Highlights from American Art Online

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Sotheby's is pleased to announce our first dedicated online sale of American Art, occurring in conjunction with our 23 May American Art Auction. Bidding opens on 4 May and closes on 24 May at 4 PM EST. A selection of unique 19th and 20th century works with accessible price points will be offered in a timed, online-only platform with highlights by Otis Kaye, Charles Demuth, Antonio Jacobsen and more.

American Art Online
Online | 4–24 May 2017

Highlights from American Art Online

  • Luigi Lucioni, Indian Textures, 1933. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    Luigi Lucioni was born in the northern Italian town of Malnate, near Milan, in 1900 and immigrated to Jersey City, New Jersey with his family at the age of ten. In Indian Textures, painted in 1933, Lucioni creates a traditional still life arrangement and beautifully captures the unique textures of each object. 

  • Otis Kaye, Octopus Ticker Company, 1970. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Born in 1885, Otis Kaye is considered the last artist to embrace the still life tradition of the 19th century trompe l’oeil painters, which included John Haberle, William Harnett and John Frederick Peto.  Many of his compositions, including the present picture, reflect his preoccupation with currency and depict coins and bills. Octopus Ticker Company has descended in Kaye’s family since it’s execution in 1970. 

  • Charles Demuth, Pink Lady Slippers, 1918. Estimate $40,000–60,000.
    Executed in 1918, Pink Lady Slippers is not only an exquisite example of Charles Demuth’s engagement with the still life genre but also a demonstration of his ability to transform this traditional subject with his distinctive style. 

  • Antonio Jacobsen, Harmonia, circa 1875-76. Estimate $25,000–35,000.
    Antonio Jacobsen was one of the most prolific American maritime painters who executed over 6,000 depictions of sail and steam vessels during his lifetime, earning himself the nickname the “Audubon of Steam Vessels.” He spent his entire career in Manhattan or Hoboken and depicted almost every single vessel that sailed in and out of New York Harbor between 1873 and 1919. In the present picture, Jacobsen depicts the American ship Harmonia as indicated by the flags above her billowing sails.  

  • Kenneth Southworth Davies, Thaw, 1967. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    Painted in 1967, Thaw is a striking example of Ken Davies’ distinctive and highly realistic-style. Using technical precision he captures the minute details of the scene, successfully rendering the varied textures from the tree bark to the melting snow. 

  • Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Esso Delivery, 1950. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Jackson Lee Nesbitt studied at the Kansas City Art Institute primarily under the famed Regionalist painter, Thomas Hart Benton. Benton considered Nesbitt among his most talented students. 

  • Bert Geer Phillips, A Mountain Trail. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Bert Geer Phillips was a prominent member of the Taos Society of Artists, an organization of painters who all took the indigenous people and landscape of New Mexico as their primary subject matter. Phillips helped to found the Society in 1915. 

  • Francis Augustus Silva*, The Beach at Long Branch, New Jersey, circa 1869. Estimate $50,000–70,000.
    Painted circa 1869, The Beach at Long Branch, New Jersey depicts a scene of middle-class leisure on the beach of the coastal town where the artists moved with his wife and two children in 1880.    

  • John Koch, Conversation. Estimate $12,000–18,000.
    “A self-taught painter, [John] Koch was justifiably proud of his technical prowess. But he considered his true artistry to reside in his depiction of the relationships between people, and between people and the space around them” (Grady T. Turner, “Enigmatic Intimacy: The Interior World of John Koch,” John Koch: Painting a New York Life, New York, 2001, p. 34). 

  • Emil Bisttram, Madonna of the Pueblo, Taos, 1968. Estimate $15,000–25,000.
    Emil Bisttram visited Taos, New Mexico for the first time in 1930. Enchanted with the unique culture and landscape of the West, Bisttram moved there permanently soon after and in 1952 founded the Taos Art Association. 

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