Published: December 28, 2004
Christie’s auction of American paintings, drawings and sculpture on December 2 totaled $24,561,420, and was 85 percent sold by both lot and value.
Leading the sale were works by Childe Hassam and Georgia O’Keeffe. Eric Widing, senior vice president, specialist head of department for American paintings, said, “We are delighted with the strong results across the board – among them our continued successes with Childe Hassam and Georgia O’Keeffe. We saw particular strength for American works on paper, highlighted by world auction records for drawings by John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. This auction further builds on the success of our May sale, and completes a solid year for the American paintings department working within a robust market.”
Selling for $2,471,500 to Spanierman Gallery LLC was “Mrs Hassam in the Garden” painted by Childe Hassam in 1896. It had hung in a Park Avenue apartment for the last 35 years, never before on public view and fresh to the market. The rediscovered masterwork is representative of Hassam’s best garden paintings. Depicting Hassam’s wife in the act of trimming lilac blooms, the painting is characterized by a fluid naturalism with assured brushwork and a refined sense of color, demonstrating his maturing Impressionist technique.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s “The Red Maple at Lake George,” 1926, was estimated at $600/800,000, but the early oil on canvas example of her vibrant, simplified abstracted images of natural imagery that were central to her signature style brought $2,191,500, going to an American private buyer.
And setting a new world auction record for the artist was the $724,300 realized for John Singer Sargent’s, “Portrait of Carolus Duran,” an ink and pencil on paper.
Rounding out the sales top ten lots were: Norman Rockwell, “The Rewards of Patience (Man on Dock Fishing),” oil on canvas, 1921, $701,900; Winslow Homer, “Sailing a Dory,” watercolor, pencil and gouache on paper, 1880, $679,500; Winslow Homer, “The Return of the Gleaner,” oil on canvas, 1867, $545,100; Georgia O’Keeffe, “Road to the Ranch,” oil on canvas, 1964, $545,100; Maxfield Parrish, “Birches in Winter,” oil on Masonite, 1952, $545,100; and Albert Bierstadt, “Campfire Site, Yosemite,” oil on canvas, circa 1873, $522,700.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium.
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