Lot 21
  • 21

Marvin Cone

40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Marvin Cone
  • The Appointed Room
  • signed Marvin Cone, l.r.
  • oil on canvas
  • 20 by 38 in.
  • 50.8 by 96.5 cm.
  • Painted circa 1940


Mary and Earle Ludgin Collection
Acquired as a gift from the above by the present owner, 1982


New York, The National Academy, 115th Exhibition, 1941
The Art Institute of Chicago, The Fifty-Second Annual Exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, 1942
Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Permanent Collection:  The Mary and Earle Ludgin Collection, January-March, 1983
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Centennial Exhibition, 1990-1991

Catalogue Note

The late 1930s were a turning point for Cone.  He decided to take a year’s sabbatical from his teaching duties as a professor at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, a “year of freedom” in his words, to devote more time to painting.  Until that point, Cone was best known for his regional landscapes, subtle and superbly drafted images of the rolling hills and verdant valleys of the Midwest, always infused with his deeply personal vision of nature and its universality.  Now, he focused on figural character studies and interior landscapes, or “room paintings”, as a means to express his inner feelings about life’s mysteries, anxieties and human nature.  A confirmed realist, Cone relied on clearly identifiable images to explore these abstract concepts.  The muted color palette, clean, linear forms and shadows with doors open to nowhere in the present work are hallmarks of this style.  In the artist’s words, “Art, such as poetry, music and painting, is simply a portion of the experience of the artist.  When we actually see ideals, they become real to us.  Art traces abstraction and makes it audible or visual.  It symbolizes the whole of life.  We believe in something we can see.” (Joseph S. Czestochowski, Marvin D. Cone:  An American Tradition, New York, 1985, p. 6)