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Skinner offers tremendous selection of paintings, sculpture, prints & photography during February auctions
John Leslie Breck, (American, 1860-1899), Marsh View. Oil on canvas, 18 x 22 in. (45.7 x 56.0 cm), framed. Estimate: $70,000 to $90,000.

BOSTON, MASS.- February offers a bountiful feast of fine art at Skinner, Inc., with auctions of American & European Works of Art and American & European Prints & Photography on February 7, while a weeklong Prints & Photography - Online sale takes place between February 3 to February 11. Robin Starr, Vice President and Director of American & European Works of Art at Skinner noted, “With hundreds of lots of strong material across all categories – including expanded offerings in photography and contemporary Asian works, as well as a convenient online-only component – there is something for everyone!”

Skinner Inc.’s February 7th auction of American & European Works of Art will encompass a broad range of painting styles and regions. A robust selection of Old Master paintings includes an exceptional 16th Century Flemish School Diptych (Lot 302, estimated between $10,000 and $15,000). The diptych, which was most likely used for personal devotion, comes to auction through the Estate of Hester Marion Pickman of Boston and Bedford, Massachusetts. Ms. Pickman, a maternal descendant of John Jacob Astor, Sr., and her husband, the scholar Edward Motley Pickman, lived in Paris between 1921 and 1923 where they befriended such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Natalia Goncharova. Also to be offered are Jean-Victor Bertin’s Mountainous Landscape with Classical Figures (Lot 339, $25,000 to $35,000, and a striking early 17th Century French School oil painting entitled Allegory of Lust (Lot 307, $2,000 to $3,000).

John Leslie Breck‘s Marsh View (Lot 421, $70,000 to $90,000) and Frederick John Mulhaupt’s Winter's Jewels (Lot 475, $25,000 to $35,000) are highlights in an excellent group of late 19th and 20th century American landscapes. Several works by Frank Weston Benson from the family of the artist will also be available, including his oil painting, Woods, Dublin, New Hampshire (Lot 508, $25,000 to $35,000).

Among the stellar illustrations up for auction are two works by Norman Rockwell, including his charming Young Love: Walking to School (Lot 593, $50,000 to $70,000), part of the popular “Young Love” series which was reproduced in 1949 by Brown & Bigelow for their “Four Seasons” calendar, and Study for Fireman, 1944 (Lot 595, $30,000 to $50,000), which was the preparatory study for a Saturday Evening Post cover image. Another notable offering is Charles M. Schulz’s I Refuse to be the One Who Tells Him! (Lot 631, $15,00-20,000), a four-panel Peanuts comic strip which was published in 1974.

Leading a selection of American modernist paintings is Everett Shinn’s Paris Theatre, 1940 (Lot 516, $50,000 to $70,000), which depicts the dramatic spectacle for which Shinn is best known. Also to be offered are Alexander Calder’s Red Circus Horse, 1971 (Lot 632, $40,000 to $60,000), and Arthur Dove’s Centerport XIII, 1942, (Lot 602, $10,000 to $20,000), previously through the estate of the artist.

Skinner also will offer an exceptional array of modern and contemporary paintings by renowned Asian artists from several private collections. Chinese-born Xue Song’s Numbers 0-9, 2002/A Ten-Part Composition (Lot 689, $30,000 to $50,000, Cheong Soo Pieng’s At the Mouth of the River (Lot 639, $30,000 to $50,000), Tan Ping’s Yi Jianmei, a Title for a Poem and Song, 2005 (Lot 655, $5,000-7,000), and Qin Yifeng’s Line Field 431 (Lot 683, $5,000 to $7,000) are four outstanding highlights.

Sure to draw excitement among buyers is one of the auction’s top two lots: a maquette for one of the earliest commissioned site-specific architectural sculptures created by Harry Bertoia – the Altar Screen at MIT Kresge Chapel, c. 1950-1955 (Lot 656, $70,000 to $90,000). Commissioned by Cranbook colleague Eero Saarinen, the legendary suspended altarpiece screen is widely considered to be one of Bertoia’s most striking works. The model arrives from the collection of Robert Bradford Newman, who was a principal of the acoustical engineering firm which collaborated on the creation of the chapel.

The Sculpture section is also highlighted by a stunning work in bronze by Frederic Remington. The Sergeant (Lot 435, $25,000 to $35,000), 1904, was acquired directly from the artist by his Yale classmate, humanitarian and philanthropist Edwin McClellan, who then passed the sculpture down through his family.

Fine Prints
From early European treasures to contemporary works, Skinner will present a wide selection of prints to suit any collector’s tastes.

Old Master highlights include Rembrandt van Rijn Bust of an Old Man with a Fur Cap and Flowing Beard, Nearly Full Face, Eyes Direct, c.1631, (Lot 102, $1,500 to $2,000) and Albrecht Dürer’s Pilate Washing his Hands, from THE SMALL ENGRAVED PASSION (Lot 36, $3,000 to $5,000), 1507-1512.

A superb grouping of French vintage posters includes Jane Atché ’s Papier à Cigarettes Job, 1889, (Lot 6, $5,000 to $7,000) printed by Cassan Fils; Charles Rambert’s Grande Semaine d’Aviation, 1910, (Lot 101, $5,000 to $7,000), and Louis Galice’s Majesti (Lot 44, $2,500 to $3,500)

Among the modern and contemporary prints on the block is Roy Lichtenstein’s Mao, 1971 (Lot 72, $12,000 to $18,000), signed, dated and numbered "50/150" by the artist. The lot is accompanied by the book The Adventures of Mao on The Long March by Frederic Tuten as well as the three black and red text strips with which the print was originally packaged.

Fine Photography
The first section of Fine Photography curated by specialist Michelle Lamunière includes a representative group of iconic photographs from the 20th century.

Top lots include Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Madrid (Lot 137, $8,000 to $12,000), 1933 (printed late 1990s/early 2000s), in addition to Paul Caponigro’s Portfolio II, (Lot 136, $8,000 to $12,000), printed in 1973. The latter is numbered “thirty-six” (of 100) and features eight prints signed by the artist, in the original brown folding case with ties. An excellent selection of Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s work is led by Tumba reciente (Recent Grave), 1933, printed later, (Lot 130, $1,500 to $2,000) and De La Caminata, (Of the Walk), an unusual color piece (Lot 132, $1,500-2,000) from c. 1940. Both are signed by the artist. Two works by Robert Frank will be offered, as well, including a later print of New Jersey, 1954, (Lot 151, $2,000 to $3,000).

Prints and Photography-Online
For the first time ever, collectors can also bid on over 100 lots from the comfort and convenience of home during Skinner’s inaugural online-only auction of select Prints & Photography and multiples, taking place February 3 through February 11. Robin Starr observes, “With over a week to peruse the offerings, it’s a great way for those new to the world of auction to get their feet wet – and to secure a great find at an affordable price.”

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