marble can be found throughout the auction. Undine Receiving Her Soul by Chauncey Bradley Ives is a classical marble from 1861 that stands over five feet tall (est. $40,000-60,000), while Hiram Power's marble bust The Ideal Christ embodies the stone's inherent serenity ($80,000-120,000).

Sure to attract attention is one highlight that defies definition - an inlaid linoleum bathroom floor from 1940 by Stuart Davis (est. $10,000-15,000). Commissioned by the original owners for their home in Connecticut, the work was laid by contractors following designs by the artist.

"The sale features over 120 works from some of the category's most influential artists," said Kayla Carlsen, Bonhams American Art Specialist. "It's a pleasure to showcase the depth and diversity of American Art."

Bonhams American Art sale will take place on December 4 in New York. The auction will preview at Bonhams November 30 – December 4.

A fully illustrated catalogue is available at www.bonhams.com/auctions/21026/


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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