We are delighted to announce strong results for Sotheby’s American Art auction held on May 20th. The auction realized $38.3 million, with 85% of the works sold, and nearly 60% sold above their pre-sale estimates.

The bidding was global, with activity from collectors around the world, including those in the UK, France, Turkey and the United States. In addition to this international participation, we saw bids from collectors that have characteristically collected in other categories, such as Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern Art.  Today’s collectors look for quality across the board and that was evident in our salesroom, with over 20% of buyers purchasing in the American Art field for the first time.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Calla Lily led the sale, establishing the second highest price for the artist's work of $9 million. This result follows Sotheby’s record-setting sale of the artist’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 for $44 million in November 2014.

The sale also featured works from several important American collections, including Norman Rockwell’s The Bookworm from a private collection, which achieved a price of $3.8 million.  Spring in Vermont by Milton Avery, achieved $3.3 million, the second highest price for the artist at auction.  

Sotheby’s American Art Department continues to invigorate the market. Since 2012, our strategy of offering the highest quality works at every price point has engaged buyers with fresh and compelling opportunities, and achieved exceptional results for our consignors.  

We would be happy to discuss our view of the current market or speak about any potential sale opportunities.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Goldberg
Senior Vice President
Head of American Art
212. 606. 7280

Georgia O’Keeffe
White Calla Lily
Estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000
Result: $8,986,000
Milton Avery
Spring in Vermont
Estimate: $1,500,000-2,500,000
Result: $3,370,000
Norman Rockwell
The Bookworm (Man with Nose in Book)
Estimate: $1,500,000-2,500,000
Result: $3,834,000
Kenneth Southworth Davies
Clapboards & Shadows
Estimate: $70,000-90,000
Result: $237,500
Morton Livingston Schaumberg
Still Life
Estimate: $30,000-50,000
Result: $237,500
Thomas Hart Benton
Still Life
Estimate: $200,000-300,000
Result: $670,000
Maxfield Parrish
Two Cooks and a Haggis
Estimate: $300,000-500,000
Result: $1,570,000