June 6, 2021 14:00 EST

American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists

 
  Lot 62
 

62

Harry Leith-Ross (American, 1886–1973)
Apples From My Garden (Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Emily Leith-Ross, née Slaymaker)

Signed 'Leith-Ross' bottom center right; also with Artist's Reproduction Rights stamp verso, and titled on upper stretcher verso, oil on canvas
38 x 25 in. (96.5 x 63.5cm)

Provenance

The Artist.
The Artist's wife, Emily Leith-Ross.
Acquired directly from the above.
Collection of Dan Whitaker, Lambertville, New Jersey.

Sold for $18,900
Estimated at $5,000 - $8,000


 

Signed 'Leith-Ross' bottom center right; also with Artist's Reproduction Rights stamp verso, and titled on upper stretcher verso, oil on canvas
38 x 25 in. (96.5 x 63.5cm)

Provenance

The Artist.
The Artist's wife, Emily Leith-Ross.
Acquired directly from the above.
Collection of Dan Whitaker, Lambertville, New Jersey.

Exhibited

National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1964 (per inscription on stretcher verso).

Literature

Erika Jaeger-Smith, Poetry in Design: The Art of Harry Leith-Ross, an exhibition catalogue, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, and University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2006, p. 117 (illustrated).

Note

Harry Leith-Ross met Emily Slaymaker in the summer of 1925 in Rockport, Massachusetts. Leith-Ross, then the head of the Rockport Summer House was immediately smitten with the independent, strong-minded woman who sought a career of her own, and proposed to her after only two weeks at a nearby cemetery with these words: "Would you have the courage to marry me?" The wedding took place on July 20, 1925 at the home of Emily's teacher at Rockport, Richard Holberg. The artist and his wife remained married for forty-eight years, until Leith-Ross's death in 1973. As Erika Jaeger-Smith explains: "In Emily, Leith-Ross had found a partner who understood the world of art and supported his aspirations toward fine art in every way possible. She was a woman of remarkable spirit and character, and more than a little bit mischievous - a perfect counterpoint for the reserved, aristocratic artist with a quiet sense of humor of his own."

The present painting was acquired directly from Mrs. Leith-Ross, and the event is recorded as follows in the note, which will accompany the lot: "One day while visiting Mrs. Ross, she was going through her photo album and stopped at this painting. She asked if I recognized what it was and said 'that's you.' She laughed and told me the story of picking tomatoes and as she was coming into the house, "Tony" stopped her, told her to wait and he got out his paints and painted her." Although Leith-Ross almost never painted portraits, the present work is a striking example of his talent, essentially because of the incredible spontaneity the work conveys through its generous impasto and quick dabs of paint, as well as the sheer complicity one can sense between the artist and his model.

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Harry Leith-Ross