Jonathan Demme folk art collection to be sold Nov. 10 A sale featuring the self-taught and international folk art collection of renowned Hollywood film director Jonathan Demme will be sold Saturday, November 10th, by Slotin Auction in Buford, Georgia.
News-Antique.com - Oct 10,2007 - THE SALE OF THE FOLK ART COLLECTION OF RENOWNED HOLLYWOOD DIRECTOR
JONATHAN DEMME TO BE HELD NOVEMBER 10 BY SLOTIN AUCTION IN BUFORD, GA.
Demme's collection – much of it Haitian art – will comprise about 300 of the sale's 885 lots.
(Buford, Ga.) - A sale featuring the self-taught and international folk art collection of renowned Hollywood film director Jonathan Demme (“Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia”) will be held Saturday, November 10, by Slotin Auction. The sale has a start time of 10 a.m., and will be held at the Historic Buford Hall, 112 E. Shadburn Avenue in Buford. Buford is located just north of Atlanta.
Demme's exhibition and accompanying book – titled “Island on Fire: Passionate Visions of Haiti From the Collection of Jonathan Demme” -- underscore one of the most expansive collections of Haitian art in the United States. His frequent visits to Haiti resulted in the production of several film documentaries, including “Haiti: Dreams of Democracy.” About 300 of Demme's items will be sold.
The auction will be a cataloged sale, meaning all 885 lots will be sold in the exact order they appear in the catalog. The Demme component will be a highlight, but many other important consignments will be sold. The sale will be dedicated entirely to self-taught art, including masterworks by more than 400 folk artists. All of Slotin's auctions specialize in self-taught art and Southern pottery.
A few of the items from the Jonathan Demme Collection include:
“Judgment Day” by Pauleus Vital (1918-1984) – Vital was a Haitian master painter, and this work served as cover art for Demme's “Island on Fire” book. The oil on Masonite painting is incredibly detailed, depicting the dead breaking out of their coffins to face judgment. Vita's paintings are quite rare. This one is dated, May 25, 1983, and measures 26” wide x 31” high (est. $8,000-$12,000).
“Hippos” by Ellis Walter Ruley (1882-1959) – Ruley was an African-American primitive self-taught artist who lived in a predominantly white suburban neighborhood in Connecticut. He came into money thanks to an accident settlement, married a white woman and died a suspicious death. “Hippos” is oil on Masonite, 24” wide x 30” high and nicely framed (est. $18,000-$25,000).
“Seven Headed Lion Beast With Ten Horns” by William Blaney (1917-1986) – One of two of Demme's works by Blaney to be sold, this is an oil on canvas, done around 1960. Blaney, a part-time preacher, visually captured the imagery of Revelations 13: “And I stood upon the sand and sea, and saw a beast rise out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns” (est. $15,000-$20,000).
Demme's dedication to his collection, especially Haitian art, is indisputable. He explained in a a letter to Steve and Amy Slotin, the owners of Slotin Auction, that he was regrettably selling off a portion of what he owns, because “no matter how much you continue to love each and every one of the hundreds of pieces you've painstakingly acquired over the years, eventually you've