On Tuesday, Christie’s Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason totaled $8,122,375 and was 96% sold by lot and 152% hammer sold above low estimate.
Both artists Wolf Kahn (1927-2020) and Emily Mason (1932-2019), who split their time between New York City and Brattleboro, Vermont, were also collectors and cutural supporters through their foundation. The couple practiced art together for more than 60 years. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Wolf Kahn | Emily Mason Foundation and the Emily Mason | Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation.
The top lot of the sale was Georgia O’Keeffe’s Autumn Leaf with White Flower, which sold for $4,950,000. New world auction records were achieved for Wolf Kahn with Down East Sunset I, which sold for $206,250, above its estimate of $50,000-70,000, as well as for Emily Mason with Aquifer, which realized $93,750, selling for more than six times its estimate of $10,000-15,000. Additional notable lots include Richard Diebenkorn’s Cups II, 1957, which sold for $1,470,000, and Milton Avery’s Interior with Yellow Lamp, which totaled $362,500.
The online portion of Field of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason will continue through May 20.
The American Art sale totaled $9,023,750 and 36% of lots sold above their high estimates. A painting of a trio of men gathered around a piano by famed illustration artist Norman Rockwell played exceptionally well.
Jeff Raleigh’s Piano Solo (“‘Oh Lord,’ Jeff said prayerfully, ‘I wish Alice was here. Oh, I wish she could hear this…'”) (The Virtuoso), an oil-on-canvas work that Rockwell painted in 1939, brought $2,910,000 including buyer’s premium. The estimated sale price was $1.2 million – $1.8 million.
Rockwell's record price stands for his painting Saying Grace, which sold in 2013 for $46 million.
Also in the sale, an Asher B. Durand portrait (1835) of Luman Reed, a New York merchant and patron of Hudson River School artists, soared to $62,500, from an estimate of $6,000 - $8,000. Another portrait (1908), bringing the same amount as the Durand, was painted by Joseph Henry Sharp of Standing Deer, known more commonly as Lorenzo Martinez, the two-time Governor of Taos.
N.C. Wyeth's The Guardians sold for $750,000, while Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, realized $662,500.