Specialist Picks: American Art from the Wilkes University Collection

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This February, an exciting selection of 19th- and 20th-century artwork can be purchased from the convenience of your desk in the online sale, American Art: Paintings and Sculpture from the Wilkes University Collection. Although the auction has already begun, there is still time to bid on a cityscape, still life or portrait by American greats like John Singer Sargent and Frederick MacMonnies. Before the sale closes on 28 February, Morgan Martin, Associate Specialist, Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, selected his ten favourite works that simply cannot be missed.

American Art: Paintings and Sculpture from the Wilkes University Collection
Online | 14–28 February

Specialist Picks: American Art from the Wilkes University Collection

  • Harry Leith-Ross, Soldier’s Grave. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    Harry Leith-Ross, a prominent member of the third generation of New Hope school artists, received particular acclaim for his snow-covered landscapes. According to his wife Emily, the artist “loved the curves of drifts and the sunlight on the snow. He also loved the gray days and moodiness of winter.” This sentiment is heartily echoed in the present work, as the sunlight filters over mounds of fresh snow through the clouds. 

  • Oded Halahmy, Moon Tree. Estimate $1,500–2,500.
    As the son of a goldsmith, Oded Halahmy’s love of bronze stems from observing his father create jewelry. His abstracted forms, which jut into the negative space, are filled with cultural symbolism from his native Iraq.

  • Cecil Crosley Bell, Ferry Boat Study #1. Estimate $1,000–1,500.
    While studying at the Art Students League in New York, Bell found inspiration for his work in the city and its people, focusing on daily life subjects. This work glimpses into the commute of post-war New Yorkers.

  • Bertram Hartman, The Razing of No. 1 Wall Street. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    As skyscrapers loom over the crowded sidewalks of lower Manhattan, streams of paper,  possibly ticker tape, flutter down from the grey building on the left. Painted in the same year as the great stock market crash, it is difficult to ascertain if the paper falling is of a celebratory or mournful nature.

  • John Graham, Untitled (Bull Fight). Estimate $2,000–4,000.
    Preoccupied with symbolism and art as manifestations of the subconscious, Graham had gained notoriety in the New York art world circles of the 1930s as an ambassador of European Modernism, particularly Surrealism. The imagery of bullfighters was popular with the Surrealists and stems from Francisco Goya, whose work exerted a profound influence on European Modernism.

  • Walter Elmer Schofield, Land’s End, Cornwall. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    A rugged outdoorsman and lover of nature, Schofield often painted the coast of Cornwall, England. The perspective on this work implies that Schofield painted this from a higher vantage point, possibly near Land’s End.

  • Jon Carsman, Lakeside Shadows. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    "I want, with the woodland scenes, to create certain phenomena that take place in nature. I want to paint wonderful pools of water with shimmering reflections."

  • Guy Pène du Bois, At the Opera. Estimate $7,000–10,000.
    Du Bois’  portraits, such as this one, brilliantly critique the vanity of the elites of the Jazz Age society.

  • Antonio Cirino, Shannock, Rhode Island in Winter. sEstimate $3,000–5,000.
    A founding member of the Rockport Art Association, Antonio Cirino was a committed plein-air painter.

  • Warren Wheelock, Untitled (Standing Nude). Estimate. $10,000–15,000.
    The simplified form of the model and natural wood grain of the material of this sculpture exemplify Wheelock’s spare, direct style.


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