American Modernism and Scenes of New York Headline Swann Galleries’ June American Art Auction

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • May 18, 2016

  • Email
Lot 75 Charles Sheeler, New York #3 - Study, gouache and pencil, 1950. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.

On Thursday, June 9, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of American Art featuring works of early American modernism and a recently discovered Hudson River School painting.

             Headlining the sale is New York #3–Study, a 1950 gouache and pencil on paper by American modernist painter and photographer Charles Sheeler. The painting is characteristic of Sheeler’s work around 1950, which reduced objects and buildings to colorful, planar forms. New York #3–Study depicts an abstracted Rockefeller Center, with attention paid to the shadows on 30 Rockefeller Center and the International Building; it is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000. Patent Cereals Company, Geneva, New York, a watercolor, circa 1938, by Sheeler’s fellow modernist sArthur Dove, is also part of the sale. It is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.

             Another highlight is a recently discovered canvas by second-generation Hudson River School painter Sanford Robinson Gifford, Study of the Parthenon, oil on canvas, 1869. Gifford painted the Athenian temple both en plein air and after sketches he made during an 1869 visit to Greece. The study relates to a larger painting of the same subject, Ruins of the Parthenon, which resides in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Study of the Parthenon is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

Lot 3 Sanford Robinson Gifford, Study of the Parthenon, oil on canvas, 1869. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

             Also included is Mexican painter and illustrator Miguel Covarrubias’s At Leroy’s, circa 1924.  This watercolor, pen and ink piece went on to be illustrated as plate 42 in Covarrubias's 1927 book Negro Drawings, depicting his perceptions of the Harlem Renaissance. A black and white study for this piece, titled The Last Jump, is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was on view in America is Hard to See, the inaugural exhibition at the museum’s new building. At Leroy’s is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.

Lot 33 Miguel Covarrubias, At Leroy's, watercolor, pen and ink, circa 1924. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

             The sale also includes a run of works by New York artist Guy C. Wiggins. Known for his paintings depicting snowy street scenes in New York, the Wiggins works in this auction include Chicago Blizzard, oil on canvas, 1920s ($40,000 to $60,000); Fifth Avenue Storm, oil on canvas board ($30,000 to $50,000); and Winter Along Central Park, oil on canvas, 1930s ($30,000 to $50,000); among others. Other paintings in the sale featuring the city that never sleeps include two works by John Marin: City Movement, New York, watercolor, 1925 ($15,000 to $20,000); and Sunset, Manhattan, colored pencil and pencil ($8,000 to $12,000).

             Several works by Paul Cadmus are included in the sale, such as Seated Male Nude (NM 3), crayon on paper, 1965 ($15,000 to $20,000), from the artist’s Nantucket Man series. Works by Cadmus’s longtime friend and collaborator Jared French are also present, such as Teste (Anthropomorphic Forms), tempera, circa 1965 ($4,000 to $6,000); as is work by fellow Art Students League of New York alumna Jane Peterson, whose Street Corner, Europe, gouache, pastel and charcoal, is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

             Works by three of the abstract artists known as Indian Space painters are included. Steve Wheeler’s bright The Halogens II, oil on canvas, circa 1943 ($30,000 to $50,000) is offered alongside Peter Busa’s Abstract Figure, oil on canvas board, 1940 ($1,500 to $2,500); and Howard Daum’s Abstraction, acrylic on canvas, circa 1944 ($3,000 to $5,000).

The auction will be held Thursday, June 9, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, June 4 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information or to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Director Todd Weyman via or at 212-254-4710, ext. 32.


Tags: american art

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire