The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spectacular lifetime collection of one of America's most cultured couples to be auctioned by Joe R. Pyle
Stained-glass window depicting colorful parrot amid grapes and vines, origin: Morgantown, W.Va., from the estate of opera singer Frances Yeend and James Benner to be auctioned Aug. 29-30. Joe R. Pyle Auction image.
FAIRMONT, W.VA..- It’s a collection you’d expect to see in a major auction house in New York or London, but the estate collection of renowned opera singer Frances Yeend and her husband – pianist, conductor and vocal coach James F. Benner – is going to be auctioned in Fairmont, West Virginia on August 29 and 30. Joe R. Pyle Auctions will produce the event, with all forms of bidding available, including Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers.

Frances Yeend, who was billed as a featured soprano at The Metropolitan Opera and many other prestigious opera houses worldwide, had a passion for art and antiques. While on tour, she and her husband spent every free minute combing through antique shops, always returning home to Manhattan with a bounty of magnificent finds.

Following their 1966 retirement from the stage, the couple relocated to West Virginia, where Yeend joined the West Virginia University faculty as professor of voice/artist in residence. She taught there until her retirement in 1978. Likewise, Benner was a music and vocal professor at the university.

After settling in West Virginia, Yeend and Benner continued to collect exquisite furniture, fine and decorative art; porcelain, early American colored and pattern glass; rare books, jewelry, silver, early Staffordshire pottery, stained glass windows and doors; and Asian art of the type so highly desired by today’s collectors.

Nothing in the collection has ever been offered for sale before. It is a lifetime assemblage that was still being expanded upon at the time of Yeend’s death in 2008, at age 95.

During their touring years, Yeend and Benner focused on 17th- and 18th-century European art. Among their holdings is an intriguing oil portrait attributed to Jan Anthoniz van Ravenstein (Dutch, circa 1570-1657) depicting a woman in a ruff collar and lace-trimmed cap. After they moved to West Virginia, the couple shifted their attention to contemporary art. As a result, the art collection is an eclectic one that spans several centuries of artists and styles. In addition to oils, there are regional West Virginia artworks, all types of lithographs, and drawings, including a Mickey Mouse sketch by Roy Disney, which was inscribed and gifted to Benner while he was on tour as pianist for the renowned Obernkirchen Childrens Choir.

As many as 50 select pieces of Asian art are entered in the auction. Among the highlights are an inlaid mahogany cabinet, a Korean scroll, rare ivory artworks, and a beautiful Chinese 9-panel painted soapstone tabletop screen.

The furniture selection is vast and includes 16th/17th-century desks and chests, grand seating, highlighted by a middle European chair with paw feet and a splat ornately carved in the form of a crown; tables and cabinets, including corner-style; and much more.

A breathtaking collection of stained and leaded-glass doors and windows adorned the couple’s light-filled residence. Four of the colorful antique windows and a masterfully crafted glass-paneled door originated in a stately mansion that once stood on High Street in Morgantown. The door was a fitting entry to Benner’s traditional library filled with thousands of rare books, many of them first editions and some of them signed. The books will be auctioned separately in a Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 auction, also conducted by Joe R. Pyle.

Among the other categories represented in the sale are antique clocks, Persian rugs, African tribal pieces, cast-iron doorstops, and hundreds of items of opera-related ephemera collected by Yeend during her distinguished career. The latter grouping includes opera scores and posters from her performances.

“The term ‘once in a lifetime’ can be overused, but when it comes to art and antiques, the Yeend/Benner collection is in a class of its own, with pieces dating back as early as the 16th century,” said auctioneer and company owner Joe R. Pyle. “This is a landmark collection, the likes of which we may never see again in this part of the United States, or anywhere, for that matter. There are things in this auction that are going to surprise even the most jaded collectors.”

The auction will be held on Friday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, at the West Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame in Fairmont, West Virginia. (Rare books will be auctioned on Oct. 2, 2014). Absentee, phone and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. View the catalog online at

Today's News

August 18, 2014

China fishes for growth with world's largest aquarium: Chimelong Ocean Kingdom

Japanese Artist Chiharu Shiota invites public to witness creation of new installation at Sackler Gallery

Slow Learner: Group exhibition on view at Timothy Taylor Gallery in London

'Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia' on view at the Photographers' Gallery

Former Haunch of Venison London directors to open Parafin in London's Mayfair this September

Steve McQueen Ferrari smashes record at RM's Saturday Monterey Sale session

Spectacular lifetime collection of one of America's most cultured couples to be auctioned by Joe R. Pyle

High Museum of Art announces first installation in Lucinda Weil Bunnen Gallery for Photography

Christian Marclay's internationally acclaimed cinematic work 'The Clock' on view at Walker Art Center

Prominent Washington attorney Max N. Berry's antique toy and bank collection to be auctioned

Archive Play: New release from Kehrer Verlag features the work of Hertta Kiiski and Niina Vatanen

Morphy's Aug. 30-31 Fine & Decorative Art Auction features fine jewelry, rare coins

Ronald Phillips reveals highlights to be presented at the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show

Two artist show featuring works by Katerina Marcelja and Amanda C. Mathis on view at Gallery Molly Krom

Bernhard Knaus announces representation of German artist Myriam Holme

Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi in Ryan Lee's RLWindow

Arts & Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum

Howard Ben Tré's cast glass sculptural exhibition to make its northwest debut at Museum of Glass

Landseasky: Video artists reflect on the horizon in the Australian premiere of this international exhibition

Exhibition of works by Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze, Kwan Kam Cheong & Nick Poon on view in Hong Kong

Works by Mitchell Lonas on view at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans

Newly launched Hagins & Mortimer Design to show paintings by Plein-Air painter Linda Fantuzzo

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery

2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth

3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky

5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door

6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall

7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes

8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation

9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure

10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful