Enfilade

Exhibition | Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 27, 2019

Now on view at the DIA:

Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans in the Age of Enlightenment
Detroit Institute of Arts, 6 October 2019 — 3 May 2020

Jean-Antoine Houdon, Busts of Benjamin Franklin (left), 1778, and George Washington (right), 1786, terracotta (Paris: Musée du Louvre).

The Detroit Institute of Arts presents a dossier exhibition featuring two masterworks of French eighteenth-century portrait sculpture lent from the Musée du Louvre. Created by the greatest sculptor of the Enlightenment, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741–1828), the portraits depict two of America’s most iconic founders, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. As ‘Guests of Honor’, the busts are displayed in the company of selected works that similarly depict Franklin, Washington, and Robert Fulton, another early American icon, as among the first to reach celebrity status as enlightened leaders of a new nation. Drawing from the DIA’s own holdings and the important loans from the Louvre, the exhibition gives audiences a unique opportunity to explore and compare images of these very familiar personae through art in a variety of media. Presented in our gallery dedicated to the early American republic, the exhibition sets Houdon’s masterful terracotta portraits alongside painting, sculpture, textile, and work on paper, with significant examples of furniture and decorative arts already on view in the gallery providing a greater context of visual culture in the early American republic.

At Christie’s | Americana Week 2020

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 27, 2019

Joshua Johnson (ca.1763–after 1824), A Pair of Portraits: Boy with Squirrel and Girl with Dog, oil on canvas, 30 × 24 inches. Lot 219: estimate, 100,000–150,000. Related paintings by Johnson date from around 1800 to 1805.

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From the press release, via Art Daily (22 December 2019) . . .

Christie’s announces Americana Week 2020, a series of auctions, viewings, and events, to be held January 11–24. The week of sales is comprised of Outsider Art on January 17; Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II on January 23; and Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver on January 24.

Object highlights across the week include a majestic composition by Edward Hicks Peaceable Kingdom ($1,500,000–3,500,000), The Gould Family Queen Anne Carved Walnut High Chest-of-Drawers, Newport, 1750–70 ($300,000–400,000), Bill Traylor’s Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided) ($200,000–400,000) from the Collection of Alice Walker, a double-sided work by Henry Darger Untitled (188/189), double sided ($400,000–600,000), and notable Outsider Art works from The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation. Works of rarity and fine craftsmanship include a pair of Chinese export porcelain ‘soldier’ vases and covers, early Qianlong Period, ca. 1740 ($100,000–150,000) and an important American silver, gold, and enamel vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany from 1915 ($100,000–150,000).

Americana Week 2020 will offer over a curation of more than 560 lots across the three live auctions. Viewings begin with the Outsider Art sale opening on 11 January at our Rockefeller Center galleries with the remaining two auctions, Chinese Export Art and Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver opening on 15 January. In conjunction with the sales, Christie’s will host the annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on Wednesday, January 22 at 6pm honoring Laura Beach, Lita Solis-Cohen, and Mira Nakashima, as well as a Christie’s Lates event on Wednesday, January 15 combining a preview of the auctions, music, and specialist talks.

Outsider Art (Sale 17860)
Christie’s New York, 17 January 2020

On January 17 Christie’s will offer 130 lots of Outsider Art featuring rare and important masterpieces from the category’s top artists, including Bill Traylor, William Edmonson, Henry Darger, Thornton Dial and Martin Ramirez, among others.

Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II, (Sale 18087)
Christie’s New York, 23 January 2020

Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II, taking place in New York on January 24th, presents 166 lots of porcelain and paintings made for the great commerce between China and the West in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The variety on offer includes blue and white, famille verte, famille rose, armorial pieces, and rare European subjects. The sale is led by a rich assortment from the Tibor Collection, which encompasses every category of Chinese export porcelain—from small, charming teawares to massive pairs of important jars—gathered from Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. The collector was drawn to figure and animal models, including lifelike Chinese porcelain birds, pairs of pups to mythical beasts, and amusing packs of blanc de chine foo lions.

Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver (Sale 17810)
Christie’s New York, 24 January 2020

The Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver sale on January 24 includes an exceptional selection of 267 lots. The top lot of American Week is a magnificent Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks ($1,500,000–3,500,000), a ‘Late Kingdom’ masterpiece made at the height of the artist’s career and one of the most successful examples of his famous subject. This example differs in minor details to an example now at Colonial Williamsburg and was described by Hicks as “one of the best I ever done.” The significant selection of Folk Art includes a pair of vividly colored and exquisitely detailed portraits by Joshua Johnson: Boy with Squirrel and Girl with Dog (Lot 219, $100,000–150,000); an exquisite painting of two steamers by James Bard, The San Rafael ($50,000–80,000); and an iconic portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (Lot 291, $200,000–300,000). A group of 11 cigar store figures from the collection of Gary Herman Dubnoff is led by a carved and polychrome paint-decorated Cigar Store Figure Of ‘Punch’ possibly from the workshop of Samuel Anderson Robb (1851–1928), New York, late 19th century ($70,000–90,000).

Important furniture highlights from distinguished collections include the Gould Family Queen Anne Carved Walnut Chest-of Drawers, Newport, 1750–70, from The Wunsch Americana Foundation, Inc. (Lot 296, $300,000–400,000); and from the collection of Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr. is a Queen Anne Walnut Tall-Case Clock, ca. 1740, with a dial signed by William Claggett ($30,000–50,000), and the Tillinghast Family Pair of Queen Anne Walnut Side Chairs, possibly by John Goddard, Newport, 1760–70 (two pairs presented in two lots, each estimated at $15,000–$25,000).

The sale features an impressive group of American silver with early works by Paul Revere II and iconic creations by Tiffany & Co. including a silver, gold, and enamel vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which was exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco ($100,000–150,000), and parcel-gilt silver and enamel musical carousel designed by Gene Moore, ca. 1990 ($50,000–80,000). Additional highlights include a pair of Martele silver vases by Gorham Mfg. Co. for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle ($10,000–15,000) and an important silver caudle cup, by Jurian Blanck Jr., New York, ca. 1680 ($20,000–30,000).