BENSON MASTERWORK TO LEAD CHRISTIE’S MAY 18 SALE OF IMPORTANT AMERICAN PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND SCULP HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE A HISTORIC MURAL BY MAXFIELD PARRISH, WESTERN ARTWORKS BY ALBERT BIERSTADT AND EANGER IRVING COUSE, AND A SUPERB OFFERING OF 29 WORKS FROM THE
WESTERVELT COMPANY COLLECTION
News-Antique.com - May 10,2011 - Photo caption : FRANK WESTON BENSON (1862--1951)
Eleanor and Benny - Oil on canvas, painted in 1916
Estimate: US$ 3,000,000 – 5,000,000
Public Exhibition: May 14 to 17, 2011
Auction: May 18, 2011 at 10am
New York — Christie’s is pleased to announce further details of its upcoming auction of Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture on 18 May 2011, at 10 am. A total of 138 lots will be offered, featuring outstanding works drawn from a cross-section of styles and genres, including Hudson River School, American Impressionism, Regionalism, Modernism, and Western Art. The sale is expected to achieve in excess of $29 million total.
Christie’s previously announced that the upcoming sale would include the Westervelt Company Collection (see dedicated press release), widely recognized as one of the best assemblages of 19th and 20th century American art in private hands. Amassed over four decades by Jonathan (Jack) Westervelt Warner, the former chief executive of Gulf States Paper Corporation (now the Westervelt Company), the selection includes masterworks by the leading American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Albert Bierstadt, William Trost Richards, Childe Hassam, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Marsden Hartley, Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Ephraim Burchfield, and Andrew Wyeth, among others. The complete group of 29 Westervelt works is estimated to achieve in excess of US$ 10 million.
A lead highlight of the main portion of the sale is Frank Weston Benson’s Eleanor and Benny (estimate: $3-5 million), an important example of the artist’s highly personal style of American Impressionism. As a leader of the Boston School, Benson was one of the first American artists to introduce figures into Impressionist landscapes, creating a new style of painting that remains among the most beloved genres of early 20th century American art. Painted in 1916, at the height of Benson’s talents, Eleanor and Benny is a tender portrayal of the artist’s daughter and grandson sharing the crisp summer light at the family compound in Maine. With its refined subject matter and sensitive execution, this superb, large-format painting brilliantly captures the aesthetic of the Boston School and recalls in both subject and style the major masterpieces of Benson’s early career. Offered from a distinguished private collection, Eleanor and Benny was last exhibited publicly more than 15 years ago and has been requested for inclusion in a major museum exhibition in 2012.
Further highlights of the sale include:
MAXFIELD PARRISH (1870-1966)
North Wall Panel, oil on canvas, painted in 1918
Estimate: $2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Originally commissioned by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney for her Fifth Avenue mansion, Parrish’s 18-foot wide North Wall Panel is among the largest American paintings ever offered at Christie’s New York. This fanciful panorama employs a myriad of brilliant hues and patterns to create a captivating and complex multi-figural scene that blends pre-Raphaelite sentiment, Old Master technique and a playful sense of wonder, as though offering a view into an imaginary world. As was his practice, Parrish employed family and friends to serve as models for his works, and the North Wall