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Pride of Place: Works from the Estate of Sydney F. Martin, a select 26-lot single-owner sale held June 4, highlights the passionate collecting activity and discerning eye of Sydney F. Martin, an early collector of Pennsylvania Impressionists and other Pennsylvania-related works, who has largely contributed to the newfound curatorial interest in this collecting niche, through prestigious loans to local institutions.
“We’re delighted and honored to bring the esteemed collection of Sydney F. Martin to market,” says Freeman’s Chairman Alasdair Nichol. “The selection itself is remarkable, having been carefully acquired by Martin and his wife Sharon over several decades, and reveals the couple’s deep Pennsylvania roots. It’s also an occasion to bring together the strengths for which Freeman’s is best known."
Sydney F. Martin spent most of his adult life in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and was an avid member of the Bucks County art community. Sydney and Sharon Martin were active philanthropists in and around Bucks County and supported some of the region’s most distinguished artists. Pride of Place: Works from the Estate of Sydney F. Martin presents a lifetime of devoted collecting from one of Bucks County’s most respected art connoisseurs.
A Fine Collection of American Literature and History sale on June 8 features the superb Arthur Swann-Thomas Streeter copy of the first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (Lot 64), which is considered by many to be the most influential collection of American poetry. Called “America's second Declaration of Independence,” the book is one of only 337 printed of the first edition. Described in the 1960 sale of Arthur Swann's collection as a "magnificent copy" and by another previous owner as "a splendid copy in remarkable state ... one of the finest copies in existence," this still rings true 63 years later.