Highlights of Keno Auctions Important American and European Paintings Sale

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • May 22, 2012

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William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905) The Otter Cliffs, Mount Desert Island, Maine , 1866. Signed and dated lower right “”WM T Richards / 1866″” Oil on panel backed canvas 36 1/4 x 29 inches. Estimate: $40,000-100,000
Keno Auctions


On June 12, 2012, Keno Auctions will offer an exceptional selection of 74 works by important American and European artists from the 16th through 20th centuries.  The sale will take place at Keno Auctions Manhattan office at 127 East 69th Street at 10:00 a.m. and will be the first distinct fine art sale for the auction house.  A public exhibition preceding the sale will be held from June 8 - 12.

Lots presented in the June sale include some superb Old Master Paintings, American Paintings, 19th Century Paintings, Latin American Paintings, European Paintings, and Post-War Art from private collections that are fresh to the market and estimated to create an exciting buzz in the industry.  A fine range of works from such wonderful artists include Milton Avery, Charles Demuth, Thomas Doughty, George Henry Hall, Hamilton Hamilton, David Johnson, John LaFarge, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Roberto Antonio (Echaurren) Matta, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Jean Paul Riopelle, Charles Marion Russell, William Trost Richards, and Esteban Vicente, among others will be offered.

One of the works offered has not been seen for more than 100 years.  “We are privileged to present for sale Morning, Fishing Boats at Anchor (est. $40-80,000) by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (Dutch, 1831-1915) for which the proceeds of the sale are to benefit the Historic Park McCullough Association.  The painting was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John G. McCullough directly from the artist at the turn of the 20th century.  Mesdag was the leader of the ‘Hague School’ and this is a classic example of his work.  This painting contains all the vital factors that the current art market treasures, namely outstanding quality, impressive size, excellent untouched original condition, freshness to the market and an important and distinguished provenance,” states Leigh Keno, president of the eponymous auction house.

George Henry Hall (American, 1825-1913) A Plea for Peace, 1861 Signed and dated lower left “”G.H. Hall / 1861″” Oil on board 18 3/4 x 15 inches. Estimate: $25,000-45,000
Keno Auctions

A fine selection of early American works include David Johnson’s brilliant Sunset on the Unadilla, 1856, (est. $50-80,000) and from a southern collector, a William Trost Richards, from his rare 1866 Mt. Desert Island, Maine (est. $40-100,000) period.  An important work by George Henry Hall, dated 1861, addresses the artist’s pacifist stance on the Civil War.  A rare Luminist work, the breathtaking Sierras, (est. $20-40,000) by Hamilton Hamilton, is arguably the artist’s best work to come to auction.


Two early Charles Marion Russell works bring new light to the artist’s career, showing him as an effective history painter, in the depiction of The Burning of the Tonquin (est. $20-40,000), and conversely as a painter of fantasy in the Wood Nymph with Rabbit (est. $15-25,000).

The aesthetic movement is represented by two lovely John LaFarge works on paper, in original condition.  A Jean Francois Raffaelli of a shoreline is characteristic of Raffaelli's mature style, but done with a broad brush, and depicting a small but strong energetic figure.

A distinguished Michigan estate is offering two early 20th century paintings by Ashcan artists George Luks – of street people huddled together – and Jerome Meyers of a playful Carousel (est. $12-18,000); a freshly colored Charles Demuth watercolor of three figures at the beach, and a magic realist work by Aaron Bohrod Mother Earth (est. $6-8,000) that addresses ecological issues as early as the 1960s.

Rounding out the sale are a number of fresh to the market 20th century pictures from an important California collector, including an noteworthy contemporary work Topologie de Illusion, 1990 (est. $50-100,000); a large scale vivid, abstract painting by renowned Latin American artist Roberto Matta, which is sure to attract an international audience, and the up-and-comer Esteban Vicente’s On Space, (est. $30-60,000) and a charming Milton Avery watercolor and gouache on black paper painted in 1930 entitled Beach Photographer (est. $20- 40,000).

David Johnson (American, 1827-1908) Sunset on the Unadilla River, New York, 1856 Signed and dated lower left, “”D Johnson 1856″” Inscribed and titled on a label affixed to the frame Oil on Canvas Retains the original frame 19 x 28 1/8 inches. Estimate: $50,000-80,000
Keno Auctions

Jean Paul Riopelle’s Folâtre (est. $80-120,000) has all the energy affiliated with the post war modernists.  He created works of heavy impasto as well as the use of a palette knife; this work Folâtre is emblematic of what scholars and collectors consider his best period.

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