LiveAuctionTalk.com Highlights Philip Desind Collection in its Weekly Free Article Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly collecting column is one of the top sources for auction, antique and collectible news. Photo courtesy of Freeman's.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - September 28, 2006--Philip Desind’s obsession was collecting art painted in his lifetime. As a well-known collector and dealer of 20th century American Realism, Desind’s treasure hunts in the 1930s took him to cities like New York, Washington and Philadelphia.
He believed if you threw a coin on a map of the United States wherever it landed would turn up at least “one” good artist. He called the 20th century the “Golden Age of American Art.”
As a collector, Desind had no interest in abstract painting. He appreciated the photographic, straightforward manner of realism. Nothing on pedestals. No rules of formal theory.
“I realized that I was a hopeless collector with an unrequited passion for accumulating beautiful and imaginative art objects skillfully rendered,” he said.
In 1964, Desind opened Capricorn Galleries in Bethesda, Md. Over 32 years he put together a collection of 2,500 works of art.
Robert Riggs, a successful artist in the 1930s and 1940s was one example. Prize fighting and circus scenes were Riggs’ hallmark. His painting "The Brown Bomber," showing the boxing victory of Joe Louis over Max Schmeling was one of the works of art that earned him election into the National Academy of Design in 1946.
Desind died in 1996. With the help of his daughter who continues to operate the Capricorn Galleries in Rockville, Md., Desind’s collection went on the auction block. Freeman’s in Philadelphia conducted the sale on June 9.
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