SKINNER TO OFFER AMERICAN & EUROPEAN PAINTINGS ON MAY 15TH Skinner, Inc., one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced that its upcoming American and European Paintings sale will take place on Friday, May 15th in its B
News-Antique.com - Apr 29,2009 - Skinner, Inc., one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced that its upcoming American and European Paintings sale will take place on Friday, May 15th in its Boston gallery located at 63 Park Plaza. More than 500 lots of paintings will be offered. This sale will feature one of the auction house’s most impressive offerings to date with works from Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, and Salvador Dalí coming to Skinner from notable collections.
From the estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (née Braman) Grasso comes several impressive pieces; these works represent the first part of a two-part modern collection from her estate. Ms. Braman was born in 1929 to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (née Hall) Braman of New York, namesake and cousin of First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. Ms. Braman was active in the New York art scene and her collection is wide-ranging in medium and style, yet can be characterized as dedicated to avant-garde modernism. Of note is Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Ambroise Vollard with his Cat (lot 378, est. $450/650,000). Ambroise Vollard was one of Picasso’s earliest dealers and though his role as dealer waned after 1911, Vollard continued to promote him over the decades as an editor of art books. Picasso was known to have made only a small number of portraits of Vollard in various mediums. The present portrait, a recently rediscovered work, may have been the inspiration for the etching with aquatint entitled Vollard et son Chat, c. 1960, as well as an updated oil painting in a private collection of the same subject.
Also from the Grasso estate is Henri Matisse’s Seated Woman in Oriental Dress (lot 359, est. $150/250,000). The work is characteristic of Matisse’s female portraits of the twenties that show an Arabesque interior with women, frequently in exotic costume and in a relaxed state. However, in this particular work, there is a subtle aggressiveness to her pose in the frontal display of wealth and direct gaze that may challenge the typically passive gaze of the viewer. The final Grasso masterpieces to be offered are two sculptures by Henry Moore: Standing Mother and Child: Holes, 1955 (lot 489, est. $50/75,000) and Head: Cyclops, 1963 (lot 488, est. $30/50,000).
Another set of works comes to Skinner from the collection of Louis Albert McMillen, a former member of The Architect’s Collaborative (TAC) who was involved in designing the University of Baghdad as TAC partner in charge of project. It was there that he amassed some of the collection coming up for bid: Dia Azzawi’s Ancient Symbols (lot 395, est. $25/30,000); Dia Azzawi’s Masks of Abyss (lot 390, est. $25/30,000); and Kadhim Hayder’s The Martyr's Epic (lot 398, est. $15/20,000). Also from the McMillen collection is Anemones by Raoul Dufy (lot 362, est. $40/60,000) and The Annunciation by Salvador Dalí (lot 386, est. $40/50,000), which is characteristic of Dalí’s artistic vision of the 1950s, which he called “Nuclear Mysticism.” This concept integrated Dalí’s interpretation of quantum mechanics