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Heather James Fine Art Announces the Exclusive Representation of the Estate of Earl Cunningham
Earl Cunningham, Blue Waterfall, oil on Masonite, 16 x 37 inches, painted circa 1975.

PALM DESERT, CA.- Heather James Fine Art announced its exclusive representation of the estate of renowned American painter Earl Cunningham. The exquisite paintings of Cunningham are from the collection of Marilyn and Michael Mennello, founders of the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. A portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of the paintings will directly benefit the Mennello Museum of American Art endowment.

“Earl Cunningham is a miraculous artist and a true American Fauve and I am extremely excited to have selected Heather James Fine Art to share this important collection of American art with the world. The gallery’s stature and reputation are a perfect compliment to the legacy of Earl Cunninghan,” states Michael Mennello.

Earl Cunningham was a twentieth century American modernist who romanticized the American landscape with simplicity. A self-taught artist who painted mostly landscapes of the coasts of Maine, New York, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Cunningham used vivid colors, flat perspective, and a few recurrent themes. His works depict the many small interactions of the Atlantic coastal ecosystem, the dockworkers, harbor pilots, fisherman, farmers, waterfowl and American Indian tribes. Cunningham’s work is modern and nostalgic at the same time, flattened forms with a palette often described as “fauve”, characterized by the emphasis of painterly qualities and strong color comparable to the paintings of Fauve leaders Henri Matisse and André Derain. His paintings show he was a natural with color with a sophisticated understanding of composition. Cunningham moved to Saint Augustine, Florida in 1949 and opened an art gallery and curio shop. In 1961 he sent a painting titled The Everglades to Jacqueline Kennedy that is on display at John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. There have been thirty-four (34) one-man museum shows of his work, the most recent at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. where an astounding 186,000 people came to view the show.

The Mennello’s began their collection of the artist’s work in 1969 with Marilyn Mennello purchasing a painting directly from Earl Cunningham. Following Cunningham’s death, the Mennello’s began a quest to purchase as many paintings as possible, eventually capturing the majority of Cunningham’s 405 known works. Passionate advocates of Cunningham, they dedicated their time and resources to restoring the paintings and preserving the artist’s legacy. In 1998, the Mennello’s opened the Mennello Museum of American Art with a core group of Cunningham paintings central to the museum and continuously on display.

With two fantastic galleries, located in Palm Desert, California and Jackson, Wyoming, Heather James Fine Art offers a rare look into art history’s past and present. Focusing on a wide breadth of genres including cultural art and antiquities, Impressionist and Modern, Post-War and Contemporary, American and Latin American, Old Masters, cutting-edge Contemporary and Photography, the gallery showcases blue chip and cutting edge contemporary art while still maintaining a respect for the integrity of antiquity and classical masterpieces.

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