Christie's announces the fall sales of American Art

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Christie's announces the fall sales of American Art
Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009. Oliver’s Cap, tempera on panel, executed in 1981. Estimate: $3,000,000 – 5,000,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the fall sales of American Art will feature an outstanding selection of the most important artists representing the category, ranging from American Modernism and Illustration to the Hudson River School and art of the American West. The sale is highlighted by several distinguished private collections that offer rare and fresh to the market works, including Andrew Wyeth’s Oliver’s Cap (estimate: $3,000,000 – 5,000,000) from the Collection of Ron and Diane Disney Miller, Norman Rockwell’s Harvest Moon (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000) from The Collection of Richard L. Weisman, and Georgia O'Keeffe's Pink Spotted Lillies (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000) from The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection.

The American Art sale on November 20 is comprised of 94 lots and the American Art online auction, comprised of 128 lots, is open for bidding November 14-20. All lots will be on view in Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries from Saturday, November 16-19.

Leading the sales is Andrew Wyeth’s Oliver’s Cap (estimate: $3,000,000 – 5,000,000), characteristic of Wyeth’s distinct, delicate balance between complex intensity and private intimacy. Painted in 1981, Oliver’s Cap transforms a view from the artist’s community in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a modern sense of design to create the quintessential, quiet tension of Wyeth’s best work. The artist himself wrote of the work, “I want you to know the egg tempera painting you have, titled ‘Oliver’s Cap’ I consider one of my very richest and most personal pictures.”

Additional works from the Wyeth family include a striking N.C. Wyeth painting of the infamous pirate Blackbeard titled "Oh, Morgan's men are out for you; and Blackbeard--buccaneer!..." which first appeared in Scribner's Magazine in August 1917 (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000). N.C. Wyeth, along with his mentor Howard Pyle, helped establish the classic imagery of pirates in American popular culture through illustrations like this work. After being acquired directly from the artist, the painting has passed through the family by descent and appears at auction for the first time. The work was included in this summer’s N.C. Wyeth retrospective at the Brandywine River Museum.

A strong group of 19th century works features a rare Civil War oil painting Sounding Reveille by Winslow Homer from 1871, which has recently been on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000). From the Ron and Disney Miller Collection a grouping of the 19th century landscapes includes Winslow Homer’s Boats Alongside a Schooner (estimate: $300,000-500,000), Thomas Hill’s Picnic by the Sea, a 7 ½-foot-wide 1873 painting of San Francisco Bay (estimate: $70,000-100,000), and William Keith’s The Headwaters of the Owens River (estimate: $100,000-150,000).

From The Collection of Richard L. Weisman and headlining the selection of American Illustration is Norman Rockwell’s Harvest Moon, a cover illustration epitomizing the artist’s quintessential nostalgia through the subject of young love (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000). Other paintings by Rockwell in the sale from this collection include the large-scale oil painting Red Head (estimate: $600,000-800,000) and Laughing Boy (estimate $150,000-250,000).

Modernist works are highlighted by Georgia O'Keeffe's Pink Spotted Lillies, 1936, a beautiful example of the artist’s ingenious manipulation of color, form and composition to depict her favorite subject of the flower (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000) from the Collection of James and Marilynn Alsdorf. A rare New York City watercolor by Edward Hopper, a Marsden Hartley oil painting exploring the connection between visual art and music, and a vibrant example by Stuart Davis round out the Modernist section.

Western works are led by Albert Bierstadt’s After Glow: The Glory of the Heavens (estimate: $600,000-800,000); Eanger Irving Couse’s Flute Player at the Spring (estimate: $250,000-350,000); and Joseph Henry Sharp’s Jerry of Taos (estimate: $80,000-120,000).

The American Art Online auction includes works by iconic artists, from Impressionism by Mary Cassatt and Childe Hassam and 19th century landscapes by Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt to Modernist paintings by Milton Avery and John Marin. With prices starting below $5,000, the sale includes works for new and established collectors alike.

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