NEW YORK, NY.-
Torch Bearers, Anna Hyatt Huntington's most significant artwork offered at auction, will fund a science education program at The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, Conn., after it realized $315,000 in Heritage Auctions
' $2 million American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture Signature Auction Dec. 5. The 15-foot bronze monument, symbolizing the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next, now ranks as one of most valuable Huntington works ever sold. It was purchased by a private collector who is placing the work on public display in Lindale Park, a historic neighborhood in Houston, Texas.
"This outstanding monument graced the grounds of the Discovery Museum and Planetarium for decades and we couldn't be happier that it will remain on public display, this time in one of Houston's finest neighborhoods" said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art at Heritage's New York location.
Huntington conceived of Torch Bearers in 1955 as a unique gift from the artist and her husband, Archer Milton Huntington, to the University of Madrid, in Spain. However, in 1961 she pledged a bronze version to The Museum of Art, Science and Industry in Bridgeport, Conn. The museum shifted its focus from an art museum to a science museum in the mid-1990s.
The museum will use the monument's proceeds to teach schoolchildren how to develop and program a small satellite which will be attached to a NASA rocket. The satellite will analyze space dust and beam data to a 'mission control' at the museum.
Highlights in the Dec. 5 auction span two sessions, the first of which was Heritage's inaugural The Art of New York Signature Auction, timed to pay homage to the seminal 1913 Armory show, which introduced New York to Modern Art. Masterful street scenes by famed New York artist Guy Carleton Wiggins took top lot honors as Just Off 5th Avenue at 53rd Street (à la Childe Hassam), 1939, ended at $75,000, and The Library, 5th Avenue, circa 1940, sold for $53,125. Wiggins' classic Wall Street storm image Financial Center realized $21,250 later in the sale.
Laurence A. Campbell's January Snow Storm appeared at auction from a private New York collection to realize $33,750 and Carlos Nadal's Port de New York, circa 1980, sold for a strong $27,500 against a $15,000 estimate.
Nine bidders drove two charcoal drawings on paper by architect Hugh Ferriss well beyond their estimates as New York at Night set a record for the artist at $21,250 and Columbus Circle at Night ended at $16,250.
The auction's second session included the Huntington monument along with Moonrise, Chioggia, Venice by Thomas Moran, which sold for $155,000. Moran's A Bit of Acoma, New Mexico, 1911, rocketed to $81,250, more than four times its estimate.
Aldro Thompson Hibbard's Logging in Vermont, was pursued by 10 bidders who pushed the oil on canvas to $87,500. Still Life with Game and Hunting Paraphernalia, a canvas painted in 1904 by Richard La Barre Goodwin hit $62,500 and Sanford Robinson Gifford's Lake George from Buck Mountain brought $43,750. Venetian Coastline at Sunset, painted in 1872 by William Stanley Haseltine and which had remained in the same family after it was gifted by Juliet Pierpont Morgan, changed hands for $43,750.
Madame LaFarge et ses Animal Sauvage, 1975, by Orville Bulman more than doubled its estimate to end at $40,625 while Ship N.B. Palmer Off Golden Gate, 1968, by John Stobart soared to $37,500, three times its estimate.
Slave Master with Slaves (Study for The American Historical Epic), circa 1924-27, by Thomas Hart Benton was pursued by two bidders who pushed it to $35,000 and Milton Cark Avery's Setting Sun, 1959, which had remained in the same family for nearly 30 years, sold for $35,000.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
Steel Mill at Night (Jones & Laughlin by Night) by Aaron Harry Gorson. Realized: $32,500.
Leroy Neiman's Russian Dancers, 1961. Realized: $32,500.
The Structural Steel Worker, 1926, by Max Kalish. Realized: $31,250.
Mort Künstler's well documented Fighting 69th: General Meagher and the Irish Brigade, Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 2, 1862, 1998. Realized: $30,000.