Fath’s Desire to Collect

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Doyle NY will auction the Fath collection of prints, books, and autographs. Creekmore Fath was a Texas lawyer and politician who served in the FDR administration and made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. His collection is particularly strong in the work of Thomas Hart Benton; it is the largest private collection outside the artist’s family and contains all but five known Benton prints. In an exhibition catalogue for a selection of his prints, Fath once wrote, “The desire to collect, and the pleasure derived from each acquisition, are as exciting and compelling as passionate love.”

Prints by other American regionalists, such as Grant Wood, George Bellows, and John Steuart Curry (and the Mexican social realists they were inspired by), as well as a rare book library of Americana, presidential biography, modern literature, and illustrated books round out the 268-lot sale. See the entire catalogue here. Below is a visual preview of some highlights.

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Thomas Hart Benton’s The Race, a haunting lithograph, signed and numbered in pencil. Estimate $6,000-8000.

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Benton’s expressive lithograph, Wreck of the OL’97, is also signed. Estimate $6,000-8,000.

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John Steuart Curry captures the wildness of John Brown in this 1939 lithograph, signed. Estimate $3,000-4,000.

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There is amazing energy in George Bellows’ Billy Sunday, lithograph signed and titled in pencil. Estimate $6,000-8,000.
Auction Guide