July 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Rare Sendak Watercolor at Auction

A rare painting by children's author/illustrator Maurice Sendak goes to auction this week at Hake's Americana & Collectibles of York, Pennsylvania. Sendak created the 26" x 32" watercolor (seen below) in 1985 for a television adaptation of the Prokofiev opera, "The Love For Three Oranges." The piece has since been in the collection of Hake's founder Ted Hake, a friend of Sendak's who acquired the painting directly from the artist.  

sendak-2.jpgAccording to Hake's, only three other finished watercolors are known, and only one of those in private hands, which sold at auction in March 2009 for $74,000. After having a heart attack in his late thirties, Sendak ensured his legacy by making arrangements to donate all of his future original art to the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia. So very few pieces of Sendak's art appear on the market.

The bidding is open--starting at $25,000--and will close on July 17.

Image: Maurice Sendak (American, 1928-2012), original watercolor art created for 1982 TV adaptation of Prokofiev's opera 'The Love For Three Oranges,' 26in x 31in (framed). Provenance: Ted Hake collection. Image courtesy of Hake's.