Ann Channing, Wareham, Massachusetts (acquired as a gift from the artist, her brother-in-law) By descent in the family of the above to the present owner
In the summer of 1952, Fairfield Porter stopped in Wareham, Massachusetts on his way to Maine, staying with his wife's sister. Not having a canvas with him, Porter procured a board on which he painted this picture of "The Narrows" clam shack in Wareham. Porter gave the painting to his hostess as a thank you gift.
Condition Report as per Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. (4/2/2014): This oil on board has never been restored. It is an early work for the artist and certainly a very charming one. The upper left, upper right and lower right corners are broken and show paint losses. There are half a dozen small chips of paint loss associated with the signature and date in the lower left, written in pencil. Most noticeably, there is the severe separation cracking to the sky and to a lesser degree to the side of the white building. If the picture is cleaned some of the cracks will be less noticeable, especially in the side of the building. They will also be less noticeable in the sky, but not to the point that they will cease to be a cosmetic issue. If one retouches the twenty worst cracks in the sky the picture will look better to a degree, but it will still be quite apparent that there is a disturbing cracking pattern in the sky. There are three options here. Firstly, to sell the picture as is as a "fixer upper." Secondly, to lightly clean the work, fix the corners and retouch the ten worst cracks and leave it as a slightly less sophisticated picture. This would cost about $1,200. The third option is to lightly clean the work, fix the corners and delicately and finely retouch all of the noticeable cracks and thus present the picture in a more finished fashion. This would cost $2,000. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.