Stuart Davis 192 E. Main and 51 Mt. Pleasant Ave. Marsden Hartley Dogtown Common. Gloucester art at Sotheby’s Modern Day Auction. One a Whitney Museum Deaccession

Nov. 15, 2022

At Sotheby’s Modern art auction November 15, 2022, approximately 460 lots were primed to go, minus several pulled ahead of (and announced before) the sessions. Gloucester inspired several works. What sold?


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.

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 5 – Magnolia, Centennial, Maplewood, Madison Ave., Wash., and more!

Awesome – Hope & Joy house vibe is visible on descent Centennial Drive to Blvd

This is the sixth and final in a series featuring Christmas lights on 200+ decorated homes throughout neighborhoods in Gloucester Massachusetts for the 2020 season. Festive displays range from draped garland lights & wrapped trees to elaborate tableaus. Gloucester is beautiful! Streets that are covered in this post:

  • Magnolia area of Gloucester including Magnolia Ave., Hesperus Ave., Western Ave., Linden Ave., Lowe Drive
  • downtown Gloucester blocks including: Centennial Drive, Maplewood Ave., Prospect St., Riverside Ave. block, Washington St., Gloucester Avenue, Mystic Avenue, Madison Avenue (w/ Madison Sq. and Ct., and Springfield St.)
  • neighborhood additions: nearby Elizabeth Road; Abbott Road; East Gloucester- Mt. Pleasant area and East Main; and West Gloucester – Essex Ave.




Abbott Road | East Gloucester additions

West Gloucester additions

Follow links to see scenes from other Gloucester neighborhoods (or follow through to the end of the post and look for/select page 1,2)

Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Gloucester Massachusetts map 2020. Photos have been added to the Google maps: tour by car or keyboard!

FAQ – how to print

The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/7/2020



Wishing the Duckworth Family and Friends a Happy Fifteenth Year in Business

Duckworth’s is the heart of our East Gloucester neighborhood. Thank you to Ken and Nicole for hosting countless joyful celebrations and making wonderful memories for so many at your beautiful and welcoming restaurant.

Here’s to fifteen plus more years ❤ ❤ ❤

Emma Duckworth was only one year old when Duckworth’s Bistrot first opened in 2004. Here she is today at sixteen with Gillian, Colleen, and Michelle.


Friends, please consider donating to my friend Nicole Duckworth’s fundraiser. She is running the NEDS Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 18th, to raise money and awareness of the need for organ donations. NEDS is an acronym for New England Donor Services. She had a wonderfully successful bake sale to raise funds and any additional donation would be tremendously appreciated. Thank you so much! Please donate here.

Erica is here thanks to her organ donor. Learn more and register online at Register Here


Happy Father’s Day to all our Good Morning Gloucester Dads. I hope you have a fantastic day with loved ones ❤

Like father, like son, like grandson – my three favorite Dads ❤

What a memorable Father’s Day dinner we had at Duckworths. It was Charlotte’s first time there and Colleen, Michelle, and Nicole provided her with lots of love and fun and games so we could all enjoy our fabulous dinner.


My father-in-law on his 90th birthday


Emma, Ben, and Lily – note that the snow is nearly as high as is the Duckworth’s sign – Snowmageddon 2015

On Sunday’s podcast we asked our guest, Chris Spittle, the Cape Ann weatherman to predict whether 2018-2019 would be a snowy winter, or not. Judging by the snowstorms of the past that have brought the greatest amounts of snowfall, it is likely that we may very well have a snowy winter and here’s why Chris suggests yes.

Historically, the greatest amounts of snowfall occur when North America’s trade winds are transitioning (Neutral state) from La Niña to El Niño. During the transition, and at the beginning (weakest) state of the transition to El Niño we are most likely to experience the greatest amounts of snowfall. Currently, La Niña (east to west trade winds) is oscillating to El Niño (west to east).

Chris shared the graphic below classifying the ten worst snowstorms of the past two centuries.


On the plus side, El Niño summers are generally warmer 🙂

NOAA website: What are El Niño and La Niña?

El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of a natural climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean that swings back and forth every 3-7 years on average. Together, they are called ENSO (pronounced “en-so”), which is short for El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

The ENSO pattern in the tropical Pacific can be in one of three states: El Niño, Neutral, or La Niña. El Niño (the warm phase) and La Niña (the cool phase) lead to significant differences from the average ocean temperatures, winds, surface pressure, and rainfall across parts of the tropical Pacific. Neutral indicates that conditions are near their long-term average.


Our front dooryard, in 2015, between blizzards.

Pirate’s Lane East Gloucester 2015

Plum Street 2015

We even had visit from a Snow Goose during the winter of 2015! He mixed with a flock of Canada Geese, staying for about a week, foraging on sea grass at Good Harbor Beach. 

Eastern Point Lighthouse Snowy Day


Chris Anderson and Chef Ken Duckworth

DON’T MISS THE LAST BOOK CLUB EVENT OF THE YEAR! The literary dinners sell out quickly. If you would like to attend, purchase your tickets here.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Moderator: Erin Almond has published fiction, essays, and reviews in The Boston Globe, Roar Magazine,Colorado Review, Normal School, Small Spiral Notebook, and on,, and The She is a graduate of the UC-Irvine MFA program and a recipient of a St. Botolph Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. She is currently seeking a home for her novel Witches’ Dance, and at work on her next book. Erin lives outside Boston with her husband, Steve, and their three children. NOTE: This event will run from 6-8 p.m.

Maggie Dietz and Todd Hearon led a lively discussion on October’s sold out book club selection, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Many of our Piping Plover volunteers will recognize two of October’s attendees, Kerry and Patty. Every morning at sunrise, these two are at Good Harbor Beach cleaning up, what on some mornings amounts to, a mountain of litter. 


Nicole and her sweet boys George and Jude stopped by to pick flowers to garnish a beautiful dessert that she had made to surprise two friends who were celebrating their anniversary. This is her croquembouche, a mini version of the larger that she had made for their wedding years ago. Yummmmmm!!!!!

Nicole Duckworth’s croquembouche (and photo)

George and Jude having caterpillar fun 🙂

Boston Globe comes to #GloucesterMA for a perfect weekend

“How to spend a perfect weekend in Gloucester and the other cape”, by Christopher Muther, Boston Globe. 

Boston Globe weekend article Gloucester and the other cape only Gloucester Aug 15 2018.jpg

Article describes some Gloucester highlights: Cape Ann Museum and Harrison Cady exhibition, Gloucester Beaches, Stage Fort Park, Half Moon Beach, Gloucester Shuttle, Cape Ann Cinema, Gloucester Stage, Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, Hammond Castle Museum, Perfect Storm, Wicked Tuna, Rocky Neck, Latitude 43, Lobsta Land, Zeke’s Place, Willow Rest, Beauport Hotel, Ocean Hotel at Bass Rocks, Beth Williams, and (couldn’t get a reservation at) Duckworth’s Bistro.

detail from Harrison Cady on exhibit Cape Ann Museum through October 2018 ©c ryan.jpg
Detail from Harrison Cady on exhibition Cape Ann Museum 



I know there are more than a few of you out there. Just saying–DUCKWORTH’S BISTROT is now serving crème brûlée!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicole’s Blood Orange Crème Brûlée is beyond fantastic. My darling husband took me to our fabulous neighborhood French bistrot, and favorite hangout, for a divine Valentine’s dinner. Tom had his very favorite, the chicken schnitzel and I ordered two half-portion dinners–the always to-die-for lobster and vegetable risotto, and steak with an exquisite Bernaise sauce. Of course it was one dinner too many, with their very generous portions, and the lobster made for the greatest lunch the following day. Michelle, and all the staff at Duckworth’s, make every dining experience there a wonderful treat, with their warm, welcoming ways. Thank you Nicole and Ken Duckworth for the best Valentine’s dinner date ever!

Only a cell phone photo, next time bringing my good camera! 


Duckworth’s was hopping this morning as customers were picking up their beautiful Christmas cakes, all handmade by Nicole. This year, instead of little meringue mice scampering around the yule log, are chubby carmel nut turtles basking!

Nicole Duckworth Bûche de Noël


Chef Ken Duckworth out did himself in the fabulous and delicious department!

Jenn did an outstanding job leading the discussion last night at The Great Gatsby book club event. A mandatory high school English class read for many, nonetheless, it was very enjoyable to read again, and especially interesting in light of our current political climate.


img_4320Lit House Co-founders Jenn Monroe and Chris Anderson

The next Lit House Book Club @ Duckworth’s Bistrot event is Old Filth on Sunday, March 19th, with moderator Laura Harrington. Laura is an “award winning playwright, lyricist and librettist, winner of the 2008 Kleban Award for “most promising librettist in American musical theatre,” has written dozens of plays, musicals, operas and radio plays, which have been produced in 28 states, Canada and Europe, in venues ranging from Off-Broadway to Houston Grand Opera to the Paris Cinemateque. She has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England.  Harrington teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Alice Bliss, (Penguin/ Viking) her first novel, won the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Her second novel, A Catalog of Birds (Europa), launches in July.” For tickets and more information go to the Lit House website here.static1-squarespace


Lots more snow in the forecast. I hope everyone is keeping warm and cozy and having super fun snow days!beacon-marine-copyright-kim-smithBeacon Marine Basin at dawn

good-harbor-beach-snow-day-copyright-kim-smithGood Harbor Beach

schooner-sugar-babe-snow-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Sugar Babe

gloucester-harbor-city-hall-snow-day-copyright-kim-smithGloucester Harbor Skyline

A few more snapshots from this morning