Lot 142
  • 142

Glenn O. Coleman 1887 - 1932

Estimate
25,000 - 50,000 USD
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Description

  • Glenn O. Coleman
  • The Empire State Building
  • signed Coleman, l.r.; signed Glenn O. Coleman on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 84 by 48 in.
  • 213.4 by 121.9 cm.

Provenance

Estate of the artist
Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach, New York (acquired as a gift from the above, circa 1933)
Acquired as a gift to the present owners from the above, June 10, 1998

Condition

Canvas is not lined. SURFACE: in good condition, generally; scatterred craquelure; a few scattered, minor losses--a small diagonal scratch at lower left/center (on wooden railing)---about 3 1/2 in. long; surface is dirty, overall--a few scattered pin dots of silver paint (from frame)--could use a cleaning UNDER ULTRA VIOLET: no apparent inpainting
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.

Catalogue Note

Glenn O. Coleman's career was in ascendancy when he died, aged 48, of a rare illness in May, 1932.  Originally from the Midwest, he came to New York to become an artist.  After studying with Robert Henri, he began selling paintings of Manhattan scenes to important patrons like John D. Rockefeller and Edward W. Root, as well as to museums including the Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musée Luxembourg, Paris and the Detroit Art Institute. 

However he was often obliged to supplement his income with routine jobs – he served as an usher at Carnegie Hall, and was a police patrol officer in the community of Long Beach, L.I., where he lived modestly with his wife.

He became known for depicting Manhattan skyscrapers in a dramatic Modernist style.  The present canvas, one of the largest, represents what was at the time the newest and tallest addition to the skyline, the Empire State Building.  The dirigible alludes to the short-lived and rather fantastic plan that would have airships moored to the building's mast and have passengers disembark – by ladders! –  to the observation deck, whence they could proceed, by elevators, to the street.

Coleman's Estate was handled by his uncle, who donated most of his studio to the Whitney Museum of American Art; this museum held a memorial exhibition in October 1932, coincident with their publication of a monograph, part of a series on American artists. 
This work was originally donated by the Estate to the Long Beach Public Library, then the only public institution in the community.