Made in Britain Day Auction

Made in Britain Day Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 186. Going Home Through the Park.

Property from the Collection of Leslie and Johanna Garfield

Helen Bradley

Going Home Through the Park

Auction Closed

June 7, 03:45 PM GMT

Estimate

70,000 - 100,000 GBP

Lot Details

Description

Property from the Collection of Leslie and Johanna Garfield

Helen Bradley

1900 - 1979

Going Home through the Park


signed Helen Rayfield Bradley, dated 1969 and inscribed (on a letter on the reverse)

oil on canvasboard

unframed: 61.5 by 81.5 cm.; 24¼ by 32in.

framed: 72 by 92 cm.; 28¼ by 36¼ in.

W. H. Patterson Fine Arts, London

Sale, Phillips London, 23 November 1993, lot 37

MacConnal-Mason & Son Ltd., London

Sale, Christie’s London, 26 May 2011, lot 156, where acquired by the present owner

Preston, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Helen Bradley Paintings of a Victorian Childhood, 1996, no. 16, with tour

London, W. H. Patterson Fine Arts, Helen Bradley Commemorative, 26 July – 9 August 2000, no. 43

Going home through the park we were caught in th fresh snow of winter and mother who hadn’t brought her umbrella wouldn’t wait for George and I to feed the ducks “come along, quickly, children” she called poor Miss Carter (who wore pink) was wearing her new winter dress and hat never dreaming it would snow and Miss Maitland and her mother walking in front of her were delighted to see Mr Taylor (the bank manager) heading towards them to offer his umbrella and the year was 1907.


Sotheby’s is honoured to present the Leslie & Johanna Garfield Collection at auction across several sales in New York and London in 2023 and 2024, including A Celebration of British Print Making (Sotheby’s London, 7 June 2024). The Garfield's devotion to amassing an in-depth survey of fine prints, as well as exceptional examples by some of the greatest British artists of the 20th Century, and their steadfast commitment to art-related foundations was exceptional.


Their curator Heather Hess wrote:


Their collecting adventure began by chance. Neither had familial nor professional connections to art: Leslie sold townhouses, and Jo was a writer. Jo explained, “This love of art— of prints— was completely spontaneous.” Leslie, then stationed in Germany, happened into a Munich shop, where he became entranced by a German Expressionist woodcut. He walked away, only to return the following weekend to remedy that mistake, unable to shake the object’s hold and prompting what he described as his "unbridled love of works on paper.”


The hunt continued in New York, as Leslie traversed galleries uptown and down looking for the next addition. Upon finding one potential new acquisition, he jotted in a diary, “Must show Jo!” Liking the works was crucial, because they never bought anything with the intention of storing it away, although their later holdings exceeded what the walls of any New York apartment could accommodate, no matter how many sliding panels or shaded nooks for sheltering works on paper they devised.


They did not keep their discoveries to themselves, and shared their excitement with each other, with museum directors and curators, and with everyone they encountered in the art world, at parties, dinners, and fairs. Sometimes Leslie would see a print at the IFPDA Print Fair and buy one for himself and another for a museum. Sometimes, museums needed convincing. They spent twenty years championing the likes of the Provincetown printmakers (one of Jo’s discoveries, spotted when Leslie had his eye on something else) and Grosvenor School linocutters. They went on research trips to track down heirs and learn as much as they could about artists then ignored by both scholarship and the market. They bought voraciously and delighted in having multiple impressions and unique color variants that meant they were never truly finished collecting those artists. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art eventually took troves of those prints, but even then, Leslie could not resist buying some again. They cost a bit more the second time around.


So much of their collecting was driven by pure instinct. Their love of Johns came to Leslie like “a revelation” after seeing Flags I in the printer’s studio. With Richard Hamilton, which spawned their extensive collection of British Pop, an exhibition at the British Museum prompted them to look at each other “and there was a smile—a ‘yes.’” Sometimes, it was as simple as seeing a thumbnail in an auction catalog.