Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction brings several Andrew and N.C. Wyeth works to the auction block.
Several of Andrew Wyeth’s works with a very special personal provenance come to the auction block during Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction December 6. The three works come from the estate of his childhood friend, Nancy duPont Reynolds Cooch, a sculptor who displayed several of Wyeth’s works in her home. The 1942 "Winter Corn Fields," estimated to bring in between $600,000 and $800,000, is a substantially sized, rare tempera on board from the artist and is expected to be the standout lot of the more than 120 offerings at the auction.
The painting depicts the same house in Wyeth’s "Winter Fields," which was painted in the same year and same medium and is part of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s permanent collection. The house belonged to John Andress of Bullock Road in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Other Wyeth works from Cooch’s collection, six pieces of which will be represented in the auction, are watercolors "Gray Barn" and "Young Buck," both from the 1940s and both estimated at between $30,000 and $50,000. The works join a diverse offering, including several landscape paintings by N.C. Wyeth, Andrew’s father. N.C.’s oil on canvas "Country Lane (Untitled)" is estimated to bring in between $20,000 and $30,000.
“As the only house outside of New York with auctions devoted solely to American art and a specific section exclusively to Pennsylvania Impressionism, Freeman’s is delighted to consistently present high-quality works in various media and subject matter,” says Freeman’s cataloguer and fine art department administrator Molly Morrow. “Our December 6 auction will temporally span from historically significant, early American artists, such as Rubens Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and George Henry Durrie, up to contemporary pieces by Clyde Aspevig.”
About 10 Aspevig works come to the auction via a Montana collection, joining Peale’s oil on canvas "Still Life with Fruit," estimated to garner between $25,000 and $40,000. Four Norman Rockwell Brown & Bigelow pencil on paper illustrations will be available for bidding, a group in a "Two Old Men and Dog" series depicting favorite American pastimes such as swimming, fishing and hunting. The drawings come from a private collection in Virginia and will be shown at auction for the first time during the Freeman’s event.
“They’re typical Rockwell,” says Alasdair Nichol, Freeman’s vice chairman. “There’s a bit of humor there, there’s great detail, and they’re very charming.” Each illustration is estimated to bring in between $60,000 and $100,000.
Freeman’s auction house is known for its prominence of Bucks County artists, including frequent standout Daniel Garber, whose oil on canvas "The Mary Maxwell House (The Milk Wagon)" is expected to bring in between $150,000 and $250,000. The early 20th century work portrays the house opposite of where Garber lived in Cuttalossa, Pennsylvania, and is placed in a regional frame. Another Bucks County artist, Edward Willis Redfield, is represented in the auction with his oil on canvas "The South Window," estimated between $100,000 and $150,000. After the last Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction that took place this past June and garnered $3.4 million, more than 240 percent higher sales results compared to auctions in 2013, Nichol says Freeman’s looks forward to continued interest in the genres they’ve honed and are working to expose international buyers to them.
Images: N.C. Wyeth "Country Lane (Untitled)" Estimate $20,000-30,000; Daniel Garber "The Mary Maxwell House (The Milk Wagon)" Estimate $150,000-250,000
Reprinted with permission from American Fine Art Magazine. This article appears in their November/December 2015 issue. Visit www.americanfineartmagazine.com for more.