Lot 331 – Stuart Davis Flags, 1931, had a presale estimate of $300,000-$500,000. Bidding opened at $160,000 and then passed, failing to climb past $190,000. Unsold.
photo captions for above grid: (1)Stuart Davis 1912 w/c. (2)black and white photo, Smithsonian collection, documents a Romany o/c portrait by Robert Winthrop Chanler, circa 1916-1925. (3)Stuart Davis Flags, 1931
The letters in the band of green on the black flag spell “Romany Marie”, the name of restaurants owned by Marie Marchand, an immigrant from Romania. Her modest bistros and support were safe harbor for creatives whether serving just one customer or impromptu salons. Many of her habitual customers, like Davis, ascended to the top of their field. Davis painted a watercolor portrait of her in 1912 when he was 20 years old. He painted Flags 19 years later, a full generation spent building into his voice and career, much of it split oscillating between New York City and Gloucester. In 1928-29 he spent a momentous year+ studying abroad in Paris and married his first wife. The trip was made possible thanks to Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The painting hints of memories and impressions of all three cities: Gloucester, Paris, and New York.
Liquor, coffee and conversation can make some taverns and cafes legendary. Romany Marie served strong coffee, no booze. Florent Morellet’s all night diner, Florent, on Gansevoort in the meatpacking district 1985-2008 was a place that I imagine was like Romany Marie’s was a century before. Gloucester has had its fair share. Duckworth’s Bistro is one now and an apt one to mention for its ardent support of the community, French nod, and address at 192 East Main. (Its customer base is more akin to Chanterelle than Florent.) Helen Davis, artist and Stuart Davis’s mother, operated “Davis Sculpture Studio” from that same building, and resided at the back in later years. She was 96 when she died in Gloucester in 1965, one year after her son. Marie Marchand died in 1961 (obit: La Reine Est Morte, Village Voice March 2, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 19).
Davis’s parents bought a home on 51 Mt. Pleasant in 1930. They were summer renters prior, famously at the Red Cottage on East Main. Davis said John Sloan raved about Gloucester he finally took him up in it in 1915.
Davis felt Gloucester was the best locale on the Atlantic seaboard, and you can feel his devotion in the second Davis work for sale at this auction.
Anchors, Lot 341 failed to find a buyer for less than 1 million despite having reached 1.8 million when it last sold at Christie’s in 2014. Sotheby’s presale estimate was 1.2-1.8 million. (Other highlights from the sale failed to sell including a Cassatt and Avery.) It’s a beauty.
Gloucester and Paris are past and present in Anchors, flipping back and forth, shaken and stirring. I’ve added the 1928 Rue Lipp for comparison. Anchors prominent double anchors look like the siphon on the blue soda bottle in Rue Lipp, 1928, while the delicate fizzy line contained in the carafe branded “La Cressonee” is bold, unbound, and skybound in Anchors. Anchors is jazzed up with witty pairs. The circle inventions are solid and light–wheels on a cart, parasols, poppies, proto pop inspiration for Thiebaud’s suckers decades later–no matter. Analogues for Davis and viewers may not be the same, yet land a connection.
photos above: Private Way, 1915 (Gloucester=blue skies); The Morning Walk, ca.1919 collection Earl Davis; Boats, 1917, Philadelphia Mus. of Art; La Cressonnee ad circa 1914-1920s–which Davis spins in Rue Lipp ,1928; Anchors, 1930; anchor E. Glou. 2022; 51 Mt. Pleasant Ave; Reed’s Wharf; 192 E. Main – Duckworth’s
Unsold- The bidding for Lot 338 Marsden Hartley Autumn Hillside, circa 1909 (double sided) opened at $110,000, then $120,000, then ‘passed’ at $130,000, failing to meet its reserve. The presale estimate was $150,000-$200,000.
Sold- Lot 340 Marsden Hartley Autumn Dogtown Commons, 1934, was deaccessioned by the Whitney Museum of Art. The bidding started at $130,000 on to $140,000 and $150,000 then stopped at $160,000. Sold. Phone bidder ($201,600 with fees). The presale estimate was $200,000-$300,000. Sounded like the reserve was $150,000. A third Hartley, a still life, fetched $40,000.
The Whitney Museum deaccessioned other works including a vivid Maurice Prendergast. Picnic Grove exceeded its pre sale estimate ($60,000-$80,000). Bidding started below $60,000 and eventually reached $120,000.
Not Gloucester. lovely, too
Charles Burchfield watercolor Lot 339 The Butterfly Tree, 1960 opened at $250,000 and soared to $480,000. Burchfield Lot 510 Hemlock in November No. 2 sold for $800,000. Lot 572, Maxfield Parrish New Moon 1943 (presale estimate $500,000-$700,000) sold for $700,000.
There weren’t strictly American sales this season so this one covered a lot of ground. Consignors assigned the morning sale face a B-side slot. Session 1 began at 9:30 AM, first lot #202 | session 2 began at 11:20AM | session 3 began at 2:30pm with lot 501.
Session 2 offered Stuart Davis and Marsden Hartley works inspired by Gloucester. While helping clients bid at auctions with 20th C material, it’s inevitable that I come across inventory with Gloucester ties.
Sotheby’s marquee modern 2022 fall sale was the day before.
Sotheby’s November 14 Modern sale
Aggregate sales from Sotheby’s Modern evening sale (Nov.14, 2022) Part 1 were $116.3m ($137.9m with fees) for the first half comprised of the Solinger collection. Lots sold from Part 2 of the evening sale sold for 220 million (with fees bringing the total press release report north of 250 million, and aggregate to 360 mil). Potential collectors are identified or queued on wait lists ahead of sales. The Piet Mondrian Composition No. II, 1930 sold for 51 million plus fees (a new ‘personal best’ for Mondrian at auction). Last it came up at auction was 1983. 1930 was the same year of the Davis painting. It’s fascinating how parallel ideas evolve.
The Nolde poppies circa 1930 sold –with fees– for 151,200 in the morning sale.
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December 1, 2022 | 12:00pm at Cruiseport Gloucester
Join Discover Gloucester for the 2022 Holiday Awards Luncheon on December 1st at 12:00pm at Cruiseport Gloucester. This event is back for the first time since 2019. The gathering is a time for colleagues and community members to celebrate the holiday season, and for Discover Gloucester to recognize individuals and organizations who have made a lasting impact in the tourism business community this year.
“We’re thrilled to bring this event back in 2022, to celebrate the holiday season together, and to embrace all of the hard work and dedication that goes into making Gloucester an engaging destination. A thriving tourism industry feeds Gloucester’s economic engine, making this beautiful city a better place to live and work. This year’s event is about saying ‘thank you’ to those who have gone above and beyond to support the industry as businesses work to overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Discover Gloucester Executive Director Tess McColgan.
The 2022 awards are:
WOW Award: Cape Ann Works, Received by Senator Bruce Tarr and Mechelle Brown
Outstanding Appreciation: Elizabeth Carey
Exceptional Service: Peter Webber
Rising Star: Miranda Aisling
The luncheon will run from 12:00-1:30pm at Cruiseport Gloucester. Check in starts at 11:30am. Tickets are $35 per person. Registration is required. Payment can be made online or by check. Registration and payment deadline is Friday, November 25.
Deadlines are looming so don’t forget to secure your pies soon. If not baking your own, avoid the mall and chain pie stores and instead go local and support the plethora of homemade pie makers around Cape Ann.
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Be one of the first ever to play Hammond’s 1912 board game, “Hammond Naval Warfare” and be entered for a chance to win your own game set! Join us for a night of tabletop gaming and the introductory release of the Hammond Naval Warfare game next Friday evening, November 25th from 5pm – 10pm. Tickets on our website: hammondcastle.org
A few of us met to catch up over drinks and dinner last night. We chose Oliver’s Harbor on Main Street and I’m glad we did. We shared the best calamari I’ve ever had (for real) and a couple of beet salads (beets, sweet potatoes, eggplant, goat cheese, and zinfandel vinaigrette dressing). The photo below is of the stacked beets salad and it was also delicious.
I noted that The Village in Essex had updated their menu and I was curious so off we went for dinner a few days ago. When we were visiting Gloucester with our children 20 years ago or so, the Village was one of the places we would gather with Gloucester family members so it holds some special memories for us. In the years since, we do go once in a while and have had a lovely experience each time. The recent visit was the same. We made easy online reservations and were seated even though we arrived early. We appreciated that the market prices were posted in the lobby for advance reference. Shout out to Eileen, our friendly server! I noticed several families with young children as well as older couples enjoying their meals so it’s popular for many.
Jim tried the Sicilian Fish Stew and the Seafood Trio. I had the Mediterranean Chicken and I ate every single bite. Strawberry Shortcake for dessert was plenty for the two of us. The choices on the updated menu were nicely varied and suited our tastes. We enjoyed our evening very much and will plan another visit soon!
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The Board and I are very excited to announce that Gloucester resident and Boston area business executive Stephen Buckley will succeed Ken Riehl as the organization’s chief executive officer.
Steve was selected following a four-month search that attracted more than 50 candidates from across the U.S. The search committee presented its recommendation to the Chamber’s Board of Directors last month, and his appointment was approved by a unanimous vote.
Steve impressed the Chamber’s leadership with his passion for Cape Ann, his extensive business management experience, and his track record of community involvement. We reviewed a number of extraordinary candidates for his position, and he emerged as the clear choice to advance the Chamber’s mission to support our businesses and the entire Cape Ann community.
Steve has more than 20 years of business leadership experience, most recently as Executive Director of Winchester Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 121-bed facility with 200…