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. 

 

 

Edward Hopper at Oxford and T S Eliot at Turner Contemporary

Several European museum shows in 2018 contain examples or are devoted to American 20th century artists and modernism like the ones curated for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern and British Museum.

Massachusetts loans boast the Edward Hopper painting Manhattan Bridge Loop from the Addison Gallery of Art collection, Phillips Academy, Andover, selected for America’s Cool Modernism at Oxford. Three Hopper etchings (The Cat Boat, Night Shadows, and The Railroad) are on the checklist. Hopper depicted Gloucester in over 110 works of art. Besides Hopper, notable artists and writer with various Gloucester connections selected are: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, e e cummings, and Louis Lozowick.

Edward Hopper Manhattan Bridge Loop Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy Andover MA.jpg

 

Forgot the cry of gulls and the deep sea swell

 

 

Upcoming at Turner Contemporary – “Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’   a major exhibition (Sat 3 Feb – Mon 7 May 2018) considering Eliot’s watershed poem through visal arts, and Margate. I hope they turn to Gloucester and Cape Ann, unspoken in the final poem yet approachable (and specified in excised iterations). From the museum’s press release:

“Presenting artworks from the 19th century to the present, including film, photography and artefacts, the exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the T. S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land, and its shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places.

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If Not, Not (1975-6), R.B. Kitaj, National Galleries of Scotland

In 1921, T.S. Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on The Waste Land. The poem was published the following year, and proved to be a pivotal and influential modernist work.  Building on Turner Contemporary’s extensive experience in participation and engagement, the exhibition is being co-curated with a research group of 30 volunteers from the community, supported by the programme team at Turner Contemporary and external curator Professor Mike Tooby. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Ellerman Foundation.”

Finding Fall: bound into exquisite Rockbound art exhibit at Cape Ann Museum before Oct 29!

CLOSING SOON

The blanketing New England autumn is stronger on the walls at Cape Ann Museum than the fall landscape all around us just now. (When I saw this ravishing exhibit at the beginning of June, I had that same feeling about ‘summer’.) Though the seasons of color may disappoint us one year to the next, the impact of these paintings only intensifies with close observation. This is a show for anyone with an interest in painting. Rockbound at Cape Ann Museum features a terrific variety of  iconic Cape Ann seacoast scenes and artists. There’s an added urgency to see the show in person: most are on loan from private collections, shown together for the first time. Come fill your eyes and heart before this exclusive opportunity passes by.

Rockbound:  Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore closes October 29th.The Cape Ann Museum “gratefully acknowledges the many collectors* who lent to this exhibition and the following individuals: Mary Craven, Margaret Pearson, John Rando and Arthur Ryan.”  *anonymous private lenders, Endicott College, Roswitha and William Trayes, JJ and Jackie Bell, and others

(The wonderful Fitz Henry Lane exhibition that just opened will be on view through March 4, 2018.)

W Lester Stevens Hilltops Gloucester ROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum ©c ryan 20170602_120926 (1)

3 works by W Lester Stevens

 

EXHIBIT MYSTERY

I think that the “Unattributed decorative mirror for over mantel” may be the hand of artist Frederick Stoddard. Perhaps it’s from a series or the “Morning Mantle Decoration by Fred L. Stoddard” that’s listed in the 1923 Gloucester Society of Artists inaugural exhibition.

UNATTRIBUTED over mantel view of Good Harbor Beach ca1920 ROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum 170602_110624

INSTALLATION highlights

Ptown printmaker goucache by Margaret Patterson Motif Number One Rockport Harbor collection Roswitha & William Trayes RROCKBOUND installation Cape Ann Museum 20170602_110133.jpg
Margaret Patterson, Motif Number One Rockport Harbor, ca.1920, goauche, collection Roswitha & William Trayes, installed at Cape Ann Museum 2017 Rockbound exhibition

Artists include Yarnall Abbott, Gifford Beal, George Bellows, Theresa Berenstein, Hugh Breckenridge, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley,  Aldro Hibbard, Max Kuehne, Emma Fordyce Macrae, Margaret Patterson, Lester Stevens, Anthony Thieme, and more (hover over image to see artist information)

 

photos pairings below: Finding Cape Ann Museum Rockbound color/mood inspiration just outside in Gloucester October vistas (not literal place/time pairings but that could be done as well!)

Can major Gloucester paintings by Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer come back home? Appealing to Bill Gates and private collectors: please remember Gloucester!

Legions of fans visit local, national and international museums to see icons of American 20th century art by Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer. Some of this art was inspired by Gloucester, MA. One more Hopper or Homer Gloucester scene in any collection would be welcome, but in Gloucester it would be transformative.

The City of Gloucester boasts a world class museum that would be the ideal repository for a major Hopper and Homer of Gloucester. It hasn’t happened, yet. It should! I feel not enough of a case has been made for having originals right here in the city that inspired some of their most famous works and changed their art for the better.

Edward Hopper Captain’s House (Parkhurst House), one of the few original Hopper works remaining in private hands, is slated as a promised gift to Arkansas’s Crystal Bridges Museum of  American Art. Crystal Bridges opened in 2011 and will have acquired 4 examples of Hopper’s art — 2 paintings, 1 drawing and 1 print–with this gift. (I think Arkansas would have been ok with 3.)

Edward Hopper Parkhurst's House Captain's House 1924 watercolor private collection 100+ Gloucester homes and vistas inspired Hopper

 

The only known Winslow Homer seascape painting still in private hands is a great one inspired by Gloucester. Bill and Melinda Gates own Lost on the Grand Banks, 1885.  I saw it at the auction house back in 1998 just before the sale.  What a fit for Gloucester and Homer if it found its way back here!

 

Winslow Homer Lost on the Grand Banks 1885

 

Edward Hopper’s Gloucester Street also went to the west coast, purchased by Robert Daly. I’d love to see this one in person! The corner hasn’t changed much since 1928 when Hopper painted the street scene.

 

Gloucester Street edward hopper painting

Gloucester street painted by Edward Hopper TODAY.jpg

 

Hopper’s downtown Gloucester scene, Railroad Gates, is not on public display.

Edward Hopper Railroad Gates Gloucester MA

I’m surprised and hopeful that there are paintings of Gloucester by Hopper that could be secured. There are tens of drawings including major works on paper. I saw this Gloucester drawing, Circus Wagon, by Edward Hopper at the ADAA art Fair back in March 2016.

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Davis House (25 Middle Street) was sold at auction in 1996.

Edward Hopper Davis House, Middle Street Gloucester MA.jpg

I’m keeping tabs on most of them. The only way they’re going into any museum is through largesse. Why not Gloucester?

Homer and Hopper watercolors in private collections can’t be on permanent view due to the medium’s fragility. (Exciting developments in glazing and displays are being developed that go beyond the protective lift.) The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA, cares for works of art as well as any institution.

 

 

Boston Globe on Cape Ann Museum Gloucester MA Rockbound art exhibition!

Here’s the link (plus some installation photos) to the Boston Globe Cate McQuaid review of Cape Ann Museum’s wonderful exhibition “Rockbound: Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore” (on view through October 29) and “The Importance of Place: A Sketchbook of Drawings by Stuart Davis”. 

I’ve included some installation shots of the show that I took in June, and will write more about this must see exhibition. The paintings are superbly displayed and most were generously lent from private collections else we wouldn’t have a chance to see them!

Boston Globe Cate McQuaid review Cape Ann Museum Rock Bound 2017

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Today’s Wall Street Journal: Stuart Davis and Gloucester – masterpiece art and to this day a fishing port

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Bill Agee is an art historian and esteemed professor at Hunter. He completed the acclaimed Davis catalogue raissone (Yale University Press, 1991). His most recent book is Modern Art in America. Here he is on Stuart Davis (1892-1964) and Gloucester in today’s Wall Street Journal.

“Swing Landscape (1938)  is surely one of the greatest paintings of modern American art, a glorious summation of all Davis had been and was still to be. Swing Landscape, one of nine Davis mural projects was commissioned by the WPA. It was intended for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn. But for reasons still unclear it was never installed, and in 1942 it was acquired by the Indiana University Art Museum, in Bloomington. Because of its intended location, over the years the mural has been misread as based on views of that bustling borough.

Rather, it depicts the boats, docks, houses and landscape of Gloucester, Mass., to this day a fishing port. Davis had spent summers there since 1915, and the subject was the culmination of a favorite motif that had appeared frequently in his art since at least 1924. Davis could be contrarian–for example suggesting a painting was about one thing when it was really about something else–and  here he turns these picturesque vistas, the subject of so much tourist art, into a serious, complex and ambitious mural. “

I wish this Agee excerpt was published  long before the September 25th closing of the Whitney Museum show, Stuart Davis in Full Swing. Back in June, WSJ published a couple of reviews including one by Karen Wilkin.

From the Whitney exhibit:

Using sketches he made of the waterfront in Gloucester, Massachusetts, he transformed masts, rigging, lobster traps, ladders, and striped poles into a vocabulary of overlapping, brightly colored shapes, all of equal intensity. To Davis, the result portrayed the “new materials, new spaces, new speeds, new time relations, new lights, and new colors” of modern America.

James Wechsler describes Davis subjects as triple distilled.

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Recent William Agee book

Today’s NY Times: Holland Cotter reviews Stuart Davis art exhibit at the Whitney Museum

Stuart Davis on mural
Stuart Davis, 1939, Sol Horn, photographer. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian. 

Pulitzer prize winning critic, Holland Cotter, gives the Stuart Davis (1892-1964) show at the Whitney Museum a mostly glowing review in today’s New York Times. One thing is a given. If the art of American modernist Stuart Davis is mentioned, Gloucester will pop up somewhere in the text.

“Place was important to him, but the modern world was increasingly about movement and he wanted to picture that. A 1931 painting, “New York-Paris No. 2,” put us in both cities simultaneously, with a Hotel de France set against the Third Avenue El.

In the exuberant “Swing Landscape” of 1938, a mural commissioned by the Works Progress Administration for a Brooklyn housing project but never installed, we see bits and pieces of Gloucester — ships, buoys, lobster traps — but basically we’re in a whole new universe of jazzy patterns and blazing colors, a landscape defined not by signs but by sensations: sound, rhythm, friction…”

 

Sometimes big shows bring art to market. Last fall the Stuart Davis 1960 painting Ways and Means, 24 x 32,  sold at auction for $3,189,000 at Christie’s.

2 mil to 3 mil ways and means 1960

the 1940 Composition June Jitterbug Jive for $689,000,

composition june jitterbug live.jpg

and the Autumn Landscape Rockport, 1940, 8 x 12 for $905,000.

30050 500000 stuart davis autumn landscape rockport

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s sold New York Street, 1940, 11 x 16, $490,000.

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This month, Sotheby’s sold a 1960 Gloucester harbor scene for $100,000 on  June 9th, and the 1919 “Gloucester” painting measuring 24 x 30 fetched $51,000.

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Continue reading “Today’s NY Times: Holland Cotter reviews Stuart Davis art exhibit at the Whitney Museum”

WHAT’S THE ART DISPLAYED BEHIND GOVERNOR BAKER? Here’s a tip for all those political handshake photographs: please add the artist and art to the list of names

Cat Ryan submits-

Joey, Good Morning Gloucester is really something! After my post about local artists and art displayed in City Hall and the White House Collection, the artist, proprietor, FOB, and fun Pauline Bresnahan sent me a picture with a note. She was thinking about art at the State House:

“Yesterday the Mayor was sworn in at the State House (for the Seaport Economic Advisory Council) and she put some photos on FB and I was wondering who did the painting over the Governor’s shoulder in the photo that I attached and am sending to you?”

Here’s Pauline’s attachment

https://gm1.ggpht.com/IZ4fCXxXy5iDiwitCBA6o4aiYEYFLJCY9BJ6UJwJab3A_x2Gs4GH7NUEhuv_jA5918aM6XUN-Agrsxmjimt9mMImZe46sKYWXmBVwWFkt7X1yOPPL8Js5oKSzftP4BTz0sWaFWNPXGvyt430nFCURL127FAXMkfQfl_siBB45jqf6lgMz0ltD6vcEsT0c6WQoBIrhgFVhoVvW1IKq5rYWJwQ6mhgfP8qP9ktyS2oXMtMIygPFnhptDCOn5uJnASwaOMRE1lEShCrJ4aVBm3fFrNOIJRTe7Pj1RrQ5nRWasDLnnP4ETcHuksc3v4HD19LBZXeKoTUe7u1D8SV25IRb7a4xfuYh2VkJhb1z0JGKS3-vvl3YVo1HyWsJN4KJcIio_y3YF4h790jI_RzU1c2T8Fq9TdrIGg-pmrCmhbxJSE5h96iTbuOcavv9_BhNpd9kitlRt4QfhRZh8ExAcf7swcIzpR2_8HtcZ2em3GmmiVXqErUh8RA_gIQuhZOvwQgOvXdviEYjtxf8Ei3vGvy2kgQP0ZIF1VI7jSgX2MUeBCm1OtP8NhF8MxT6fMbkP0SctKI4h2UUwjnw1gEkavFqalKSES9YmnJ_EOLCOenYIEtqo0Vw5Ar3R6oJzIn=w480-h640-l75-ft

The dramatic harbor scene is on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and was created by JONAS LIE (1880-1940), The Fisherman’s Return, ca.1919, John Pickering Lyman Collection, Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman.

You read that correctly. His name is ‘Lie’. I know, located in the State House—the state capitol and house of government—the symbol of the Commonwealth of MA, politics and its people—it may seem at first an unfortunate selection when you read the surname.

Not to worry, his painting skills and life story are a great fit for the State House.

Lie was a well-known early 20th century painter and his peers considered him a master. One example of his stature and connections: Lie, Stuart Davis and Eugene Speicher were charged with the selection of paintings as members of the Central Arts Committee for the legendary exhibit, American Art Today at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Holger Cahill was their Director. Artists John Gregory, Paul Manship and William Zorach selected sculpture. John Taylor Arms, Anne Goldthwaite and Hugo Gellert selected the prints and drawings.

Is there a Gloucester, MA, connection? You bet –and one you can see in many of Lie’s works. He was a summer traveler to Cape Ann before WW1 along with other New England locales through the 1930s because he was a mainstream American artist of his time. He had a studio on Bearskin Neck and lived on Mt. Pleasant in Rockport. Later the studio was Max Kuehne’s. 

Lie was born in Norway to an American mother, Helen Augusta Steele of Hartford, Ct. His Norwegian father, Sverre Lie, was a civil engineer. One of his aunts was the pianist Erika Lie Nieesn and he was named after an uncle, the major Norwegian writer Jonas Lie. After his father died in 1892 he went to live in Paris with family, before joining his American mother and sister in New York City the following year. They settled in Plainfield, NJ. After art studies, Lie found work as a shirt designer, took more classes, exhibited and received prizes. William Merritt Chase bought two works in 1905. In 1906, he traveled back to Norway to visit family and again to Paris. He was deeply inspired by Monet. When he returned he resumed his art career. He admired the Ashcan artists and their American style. Another trip in 1909 to Paris, Fauvism and Matisse. 

Lie painted the engineering project of his time, the building of the Panama Canal. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Detroit Institutes of Art acquired a work from this series. The rest were eventually gifted to West Point in 1929 as a memorial to US Army Corps of Engineers Colonel George Washington Goethals, Chief Engineer of the building of the Canal. Goethals was credited with having the forethought to ensure that a record of the project was preserved in art. Art form(s) actually. Leave it to the engineer to appreciate the art and beauty in industry. Right?

Lie was invited as a guest of General Goethals along with Joseph Pennell who created the gorgeous etching portfolio The Building of the Canal, 1912. Goethals also selected artist William B Van Ingen to paint 4 large murals, mounted on site in the rotunda in 1915. The Panama Canal opened softly the preceding year, on August 15, 1914 as World War 1 eclipsed any coverage.

Lie was involved with the installation of the famous Armory show of 1913, and 4 of his works were exhibited. In the printed matter, his name shows up alphabetically between Fernand Leger and George Luks. See the 1914 journal advert. Charles Hawthorne urged summer students to Provincetown while the New York School of Fine and Applied Art hoped that students would paint with ‘Jonas Lee, one of America’s foremost painters’.  He was quite active in the arts community. He organized the Society of American Painters in 1919. He purchased a home in the Adirondacks to be near the hospital where his wife sought treatment for and eventually succumbed to TB. In 1933 he gave Amber Light, a painting of FDR’s yacht to the President, his friend.

Lie is known for his vivid color and impressions of New England harbors, boats and coves, painted during summer visits, his New York City scenes, landscapes, seasons, Utah copper mines, and the Panama series.

What about the Governor’s suite, the historic restoration, the Governor’s portrait, protocol and tradition?

The Massachusetts State House includes the state legislature and the offices of the Governor. The 1798 building was designed by Charles Bulfinch and was designated as a National Historic Landmark* in 1960. This magnificent landmark needed an overhaul and major renovations. Restoration has been happening throughout the structure, mostly for the first time in a century.  It’s difficult to invest in heritage and modernize facilities without public criticism. Years of research span terms. The Governor suite in particular came under fire for its historic restoration. It was expensive.

“The executive office now looks like it did in 1798, Petersen said. It cost $11.3 million to renovate and restore these 19,000 square feet of the State House, including the lieutenant governor’s office, constituent services on the second floor, and what will soon be an emergency response room on the fourth floor. The executive offices now have temperature control, wireless Internet capability, sprinklers, blast-resistant storm windows, security cameras, including some with facial recognition, and sensors that can detect if a room is occupied.”

Daunting! I can understand why Governor Baker selected the former Chief Of Staff’s office for his everyday office. “I want a regular office where I can spill a cup of coffee and not worry about it,” the governor said.

The Jonas Lie painting is prominent in nearly every ceremonial signing and photograph because it’s hung directly behind the Governor’s desk. It is difficult to find any mention of the artist and painting. When staging formal photographs if there is a featured artwork in the frame, it is my recommendation and hope that credit to the artist and artwork are listed along with people featured in the photograph.

The State House is working on their website and there’s a great virtual tour. Visit https://malegislature.gov/VirtualTour

So what does the Governor see from his vantage of the signing seat during ceremonies and meetings? More tradition, history, and art. Each incoming Governor selects a portrait of a former Governor which is installed above the mantel and across from the desk.  Former Governor Patrick’s choice was John Albion Andrew, Massachusetts 25th Governor. Governor Baker selected former Governor John A. Volpe, a North Shore Wakefield native, who served 1961-63 and again 1965-69, the first 4-year term in MA. He resigned midterm in his final year to accept President Nixon’s appointment to head the Department of Transportation. You can read more about it here http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_massachusetts/col2-content/main-content-list/title_volpe_john.html

The incoming Governor selects this portrait fairly quickly. Volpe’s national policy led to Amtrak. With the winter and MBTA crises at hand, comparisons can be drawn…I will ask! I haven’t been in the Governor offices. But Fred Bodin and I had a great look around earlier this year and Senator Tarr gave us a brief impromptu tour. Ask him about the Cod. There was an installation of local artists in the hall outside the Senate Chamber. 

*Boston has 58 properties with National Historic Landmark designation. Gloucester has 2: Schooner Adventure and Beauport. City Hall should/will have this designation.

Link to yesterday’s post https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/this-is-what-gloucester-looks-like-at-the-white-house-and-city-hall-its-all-local/

Also find it at Joey_C’s twitter http://t.co/upEgxcTajq