Lot 37
  • 37

Fairfield Porter 1907 - 1975

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Fairfield Porter
  • Girl and Geranium
  • signed Fairfield Porter and dated 63 lower right; also signed, dated, titled and inscribed Girl and Geranium/45 x 30--oil Fairfield Porter 1963-4 on a piece of the original stretcher affixed to the stretcher 
  • oil on canvas
  • 45 by 30 inches
  • (114.3 by 76.2 cm)


Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York 
Private Collection, Scarsdale, New York
Estate of L. Arnold Weissberger, New York (sold: Christie's, New York, December 4, 1987, lot 379)
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
Mr. and Mrs. R. Crosby Kemper, 1988 (acquired from the above)
By descent to the present owner


New York, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Fairfield PorterMarch-April 1964
Carbondale, Illinois, Mr. and Mrs. John Russell Mitchell Gallery, Southern Illinois University, Fairfield Porter Paintings, November 1964


Jerrold Lanes, "Fairfield Porter's Recent Work," Arts, April 1964, p. 43
Joan Ludman, “Checklist of Paintings by Fairfield Porter,” Fairfield Porter: An American Classic, New York, 1992, p. 293
Joan Ludman, Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors and Pastels, New York, 2001, no. L417, p. 194, illustrated; also illustrated in color p. 64

Catalogue Note

Fairfield Porter painted Girl with Geranium in 1963, during which time, writes John T. Spike, “his art was in full stride, and he enjoyed recognition as one of the best figurative paintings in America” (“Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art,” A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings Watercolors, and Pastels, New York, 2001, p. 39). Whether depicting landscapes, portraits, still-lifes or street scenes, Porter returned time and again to the people and places he knew, primarily his family and homes in Southampton, New York and Great Spruce Head Island, Maine. Girl and Geranium depicts a young girl standing in a sun-filled interior wearing a richly patterned skirt. Her gaze meets the viewer directly, imbuing the work with a sense of immediacy.

While Porter was likely commissioned to paint this portrait, his primary concern was not to portray the subject faithfully but rather to capture the play of light and shadow within the scene. As William C. Agee explains, “[Porter’s] paintings convey a strong sense of place and presence, but for him the literal transcription of what he saw before him was beside the point. The actual subject was of little concern; rather it was in the paint itself that he found the life, the vitality, and the wholeness of the painting. He understood that the difference between realism and abstraction is not as simple as it seems… Porter determined the relations and connections between things, and for him it was these relations that were the vital elements in a painting” (Fairfield Porter: An American Painter, Southampton, New York, 1993, p. 11).