NEW YORK, NY.-
This spring, Christie's
will present "Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts: The Collection" as a highlight of its major sales of Impressionist and Modern Art, American Paintings, and 20th Century Decorative Arts. Featuring over 175 exceptional items from the collections of fine art dealer Bernard Goldbergs New York gallery, highlights of the sales will include paintings, sculpture and works on paper by Jacques Lipchitz, Edward Steichen, Elie Nadelman, Marsden Hartley, and Guy Pène du Bois, among others, as well as 20th century decorative items by George Washington Maher, Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Samuel Yellin.
A private collector of American art for over forty years, Mr. Goldberg established Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts after a successful career as an attorney and real estate developer. As one of the first boutique hoteliers in New York, he pioneered the practice of displaying museum-quality artworks in his hotels public spaces and private rooms. In 1998, using his personal collection as inspiration, he launched his retail gallery business, focusing on the leading artists of the Ashcan, Urban Realist, Abstract, Social Realist and Regionalist genres of American Art, as well as superb examples of 20th century design. More than 70 artists are represented, and the gallery has presented focused exhibitions on the work of Charles Burchfield, Oscar Bluemner, John Marin, the Stieglitz circle, and Marguerite and William Zorach, among others.
Impressionist and Modern Art Highlights
Among the highlights of the collection is Spanish Dancer, 1914 (estimate: $400,000-600,000), an elegant two-foot tall bronze by the French artist Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) that is signed, numbered and marked with the artists thumbprint. It has previously been featured in exhibitions at New Yorks Jewish Museum, and retrospectives of the artists work at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the National Galerie in Germany. It will be included in Christies Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on May 4. Additional highlights include La Verseuse, 1916 by Robert Delaunay (estimate: $200,000-300,000) and Dozing Woman, by Gustav Klimt, a work on paper in blue chalk executed circa 1898-1900 (estimate: $60,000-80,000), both of which will be featured in Christies Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale on May 5.
American Art Highlights
The majority of the Bernard Goldberg Collection over 70 extraordinary works by artists working in the period from 1900 to 1950 will be featured in Christies sale of Important American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture on May 20. Among the masterworks is a rare oil on canvas by Edward Steichen (1879-1973) entitled Moonlit Landscape, 1907 (estimate: $300,000-500,000). The dream-like nocturnal landscape is believed to have been inspired by trips to Alfred Stieglitzs summer home at Lake George, where Steichen also created some of his most celebrated photographs. This superb painting in tonalist style dates from the period before Steichen turned away from the medium in order to devote himself entirely to photography, and it remains one of the few examples of his exceptional painting talent that survive to the present day.
With its stylized white roses set against a vibrant red background, Marsden Hartleys Roses for Seagulls that Lost their Way, 1935-36 (estimate: $300,000-500,000), showcases the artists extraordinary skill as a colorist. Despite the paintings bright color palette, its meaning is believed to be derived from a more somber incident. In 1936, while Hartley was staying with his friends, the Masons, in Nova Scotia, the familys two sons and a cousin drowned during a fierce storm. The tragedy marked Hartley deeply, and the painting, with its delicate white ribbon in the abstracted form of a seagull, is believed to have been painted in elegy to the young victims.
Following the recent record price of $782,500 achieved for a work by Guy Pene du Bois (1884-1958) at Christies December 2009 sale of Important American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, Christies is pleased to offer a selection of five works by this talented figure painter. The lead highlight of the group, Place Massena, Nice, 1930 (estimate: $150,000-250,000), depicts the central square of the lavish seaside resort of Nice on uncharacteristically somber, rainy day. Du Bois sparsely populates the foreground of the scene with cosmopolitan figures clutching coats and umbrellas in a pleasing contrast to the verdant palm trees that recede into the foggy distance. The painting is one of only three du Bois created during the brief period he lived in Nice, and of the group, Place Massena presents the most complete view of the citys striking scenery.
Considered the leader of the Regionalist artist movement, Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) is best known for his fluid, almost sculpted paintings of rural life in the Midwest, where his family had its roots. For nearly all his adult life, however, Benton summered on Marthas Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. A delicate oil on tin, entitled Marthas Vineyard (estimate: $100,000-150,000), beautifully captures the rich colors and textures of the islands natural setting and foreshadows Bentons transition to nature as his primary subject matter, one that would occupy him for the last two decades of his life. The upcoming sales mark the first time the painting will appear at auction.
Among the numerous sculptural treasures in Mr. Goldbergs collection, a stand-out is Duck, a marble sculpture by Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) executed in 1932-36 (estimate: $180,000-240,000). Purging the sculpture of nearly all surface detail, Nadelman reduced the ducks body to a closed, sinuous form with the stylized contortion of the animals elongated neck forming a graceful echo to its arched back. Of similar stylized design is Mountain Goat Fire Screen (estimate: $150,000-250,000) by William Hunt Diederich (1884-1953), whose fascination with animals and their fluid movements engendered a range of exquisite artworks in paper and wrought iron.
Additional highlights from the May 20 sale include several works by Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938), including A New Hampshire Town, a tempera on board painted in 1929 (estimate: $200,000-300,000), a group of works on paper by Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967), featuring February Dusk, 1918, a watercolor on paper (estimate: $60,000-80,000), and a selection of four exceptional paintings by Marguerite Thompson Zorach (1887-1968) led by Night Still Life, from circa 1940 (estimate: $50,000-70,000), a vibrant floral still life that showcases a broad array of artistic devices and influences, from folk to trompe loeil realism.
20th Century Decorative Arts Highlights
As a highlight of its June sale of Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, Christies is pleased to present a dozen carefully-curated works from the Bernard Goldberg Collection, including designs by prominent American designers Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) and George Washington Maher (1864 - 1926). An excellent example of Stickleys minimal, rectilinear design aesthetic is Hanging Chandelier, model no. 291, from 1904 (estimate: $60,000-80,000). Made from copper and mica, the earthy brown and red materials Stickley selected are meant to gently complement his furniture rather than compete for attention. The chandelier remains in excellent condition and features all of the original components.
Known for blending the traditional with the Arts and Crafts style, Maher was a leading practitioner of the Prairie School style of architecture. Through the application of his motif-rhythm theory, first conceived in 1897, Maher strove to create simple yet harmonious interiors through the exclusive use of a single recurring theme that links interior decorative elements with exterior structural forms. His chosen motifs survive today in lighting fixtures, furniture, and woodwork, as well as elaborate pieces of art glass. The upcoming sales will feature two exciting examples of Mahers designs: his Poppy leaded glass windows, 1905-06 (estimate: $40,000-60,000), and Rockledge Floor Lamp, with original leaded glass shade (estimate: $60,000-90,000). The latter was designed for and originally installed at Rockledge, the summer home of Ernest L. King and his wife Grace Watkins King that became Mahers most famous architectural commission.
Additional items from the collection to be featured in the June 17 sale include a Wrought-Iron Chandelier, executed circa 1921 (estimate: $20,000-30,000) by the Philadelphia designer Samuel Yellin, whose works included commissions for the most prestigious institutions and families in America, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Yale University, and the Vanderbilt family, and an oak table from the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo circa 1916-22 (estimate: $10,000-15,000) designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright