Published: November 9, 2015
WINDSOR, CONN. — The men who built America were in the spotlight at Nadeau’s auction on November 7. Daniel Huntington’s (1816-1906) “Portrait of Cornelius Vanderbilt“ brought an impressive $45,600 with buyer’s premium, and Thomas Waterman Wood’s (1823-1903) “Portrait of Andrew Carnegie” rose to $30,000. Both portraits of the American industrialists were part of the property from Credit Suisse’s Americana collection that was assembled by predecessor investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in the heyday of corporate art collecting, and both were successfully acquired in the auction gallery by American art dealer Russell Burke bidding on behalf of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
The Vanderbilt (1843-1899) portrait shows the American railroad and shipping magnate seated by a window with a view of crashing waves. In his right hand he holds a Metropolitan Museum of Art annual report by trustees of the association, 1898. Huntington painted the portrait in 1900. The 50-by-40-inch oil on canvas is signed and dated bottom right “D. Huntington/1900,” and the frame bears a plaque that reads “Cornelius Vanderbilt, Member of the Chamber of Commerce 1876-1899. Presented by Mrs Vanderbilt, painted by D. Huntington.”
Carnegie (1835-1919) was painted from life in 1892 by Wood. The 30-by-25-inch oil on canvas is signed and dated lower left “T.W. Wood/1892.” A plaque affixed to the American frame, circa 1880-1890s, reads “Andrew Carnegie, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce 1900-1904, Presented by Andrew Carnegie in response to a resolution adopted by the Executive Committee of the Chamber May 1st 1900, Painted from life in 1892 by Thomas W. Wood.”
A complete report on this sale will appear in a future edition.
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