Here’s a look at iconic art inspired by #GloucesterMA for sale at the big auction houses November 2018

For sale at Sotheby’s November 2018

WINSLOW HOMER Yacht in a Cove Gloucester Harbor_ca 1880_wc_Sothebys Nov 2018 American pre sale auction estimate 200000 to 300000
WINSLOW HOMER Yacht in a Cove Gloucester Harbor_ca 1880_watercolor_upcoming Sothebys Nov 2018 American sale. Pre-sale auction estimate is $200,000 – $300,000

Last spring a Homer image of Gloucester boys in a dory fetched $400,000. Relatable, though not Gloucester: Life Brigade is expected to fetch 4x that amount at Sotheby’s; another classic motif , Gathering Wild Blackberries, is estimated to sell for $150,000-$200,000. There is a smashing Marsden Hartley of Dogtown.

 

EDWARD HOPPER_Two Comedians_ upcoming Sotheby's American sale Nov 2018_from Sinatra collection est 12 mil to 18 mil
EDWARD HOPPER_Two Comedians_ upcoming Sotheby’s American sale Nov 2018_from Sinatra collection_The pre-sale estimate is 12 million to 18 million. (Not a Gloucester Hopper- there are no Gloucester Hoppers in these November sales)

For sale at Christie’s November 2018

c STUART DAVIS_Private Way_(Gloucester MA)_1916_ oil on canvas_Christies Nov 2018 presale auction est 60 to 80,000
STUART DAVIS Private Way, 1916.oil on canvas. Christies Nov 2018 presale auction est 60,000 to 80,000

Besides Stuart Davis, artists featured include Jane Peterson, Martha Walters, Hayley Lever, and George Bellows. There’s a classic Nahant work by William Stanley Haseltine and a marine themed WPA mural study by Lyonel Feininger.

c EDWARD HOPPER _Chop Suey_32 x 38_ 1929 oc_Christies presale estimate 70 mil to 100 million
EDWARD HOPPER Chop Suey, 1929, 32 x 38 inches, oil on canvas, Christies steep presale estimate 70 million to 100 million (from Barney A. Ebsworth collection) There are no Hopper works featuring Gloucester in these sales.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge the photo and see descriptions. I’ll post results after the sales. 

 

 

Berkshire Museum art case: Mass Supreme Court Justice Lowy allows third amicus brief

Amy Stewart, Second Assistant Clerk for the ‎Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk, confirms that Justice Lowy has allowed a third Amici Curiae filed by Martin Gammon related to the Berkshire Museum case. Gammon has a new book coming out “Deaccessioning and its Discontents: A Critical History,” (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2018). He has long art world experience, and is an antiques roadshow appraiser and a former director of Museum Services at Bonhams auction house. Although he is opposed to the current deaccession agreement reached by the Attorney General and the Trustees of the Berkshire Museum, and backs off from the panic, Gammon articulates some sell-off, specifically:

“Consequently, if the court were to warrant a limited sale of the European and non-Western works, and that in turn proves to be insufficient for supporting operations in the course of time, then the trustees could then petition the court and consider some of the core American works for potential sale, but then they should be offered in a collaborative process through the auspices of the AAMD to other public institutions first, as the likelihood of another museum willing to acquire them is high, and they would in most cases remain in the public trust.”

Gammon underscores the irregularity of any deaccession planning with no curators on staff as is the case with the Berkshire Museum. One of the paintings Gammon muses a curator may have considered selling was the now infamous cover lot yanked back on the eve of the Sotheby’s November 21, 2017 sale: LOT 18 L’Agneau Nouveau (The Newborn Lamb), oil on canvas, presale estimate 1.5 to 2 million)

x Bouguereau LOT 18 Berkshire Museum Bouguereau featured on the cover of the Sotheby's catalogue 70 lots Nov 21 sale L'Agneau Nouveau-Ne THE NEWBORN LAMB oc 65 x 34 est 1500000 to 2mil

A poignant counter perspective was expressed in a Letter to the Editor on March 13, 2018: Crane gifts to museum would be painful loss, (aka “beyond the Rockwells) by David Peter Moser, a former resident of Pittsfield who benefited from amazing enrichment programs developed between the museum and community organizations

To the editor:
I am saddened by the potential loss of Berkshire County’s cultural assets, those being the gifts Zenas Crane made during his lifetime to his Berkshire Museum. Often overlooked in the press are those gifts associated with former Massachusetts governor and senator Winthrop Murray Crane, subject to being deaccessioned for cash. Governor (1900-1903) and senator (1904-1913), Winthrop Murray Crane and his family also donated works that are among the 40 to be sold, acquired over the last century as his heirs wanted to honor their direct ancestors and the mission of the Berkshire Museum. A native son of Dalton, both businessman and statesman, Winthrop Murray Crane is equally revered as part of this area’s proud heritage. Sen. Crane’s wife, Josephine Boardman Crane, and daughter, Louise Crane, gave art treasures either directly or through their nonprofit foundations. Louise Crane had no descendants.

Works include: William-Adolph Bouguereau’s “La Bourrique/The Horseback Ride;” Girolamo Troppa’s “Apollo and Satyr;” Thomas Wilmer Dewing’s “Two Ladies in a Drawing Room/The White Dress;” George Henry Durrie’s “Hunter in Winter Wood;” Adriaen Isenbrandt’s “Adam and Eve/The Temptation;” Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ “Diana of the Tower; ” Henry Moore’s “Three Seated Figures;” Edward Vuillard’s “Deux femmes dans un interieur;” and Edwin Lord Weeks’ “Indian Prince, Palace of Agra.”

The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation, now located in Falmouth., has assets of over $70 million and gave $500,000 during the 2007 Berkshire Museum Capital Campaign. Attempts to reach out to the Winthrop Murray Crane ancestors regarding their feeling towards the Berkshire Museum’s intended renovation plans and deaccessioned artworks have gone unanswered.

As an aside, I thank Josephine Boardman Crane for also establishing the Junior Naturalist Program at the Berkshire Museum, which was an important part of my childhood learning experiences growing up in Pittsfield during the 1970s with Woody Bousquet and Thom Smith. My experiences, enhanced by visits to the Berkshire Museum as well as later hiking excursions through the hills of the Catskills and Berkshires with Woody, compelled me to study art history in college at Tufts University. Memories of the paintings by Hudson River School artists’ depictions of our beloved mountain ranges remain clear. Science, nature, history and art interconnected through paintings — treasures “once” known at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.“- David Peter Moser

Moser was compelled to detail the strong accession stories and local community support for the Berkshire Museum 39– the works of art off the beaten press path. Justice Lowy asked about them, too.

Gammon filed one day ahead of the March 20th public hearing where parties and amici presented oral arguments. Although Gammon will not have an opportunity to present oral argument,  Justice Lowy will read and consider this file along with all the other documents. No further information is available at this time.

AMY STEWART FANTASTIC Boston MA John Adams Courthouse -Berkshire Museum deaccession case oral arguments before SJO Justice Judge Lowy_Mar 20 2018 _102144 © catherine ryan (17).jpg

03/28/2018      #24   Notice to counsel/parties regarding paper #18 file

MOTION For Leave To File A Brief Of Amicus Curiae filed by Martin Gammon. (No Certificate of Service included). (3/27/18: “Per the within, Motion is ALLOWED WITHOUT HEARING” (Lowy, J.))

Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse

People are streaming in and filling seats like guests at a wedding– proponents of the sale like Berkshire Museum director Van Shields and Trustees are seated together on the left.

Attorneys greet and shake hands like team captains before a big game.

IMG_20180320_112505.jpg
Continue reading “Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse”

Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (8)_105946 (1)

Courtroom 2 at John Adams Courthouse is quiet now but come noon today the Berkshire Museum deaccession  art case will have it’s next day in court, this time the highest in the Commonwealth.

Attorneys for Parties (The Trustees Berkshire Museum and Massachusetts AGO) vs. Amici (Patti and Hatt groups) will present as follows:

Amici will go first  Tom Patti and Hatt groups, then AGO, and Trustees last. Justice Lowy can decide to allow the patries’ petition, deny it, or reserve and report which means bringing the case back to the full court.

Continue reading “Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows”

Breaking News: This isn’t just another lost cause- Justice Lowy has scheduled a Hearing for Berkshire Museum litigation

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan_105912

Huge step and opportunity. Justice Lowy has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday March 20 for counsel and parties! High noon. This is not to the full court; first stop is before the Single Justice. Justice Lowy has allowed 10 minutes each for oral argument.

Catch up on the case Continue reading “Breaking News: This isn’t just another lost cause- Justice Lowy has scheduled a Hearing for Berkshire Museum litigation”

What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (9)
Front entrance John Adams Courthouse, Boston, MA. The Berkshire Museum case is under review by Supreme Court Justice Lowy

How did the Berkshire Museum brouhaha wind up in the highest court under SJO (Single Justice) review by Justice David A Lowy?

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, deemed it necessary to alter an original historic building and sell off its priceless core art collection in order to build a dream and survive. This controvertial move garnered attention and divided opinion.  The Trustees of the Museum explained that they hired a consultancy firm which confirmed this new direction (“New Vision”), via extensive public outreach* no less, so what gives? (*22 focus groups involving over 200 people is hardly extensive.) Opponents cried, “Foul!”, and pointed out questionable and perhaps shady fodder, i.e. would museum members and the Berkshire community have voted YES had they been told that the best works from the permanent collection must be sold off to make it happen? Also, the art was consigned to Sotheby’s June 13, 2017, but the Trustees altered the museum’s Charter after the consignment date and only then informed the “public”.  Timing is everything. There was even an infamous email with a ‘loose lips sink ships’ subject line.  We know these details because of dogged reporting by the The Berkshire Eagle, notably Larry Parnass, and a wide network. The story is urgent and compelling, the art world equivalent of a Spotlight-All the President’s Men-Pentagon Papers type investigation.

The first auctions were slated for November 2017. Shuffleton’s Barbershop by Norman Rockwell was to have been the Berkshire Museum star lot. Its presale estimate alone was 20 to 30 million. By the Fall of 2017, the museum was hit with multiple lawsuits, sued by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Norman Rockwell descendants, and various plaintiffs. Eventually, all were folded into #TeamAGO vs. the Berkshire Museum. On November 8th, the Lower Court ruled in favor of the Museum, clearing the legal right of way to auction. The Attorney General Office appealed to the State’s supreme judicial court to block the sale for more time to evaluate and investigate the case. Attorneys for the Museum fought that request vigorously, but were denied. On November 10, 2017, the AGO procured an injunction from Judge Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, scuttling any scheduled auction prior to December 11, 2017. Allowances for extensions to build the case were granted. On February 5th, the AGO switched teams and filed jointly with its former adversary, the Berkshire Museum, petitioning the court to apply cy pres and maintaining its opinion that indeed all the art is restricted:

“As detailed elsewhere (e.g., in its filings in the litigation referenced above) the AGO believes that all of the works of art deaccessioned and proposed for sale are subject to one or more restrictions that limit the Museum’s ability to proceed with its planned sale and use of proceeds to fund an endowment, pay for operating expenses and fund renovations. The Museum continues to believe no restrictions (beyond the Museum’s charitable purposes) apply.”

This alliance left many scratching their heads  and interested parties formerly #TeamAGO adrift. Although the Rockwell plaintiffs backed off and dropped their case, law firms Sullivan & Worcester and  Foley Hoag with Barker, Epstein & Loscocco solicited amicus status on behalf of their clients.

Sullivan & Worcester Berkshire Museum
Sullivan & Worcester blog post about their position

Immediately, the AGO and the Berkshire Museum filed opposition papers. They weren’t persuasive. The Justice granted the participation of the law firms which means that the SJ-2018-065 docket was vastly enlarged and enlightened on February 27, 2018, and I had to see. And share. (Although everything I was looking for and questioned was not there.) The attorneys disagree with the AGO and Berkshire Museum proposal, and request oral argument. The AGO and Museum responses were filed after I visited. Justice David A Lowy will make that decision. He can act on filed papers related to Docket SJ-2018-065, order a hearing, or pass the case back to the full court. What will he do? I’m crossing fingers that arguments will be heard, and with the full court (which meets the first week each month and is open to the public), especially after I considered the material in person.  The Berkshire Museum could inspire a Frank Capra-esque courtroom movie treatment one day.

In the meantime, the art remains in Sotheby’s possession and the auction house stands down as the case is sorted. The docket includes Sotheby’s contract.

For armchair lawyers and detail detectives: I offer a blizzard of documents, on the eve of the next Nor’Easter blizzard and hope I’ve peaked your interest. (Leaving my analysis aside for now.)  Scroll past this post’s “read more” indicator to see interior architectural photos I took of the stunning John Adams Courthouse, and to read some of the complete and unfiltered new filings and documents related to the Berkshire Museum case, specifically-

  • AMICI CURIAE Sullivan & Worcester LLP law firm on behalf of ‘Berkshire Museum Member Plaintiffs’: James Hatt,  Kristin Hatt,  and Elizabeth Weinberg, filed Feb 26 2018, case SJ-2018-065 (52 pages)
  • AMICUS CURIAE Foley Hoag and Barker, Epstein & Loscocco – attorney Michael B Keating of Foley Hoag with attorney Daniel Epstein of Barker, Epstein & Loscocco on behalf of clients: Tom Patti, who completed two commissioned installations for the Berkshire Museum entrance and reception areas–spaces that will be gutted if the historic building is disfigured for the New Vision; Marilyn Holtz Patti – resides and works in Berkshire County as does Tom Patti; Jean Rosseau and Jonas Dovydenas- residents of Stockbridge and Lenox; James Lamme, resident of Egremont; and Donald MacGillis, resident of Pittsfield, MA. (21 pages)
  • Sotheby’s Contract with the Berkshire Museum (9 pages)
  • Affidavit from Dan Monroe, Director of the Peabody Essex Museum opposed the Berkshire Museum sale (4 pages)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) provided major facility funding since 2000. Some related construction was completed by a board member and warrants scrutiny
  • links to prior GMG Berkshire Museum posts

Interior views John Adams Courthouse 

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (2)
The John Adams Courthouse Great Hall is stunning. On the right side in this photos is a Daniel Chester French gilded sculpture of Rufus Choate

 

Continue reading “What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court”

LIVE: James Prendergast Library only sold 3 at Sotheby’s! Rockwell fetches 6.2 million

Christie’s and Sotheby’s held dueling LIVE auctions on November 21, 2017. Christie’s American sale offered 93 lots resulting in $34,131,500 total sales, nearly 7x the total sales of Sotheby’s which featured less than 67 lots because the Berkshire Museum lots were pulled from the sale. Sotheby’s* failed to sell more than 1/2 of the first 45 lots. I’ll update after the sales have ended. *Sotheby’s sale is now closed. The auction house sold just 34 of 67 lots, total sales  (including Buyer’s Premium) were $5,858,250. Christie’s sold 72 of 91 lots today.

It turns out that the James Prendergast Library deaccession (see prior GMG post) would have made more money and kept the art in Jamestown if they had not brought the art to market at Sotheby’s. Here are the three of  nine paintings to find collectors; two went under estimate.

 

One of Sotheby’s best lots today was a Dame Laura Knight which sold for $560,000, right within its estimate range.

dame laura knight  BRIT 1877-1970 The Fairground Penzance ca 1912 oc 55 x 75 sotheby's last sold in 1983 est 400 to 600000.jpg

Hammer prices unless otherwise indicated:

Christie’s Lot 15 Norman Rockwell What Makes it Tick, a 1948 oil on canvas, sold for 6.2million  (just above its pre sale high estimate, 4 million to 6 million) which came to $7,287,500 after buyer’s premiums were factored. Rockwell’s Returning from Camp fetched 1.9 million. A Winslow Homer Tynemouth watercolor fetched a hammer price of $170,000, above its presale estimate range of 100,000-150,000. The Martin Johnson Heade failed to sell; the Milton Avery self portrait went for $45,000 at the gavel drop; and the Paul Manship sculpture was unsold, bidding failing to climb past $240,000 (pre sale estimate was $300,000 to $500,000.)

 

Berkshire Museum on hold, but James Prendergast Library a go

On November 21, 2017, Sotheby’s (New York) will be holding a European sale and Christie’s (New York) will be holding an American sale. Both auctions feature works by artists with ties to Gloucester and neighboring shores, among them:

Christies Martin Johnson Heade 1819 to 1904 Haystacks oc 1878-1892 est 120 to 180000
Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) Haystacks, 1878-1892, oil on canvas, (Christie’s presale estimate $120,000-$180,000)
Paul Howard manship 1885-1966 Lying Doe cas 1932 est 300 to 500000
PAUL MANSHIP (1885-1966), Lying Doe, ca. 1932 (Christie’s presale auction estimate $300,000-$500,000)

There are a few Norman Rockwell works, including the classic What Makes it Tick (The Watchman), a 1948 commission for the watchmakers of Switzerland, oil on canvas. Christie’s presale estimate is 4 million – 6 million. Christie’s is offering a Cecilia Beaux 1916 portrait in its American online auction, ending tomorrow as well. It’s titled Mrs. Albert J Beveridge (Catherine Eddy/Lady Primrose) and measures 57 x 38. Bids open at $12,000 on this Beaux.

NORMAN~1.JPG

 

Sotheby’s Nov 21 Auction a tale of two AGOs

The Berkshire Museum story has several updates. As a reminder, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled last week that the Berkshire Museum could not sell its artworks on consignment with Sotheby’s until the courts settle. The Berkshire Museum is pushing for an accelerated court case. They have issued a press release which I’ve posted below the break. One trustee has quit in protest of the Museum’s intent to sell. The Massachusetts Attorney General office filed responses. It’s been reported that the AG is repeating unanswered requests for archives, financial papers and other material as well as questions related to museum contruction projects completed by another board member (speculating unconfirmed reports of conflict of interest.) Official filings and documents from both sides have been shared with media outlets. The injunction decision impacted Sotheby’s American and Impressionism & Modern art sales last week, and its European sale tomorrow only in that there are fewer lots for sale. The cover of tomorrow’s European sale catalogue featured a Berkshire Museum painting, Lot 18 now unavailable.

x LOT 18 Berkshire Museum Bouguereau featured on the cover of the Sotheby's catalogue 70 lots Nov 21 sale L'Agneau Nouveau-Ne THE NEWBORN LAMB oc 65 x 34 est 1500000 to 2mil.jpg
Sotheby’s lists Lot 18 as “upcoming” sale. Bouguereau L’Agneau Nouveau (The Newborn Lamb) oil on canvas, 65 in x 34 in (Sotheby’s presale estimate 1.5million to 2 million)

 

Additional Sotheby’s Berkshire Museum lots described as “upcoming”, on hold till the courts decide:

 

Sotheby’s European sale features fine art consigned from another public repository: the James Prendergast Library, Jamestown, NY. Unlike the Berkshire Museum, the library attempted to maintain its collection, but was unsuccessful. It did not receive as much press as the Berkshire Museum brouhaha. The New York Times ran a story this weekend, too little too late for any with aims to hold on. According to the article, the library had even lined up angel collectors willing to buy the great works to ensure they remained in Jamestown, NY.

Some critics of the sale are particularly upset that the library rejected a plan by two art patrons, Cathy and Jesse Marion of Houston who had proposed keeping the collection in Jamestown by buying about 40 of the works for $1.2 million and finding a new home for them in the city.” 

The New York State Attorney General’s office declined this proposal, instead requiring that the library sell at public auction.

“Mr. Rankin said the library had to pass on that offer because the New York State attorney general’s office, which oversees nonprofit organizations, had objected to a private sale without testing whether the paintings might actually bring in more if sold through public auction.”

The library founders made careful selections amounting to an encyclopedic world tour of artists and contemplative, dreamy scenes to enrich the experience of patrons of all ages. They are fascinating together. I love this beguiling and chatty magpie narrative!

James Prendergast Library Jehan Georges Vibert Le Nouveau commis oil on panel est 30 to 40000
James Prendergast Library collection: Jehan Georges Vibert Le Nouveau commis oil on panel. Sotheby’s Eurpean pre sale estimate is $30,000- $40,000

 

More works to be sold at Sotheby’s to benefit and from the James Prendergast Library collection

 

Continue reading “Berkshire Museum on hold, but James Prendergast Library a go”

$400,000,000 Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi record price at Christie’s Auction tonight!

250px-Leonardo_da_Vinci_or_Boltraffio_(attrib)_Salvator_Mundi_circa_1500

Confidence was in the room for the Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Salvator Mundi, painting which climbed from a starting bid of $75,000,000 to $400,000,000 (hammer price) at Christie’s Contemporary art sale Wednesday, November 15, 2017. The Mona Lisa value has climbed tonight as well.

The buyer’s premium for Salvator Mundi will bring the sale to $450,312,500.

Hammer price is the highest bid announced by the auctioneer just before the gavel drops. Additional charges include fees such as buyers premium, taxes, etc added to the hammer price.

Prior record private sales for a William de Kooning (Interchange) and Paul Gauguin (Nafea Faa Ipoipo) reached 300 million. This Christie’s auction sale is public.

The da Vinci was the 9th lot in a sale featuring 58 lots. Prior to the da Vinci excitement a Kerry James Marshall did quite well.

Live Sale still in process. Hammer prices so far

1B Adam Pendleton $180,000
2B Philippe Parreno $420,000 (est $250,000-$350,000 )
3B Kerry James Marshall $4.2 million (est. 1-1.5 million)
4B Frank Stella $3.2 million (est 2.2 – 2.8 million)
5B Eva Hesse $900,000 (est $800,000-$1.2 million)
6B Rothko  $28.5 million (est $25 million – 35 million)
7B Bourgeois $7.5 million (est $10 million-$15 million)
8B Vija Celmins  $3,500,000 (est $1,500,000-2,500,000)
9B   LEONARDO DA VINCI
10B Jean Michel Basquit PASSED
11B Keith Haring sold $3,500,000
12B John Currin PASSED
13B Andy Warhol sold $56,000,000

28B Milton Avery Pale Field, Dark Mountain 1959 approx 40 x 54 oil  hammer price was $1,300,000

Milton Avery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Sotheby’s auction tanked as Berkshire Museum art yanked & Paul Manship sculpture soared past estimate

The November 13, 2017 evening art sales –counting buyers’ premiums–totaled nearly $500,000,000  between two major NYC auction houses: Sotheby’s American Art sales were $19,407,375 and Christies Impressionism and Modern Art sales were $479,000,000 million.

The Sotheby’s sale was unusual because 7 of its 84 star lots were withdrawn just before the auction, a result of the Berkshire Museum litigation. (The combined conservative value of potential sales for the museum lots was $30,000,000 at the low presale estimate range. If the art is sold in the future its value will be more because of the increased familiarity.) Other Sotheby’s lots went unsold. Two Norman Rockwell works surpassed their estimates.  Of note for Gloucester artists fans, Paul Manship’s sculpture heavily surpassed its estimate. One Milton Avery sold within its estimate range while a second went unsold. There was a selection of original and rare Paul Manship sculpture for sale in Gloucester this summer (here’s the link).

Manship sold above estimate.jpg
detail of Paul Manship (1885-1966)  Diana, 1921, which sold for $975,000 at Sotheby’s on November 13, 2017  (hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium) Sotheby’s presale estimate was $400,000-$600,000

Christies sale night had several surprises including records for Leger ($71,000,000)

Christies Leger record breaker Fernand LĂ©ger (1881-1955), Contraste de formes, 1913. 36â…ś x 28â…ž in (92.4 x 73.2 cm). Sold for $70,062,500 in the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sa

and a gorgeous Vuillard,

Vuillard

and big bidding for Van Gogh ($81,000,000 million).

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Laboureur dans un champ, painted in Saint Rémy, early September 1889. 19⅞ x 25½ in (50.3 x 64.9 cm). Sold for $81,312,500 in the Impressionist & Modern

Christies superstar Fall lot is still to come and in all the news: Salvator Mundi –attributed to Leonardo da Vinci– will be sold in the contemporary sale alongside Warhol tomorrow. It’s been for sale since it was rediscovered in the oughts, but no museum purchased it and experts debate its hand and condition. The opening bid for the “lost Leonardo” will be $100,000,000. A Jean Michel Basquit sold for $110,500,000 last May. Christie’s marketing hype video “The Last da Vinci…”

 

 

Return of the Magnificent 7: Healy halts Sotheby’s from selling Berkshire Museum art

For now, PASS!

On Friday November 10, 2017, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy responded to Judge Agostini’s November 7th decision greenlighting Sotheby’s sale. The Massaschusetts AGO appeal reversed the decision, ultimately procuring an injunction from Judge Trainor, Massachusetts Appeals Court. This 11th hour move will not be the last word on the case, though it scuttles any scheduled sale prior to December 11 (with allowances for extensions to build the case.)

Meanwhile, on Monday, November 13, 2017, collectors can purchase Martin Johnson Heade’s Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds and 76 major American paintings at Sotheby’s. The Sotheby’s sale originally featured 84 lots. Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop, and 6 more of the Berkshire Museum 40, will not be sold, yet.

No bidding No sales for these 7 Berkshire Museum Sotheby’s lot 10 – lot 16:

Berkshire Museum Albert Bierstadt Connecticut River Valley Claremont NH Sothebys Lot 15
Albert Bierstadt Connecticut River Valley Claremont NH  temporarily remaining collection Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Museum Augustus Saint Gaudens Diana of the Tower 1899
Augustus Saint Gaudns Diana of the Tower  temporarily remaining collection Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Museum George Henry Durrie Hunter in Winter Wood Sothebys lot 11
George Henry Durrie Hunter in Winter Wood temporarily remaining collection Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Museum John La Farge Magnolia Sotheby's Lot12
John La Farge Magnolia  temporarily remaining collection Berkshire Museum
Norman Rockwell Blacksmith 1940 Berkshire Museum potential Sothebys sale
Norman Rockwell Blacksmith’s boy 1940
Berkshire Museum Thomas Wilmer Dewing The White Dress Sotheby's Lot 13
Thomas Wilmer Dewing The White Dress  temporarily remaining collection Berkshire Museum

shuffleton-s-barbershop-1950

Martin Johnson Heade Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds Nesting near a Palm tree o c 13 x 11 ca1865 est 150 to 200 thousand Sothebys
This one you can buy; it’s not from the Berkshire Museum. Martin Johnson Heade Crimson Topaz Hummingbirds Nesting near a Palm tree oil on canvas, 13 x 11, ca1865, Sotheby’s presale estimate is $150,000 to $250,000. Heade painted Newburyport and area great salt marsh scenes

Continue reading “Return of the Magnificent 7: Healy halts Sotheby’s from selling Berkshire Museum art”

Berkshire Museum can sell ALL art | Judge John Agostini okays Sotheby’s auction

detail from Norman Rockwell Blacksmith (1940 for Saturday Evening Post)

Norman Rockwell Blacksmith 1940 Berkshire Museum potential Sothebys sale.jpg

From Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees President Elizabeth “Buzz” McGraw:

“We believe we acted consistent with our responsibility to this community and our collections, to keep this museum open now and strengthen it for generations to come. We are grateful the Judge recognized the care and diligence the Board exercised in arriving at this decision, and that today’s decision will ensure we can move forward.”

–more to come —

*sent from phone, no power again in East Gloucester

 

Will Pittsfield museum be the pits? Last ditch attempts to keep the art in MA

Will Pittsfield’s Berskshire Museum earn a derisive eponymous nickname?
The Berkshire Museum wants to sell its core collection, 40 works including two Norman Rockwells, a lovely John LaFarge Magnolia, a Vuillard, Calder’s first public commissions, and other high lights* for an expansion and redirection. The deaccession has been denounced in art news headlines for the past year, and defended by its museum board. Various alternatives have been batted about including merging with Williams College or moving the art to other MA institutions. Two of the works to be sold were given by the artist, Norman Rockwell. Three sons of the artist are suing to keep the art at the museum. The barbershop depicted in Rockwell’s April 29, 1950 Saturday Evening Post cover was located in East Arlington, Vermont. The Rockwells moved from VT to Stockbridge in 1953. If it’s sold and leaves MA completely, I hope it ends up in a museum near East Arlington, VT.
The auction sale dates are closing in. Crowdfunding for legal costs ramped up, but only recently. Visit the trending gofundme campaign Save the Art Save the Museum https://www.gofundme.com/savetheartsavethemuseum
The Rose Art Museum and Detroit art sales were thwarted. However, full court PR campaigns weren’t launched for an auction sale, which is now the case with the Berkshire Museum upcoming sales at Sotheby’s.
shuffleton-s-barbershop-1950

PITTSFIELD — Three sons of artist Norman Rockwell went to court Friday to stop the auction of 40 works owned by the Berkshire Museum, including two donated by their father. Their action represents the clearest challenge to date of the museum’s plan, announced in July, to sell art to improve its balance sheet and to renovate its South Street facility. – By Larry Parnass

map of Massachusetts museums-

Museums in Massachusetts in google maps by Catherine Ryan.jpg

In addition to the Berkshire Museum pieces, the upcoming Sotheby’s sale on the 13th includes artists with connections to Gloucester such as Anna Hyatt Huntington, Paul Manship and Milton Avery:

Continue reading “Will Pittsfield museum be the pits? Last ditch attempts to keep the art in MA”