Feline Artworks by Famous Artists & Writers at Auction on Nov. 11-12 at Quinn’s Central Virginia Ralph Steadman, R. Crumb, Al Hirschfeld, Ray Bradbury, Peter Beard & William Wegman among contributors of unique, original art and prose
News-Antique.com - Nov 09,2016 - LOUISA, VA – There was very little unfinished business in Patrick Eddington’s life. For 30 years, the respected artist and art teacher inspired his appreciative students at Salt Lake City’s Highland High School and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. In September of this year, six months after Eddington passed away following a brief illness, the art gallery at Highland High was dedicated to him, a testament to his enduring legacy. But Eddington harbored a deeply important dream of his own, which was never fulfilled.
More than a decade ago, the teacher known as “Pat the Cat” because of his unabashed fondness for felines, embarked on an ambitious project in which he asked famous artists and writers to create original artworks of cats. Eddington planned to exhibit those paintings and drawings, and to publish them in a book. An extraordinary cache of artworks was amassed, but sadly, the project never saw daylight. Now, with the blessing of Eddington’s estate, the assemblage of art will be auctioned on Nov. 12 at Quinn’s Central Virginia gallery, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
“The story of how Patrick Eddington acquired the original Cat Project artworks is quite remarkable,” said Matthew Quinn, executive vice president of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. “For years he carried on an extensive correspondence with a staggering number of visual artists and writers. His genial letters, little gifts, and certainly his persistence, charmed many of them into contributing to the project. That was a feat in itself.”
The 245-lot auction includes artworks of various media and styles. Most are original, one-of-a-kind creative works. Lot 65 is a Ralph Steadman (British, b. 1936-) mixed media on paper titled Cats Always Do This When They Like You… Have You Noticed? Signed and dated 7 August 2000, the work measures 19 x 32½ inches (matted and framed). Its conservative auction estimate is set at $400-$600.
The inimitable cartoon style of Robert Crumb (a k a R. Crumb, American, b. 1943-) dominates Lot 33. A full page of hand-written correspondence is highlighted by an intricately drawn image of Crumb’s cat Bernie sitting on the sleeping artist’s chest. The personal missive was sent from the artist’s residence in France and dated “Sept. 2st, ’01.” Absolutely unique, the illustrated letter offers interesting personal observations from Crumb in a chatty, conversational style. Estimate: $300-$500
Lot 32, a marvelous, signed and dated (6/17/99) Al Hirschfeld (American, 1903-2003) sketch of a dancing cat with straw hat and cane is coupled with a handwritten note from the famed New York Times caricaturist. Titled Song and Dance Cat, the ink sketch on paper is estimated at $80-$120.
Esteemed fantasy/sci fi writer Ray Bradbury (American, 1920-2012) crafted cat-centric prose titled Their Engines Drive the Summer with Their Purr that was later illustrated by Eddington and turned in an edition of 50. The piece in the auction (Lot 158), which is signed by Bradbury, is No. 34 from the edition and expected to make $80-$120.