September 2018

Signed Limited Edition of "Horns" by Joe Hill to be Published

8d4f3d37-7f04-417f-b042-97fec2482355.jpgIrvine, CA - Suntup Editions, publisher of fine limited edition books and art prints, is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of Horns.  

A 2010 dark fantasy novel, Horns is the book with which TIME Magazine proclaimed, “Joe Hill has emerged as one of America’s finest horror writers.” Horns follows the story of Ig Parish. After the brutal murder of his girlfriend Merrin Williams, a grief-stricken Ig awakens one morning to find horns growing out of his head. Ig soon discovers the horns hold a mysterious power that forces people to reveal their deepest and darkest secrets to him as he defends his innocence and fights to avenge the death of his one true love.

Horns was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a richly nuanced story. Fire and brimstone have rarely looked this good.” In 2013, the novel was adapted into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe, which made its debut at The Toronto International Film Festival before receiving a theatrical release on October 31, 2014. 

Joe Hill has written a new introduction exclusively for this fine press limited edition. “I am so pleased to be doing an edition of Horns by Suntup Editions,” says Hill. “Their books are remarkable.” 

This is the first North American signed limited edition of Horns, and it is presented in three states:  An Artist Gift edition, a Numbered edition and a Lettered edition. All three measure 6” x 9” and feature twelve full-color illustrations by Magdalena Kaczan. The Numbered and Lettered editions are signed by Joe Hill and Magdalena Kaczan, and all editions include a new introduction by Joe Hill.  

Artist Gift Edition:

Signed by artist Magdalena Kaczan, the Artist Gift edition features a dust jacket with stunning wrap-around artwork by Kaczan. It is a full cloth smyth-sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping, and is the only edition of the three with the wrap-around dust jacket art. The book is printed offset, and is housed in a custom printed slipcase.

Numbered Edition:

The Numbered edition is limited to 265 copies, the first 250 of which are for sale and numbered in black. The remaining 15 copies are numbered in red and reserved for private distribution. It is a Bradel binding with Japanese cloth boards, and a genuine snakeskin spine. The edition is printed letterpress on Mohawk Superfine paper, and is housed in a custom two-piece die cut enclosure.

Lettered Edition:

The lettered edition is limited to 26 copies for sale, lettered A-Z in Morse code and printed letterpress on Rives cotton paper. It is quarter bound in leather with crushed silk boards. A 14-karatt gold cross is inset into the cover, with the chain of the cross foil stamped in gold. The edition features three custom pitchfork-shaped bands across the leather spine, and gilded page edges. The book is housed in a handmade rough-sawn pine box with a black velvet-lined bookbed, and designed to resemble the underside of a treehouse with a trapdoor opening. 

Included with the Lettered edition of Horns is a 12 page hand-stitched booklet featuring Merrin’s letter to Ig, presented in Morse code. The front cover is hand-lettered and printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra paper with French flaps. 

Since its launch in late 2016, Suntup Editions has garnered the attention of fans, bloggers, and journalists alike. Their stunning premiere project The Eyes of the Dragon Art Portfolio with Lettered and Numbered Editions signed by David Palladini, along with The Covers Collection, limited edition ?ne art prints featuring original cover art from the novels by Stephen King, made Suntup Editions the ultimate “one to watch” and one of the fastest rising new printing presses on the scene. 

In early 2018, Suntup Editions announced it would publish the world’s first limited edition of Misery, which was released with not only the blessing but bearing the signature of Stephen King himself.

This was followed by the announcement of a limited edition of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Horns will mark Suntup’s fourth publication.

“Between Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Shirley Jackson, we truly have the Holy Trinity,” says Paul Suntup, owner and founder of Suntup Editions. “It’s the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!” 

The mission of the press is to publish ?nely crafted limited editions, by collaborating with some of today’s leading writers, artists, designers, printers and bookmakers to create an edition that is itself, an art object. By incorporating elements of the story into the design and production of the books, and enclosures, their editions offer a unique reading experience.

Publication is scheduled for Summer 2019 and will be available for pre-order at https://shop.suntup.press from 9am Pacific time on Sunday, September 30, 2018.  

 

Works by Warhol, Picasso, and Miró Lead Skinner’s $2-Million Fine Art Auction

skinner picasso.jpgBoston—Skinner’s autumn auction of American & European Works of Art was a curated two-session offering of just over 350 lots of Prints, Multiples, and Photographs followed by Paintings, Sculpture, and Drawings. Both sessions saw active participation across all sales channels with over 1,000 registered bidders from the U.S., United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East participating online, by telephone, in the room and on partner platforms.

Robin S.R. Starr, Vice President, and department director remarks  “We saw heightened interest in artwork across medium and period, and continue to see strong results for fresh-to-the-market material from estates and private collections.  It is a global marketplace and nearly 40% by value sold to international buyers.”

The top lots of the sale were Jean-Léon Gérôme’s (French, 1824-1904) Evening Prayer, or Prayer in the East, which sold for $423,000, showcasing a work in a private family collection since it was last on the market in 1888.  A canvas by a student of Gerome, Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s (American, 1855-1919) Twilight on the Terrace, Paris sold for $135,000; and a sculpture by Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988) Maquette for Sky Landscape I (A) sold for $73,800. 

Prints and multiples were strong, especially for Modern and Contemporary blue-chip names like Warhol, Picasso, Turrell, and Miro.  Starr notes “Prints and are a terrific point of entry for new collectors and collector’s on limited budgets.  Buyers can acquire top artists at more reasonable prices.”

Overall, for both bidders and consignors, the auction was a success. Consignments are welcome for the January 2019 auction.

Image: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1964, edition of 50 (Ramié, 517) (Lot 99, Sold for $44,280)

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Boccaccio Leads Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries October 16

82_Boccaccio_lg copy.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Tuesday, October 16, featuring notable works by and about women; a surprisingly deep number of Philippine imprints; and a collection of works on science.

Throughout the sale are a number of lots centered on women. Highlights include Giovanni Boccaccio’s De claris mulierbus, Louvain, 1487, the third edition of the first published work of female biography, containing lives of over 100 famous women from the biblical Eve to the fourteenth-century Queen Giovanna of Naples, and its first edition in Spanish, De las mujeres illustres en roma[n]ce, Zaragoza, 1494 (estimates: $15,000-25,000 and $20,000-30,000, respectively). L’Innocence de la tresillustre tres-chaste, et debonnaire Princesse, Madame Marie Royne d’Escosse, Reims, 1572, on Mary, Queen of Scots, was the Catholic response to the deposition and imprisonment of the Queen, establishing her as a loyal Catholic ruler, brought down by the plots and schemes of Protestant rebels ($800-1,200). Also available are The Female Spectator, 1775, by Eliza Haywood, which is considered the first periodical written for women by a woman, and a first edition of Constance: A Novel, 1785, by Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins, her first novel ($300-500 and $500-750, respectively).

Possibly the most unusual offerings in the sale are more than 30 seventeenth- and eighteenth-century books printed in the Philippines, and focusing on religion, history, current affairs and other subjects. The featured lot by José González Cabrera Bueno’s Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica, Manila, 1734, ($8,000-12,000). The book is the first navigation manual printed in the Philippines and one of the earliest significant scientific works to survive from the colonial period, when few technical works were published.

A fifteenth-century edition of Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land, Strassburg, 1488, by Jean de Mandeville is being offered. The work is an account of the known world mentioning the Holy Land, routes there from Europe, and Asia and Africa ($15,000-25,000).

 Among illustrated works is Jean La Fontaine’s Fables Choisies, mises en Vers, a first edition of books 1-6, with 124 fables. It was published in Paris, 1668 and dedicated to the seven-year-old Dauphin of France ($10,000-15,000).

Scientific material includes a first edition in English of Sir Isaac Newton’s Two Treatises of the Quadrature of Curves, London, 1745, limited to 350 copies; and, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Oxford, 1873, a first edition work on electromagnetic theory of light by James Clerk Maxwell ($4,000-6,000 and $3,000-5,000, respectively). 

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 82: Giovanni Boccaccio, De claris mulieribus, Louvain, 1487. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

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Sotheby's to Offer Judge's Copy of "Lady Chatterley’s Lover"

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 8.46.02 AM.pngLondon-The 1960 Chatterley trial, the court case that heralded the transformation of the 1960s and helped to bring to birth a more liberal and permissive Britain, stands as a defining moment in British history. Marking the end of one epoch and the opening of another, it is justly regarded as the most celebrated obscenity trial in British literary history, during which D.H. Lawrence’s infamous novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, came under the spotlight and caused a media sensation from Land's End to John O'Groats. It was the trial that sold two million books, but one copy holds a unique place amongst all the others.

The judge’s copy, annotated for him by his wife, and housed for purposes of discretion in a damask bag with ribbon tie, is far from the only copy of the book to have been read with particular attention to the sex scenes, but as a document of the event, it is arguably the most important copy to have survived to this day. 

This autumn in London, Sotheby’s is set to offer the very book that the judge carried into court, some twenty-five years after it was acquired at auction by Christopher Cone as a present for his partner, the late Stanley J. Seeger. At the time establishing the highest price ever recorded for a paperback sold at auction, the annotated novel, together with its silk covering and hand-written list inserted within, now comes to auction with an estimate £10,000-15,000, and will be presented as part of a sale of property from their country home on 30 October.

The 1960 Chatterley trial, when Penguin Books were prosecuted for publishing the unexpurgated text of the novel, was of legal significance as it was a test case for the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. The new definition of obscenity lay behind Penguin’s decision to publish the novel, and it was also what enabled the trial to become a confrontation between a permissive and articulate liberal intelligentsia and an outmoded and philistine legal establishment. British attitudes to class, literature, censorship and the intellectual life clashed publicly as rarely before.

Before the trial Lady Dorothy Byrne (d.1969), wife of the presiding judge, the Hon. Sir Lawrence Byrne (1896-1965), read through the novel for her husband and marked up the sexually explicit passages. She is also understood to have stitched the blue-grey damask bag which provides the racy book’s demure covering, no doubt to prevent the press photographers from capturing the judge carrying a copy of the book.

On headed stationery of the Central Criminal Court, Lady Byrne compiled a list of significant passages with her comments - “love making”, “coarse” - noting the page number. These pieces of paper were loosely inserted inside the book, which itself contains her pencil markings, underlining, and occasional marginal notes. Under the new Act it was not enough to count the profanities (although the prosecution did this nevertheless: a work was to be judged obscene “if its effect... is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear” that work). This provided a key role to expert witness who could be considered qualified to judge sexually explicit passages in the context of the whole work.

Consequently, in a move that turned the trial into a spectacular piece of legal theatre, the defence called 35 eminent literary and academic figures, including E.M. Forster, Richard Hoggart, Rebecca West, and the Bishop of Woolwich, to give their opinions on Lawrence’s artistry, intentions, and treatment of sex.

The book also provided an inadvertent answer to the prosecution’s splendidly condescending question in its preliminary address, the absurdity of which raised a laugh amongst the jurors:

“...[W]ould you approve of your young sons, young daughters - because girls can read as well as boys - reading this book? Is it a book that you would have lying around in your own house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?”

The jury took just three hours to return their Not Guilty verdict. Mr Justice Byrne’s summing up had been fair but his private views were almost certainly glimpsed in his refusal to award costs, leaving the defendants with a substantial legal bill. Nevertheless, it was a great victory for Penguin -the publisher’s print-run of 200,000 sold out within a day, and sales reached 2 million in two years; a triumph for their avowed mission to make literature accessible to all. It is very likely that the jurors were influenced by the fact that the novel was being published by an imprint that was held in great public affection. In effect, the trial and the book paved the way for the freedom of the written word.

 

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November's 'Fine Arts Paris' Fair Includes Four Medieval Manuscripts

p1coacmki4174m1l0cdcm1usd13075.001.jpegFINE ARTS PARIS will offer many reasons to travel to the City of Light in the dark days of November 7th to 11th and six items on sale during this second holding of the art fair are each in their own right reason enough to go. For art lovers Fine Arts Paris is a must.

FINE ARTS PARIS has commanded the attention of the art world in what is only the second running of this new Paris based event run in partnership with the major French museums including the Louvre, Petit Palais, Centre Pompidou, Zadkine, Bourdelle, Rodin and Maillol museums.

This new fair, organized by the Salon du dessin team in partnership with Paris Tableau offers a mix of established dealers and emerging galleries, plus partnerships with museums, cultural program and a strong presence of overseas art galleries. Currently there are already more than 40 foreign galleries booked to attend.

For FINE ARTS PARIS, the gallery Les Enluminures (Paris-New York-Chicago) will present a special exhibition of four books which are remarkable survivals of what people read in the Middle Ages - the finest of medieval Bibles (the greatest text of Western civilization), one of the oldest Books of Hours (the most famous medieval manuscripts of all), biography (the unique legend of an Anglo-Saxon princess), and the history of Troy (the oldest chivalric story in European history).

All four manuscripts were unknown on the market for at least eighty years. One of the four was last described in print in 1588; the others were last catalogued for sale in 1909, 1932 and 1938 respectively. All are richly illustrated, with a total of 133 miniatures between them, as well as hundreds of borders and illuminated animals and grotesques. Some of the finest artists of the period were responsible for the miniatures, and at least two of them likely issue directly from the greatest of European courts.

FINE ARTS PARIS is a fair aimed at bringing a new fresh focus to  painting, sculpture and drawings. The off-site events being held for the first time this year at FINE ARTS PARIS, in partnership with various museums and institutions, will focus on sculpture.

The Fair will play host to more than 40 galleries, including Didier Aaron, Galerie Canesso, Eric Coatalem, Xavier Eeckhout, Trebosc van lelyveld, de Bayser, Jill Newhouse (USA), Rosenberg & Co. (USA), Artur Ramon (Spain), José de la Mano (Spain), Art Cuéllar Nathan (Switzerland), Bailly Gallery (Switzerland), Paolo Antonacci (Italy),Maurizio Nobile (Italy).

Both  modern  art  and  the  old  masters  occupy  an important place at FINE ARTS PARIS a good example is the spectacular  presentation  planned  by  the  Galerie Canesso. The great Franco-Italian dealer Maurizio Canesso will show three large paintings by Niccolò Codazzi, a daring artist who painted major scenes and who worked on the decoration of the queen's staircase at Versailles in1681 and ’82. The provenance of these works, which were probably painted for the Spinola Palace in Genoa, where the artist moved after a stay in France, was a decisive criterion in Canesso’s selection of them.

Image: Roman de Troie, in french prose (detail) illuminated manuscript on parchment, in French southern netherlands, probably Brussels, around 1450-60 seventeen large miniatures by the master of Girart de Roussillon and workshop. Image: folio 69v-70, Achille and Ajax playing chess in a tent © Les Enluminures

 

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50+ Rarely Seen Propaganda Posters to be Auctioned on Oct. 28

102.jpgNew York -- A collection of over 50 rare, original propaganda posters will be auctioned on Sunday, October 28th, by Poster Auctions International, Inc. (PAI), as part of the firm’s Rare Poster Auction #76. The collection includes World Wars I and II, the inter-war period, the beginnings of the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution and more. 

The sale overall will feature 475 lots, to include lithographs, maquettes, oil paintings and illustrations, plus rare books, with item estimates ranging from $500 to $350,000 - a wide range catering to all level of collector, from the beginner to the seasoned veteran. 

The sale will be held online, at posterauctions.com, and in the gallery, at 11 am Eastern. The PAI gallery is located at 26 West 17th Street in New York City, in lower Manhattan.

Artists in the catalog will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the genre - iconic giants such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, A. M. Cassandre, Alphonse Mucha, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, H. R. Hopps, James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, Jules Cheret, Leonetto Cappiello, El Lissitzky, Theophile Steinlen and Yokoo. Most of the posters and maquettes will be from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco periods.enri H 

“The propaganda poster collection is of great importance,” said Jack Rennert, president of Poster Auctions International, Inc. “The issues we’re dealing with today, as a society, are little different from those of a century ago - conflicts over gender roles, economic inequality, rapid political change, ethnic violence and anti-Semitism among them.” 

Mr. Rennert added, “They are all inflamed by ‘fake news,’ incendiary memes, troll hordes and bots - the direct legacy of propaganda messaging pioneered a century ago. The public appreciates history, such as it does, in terms of battles, elections, social movements, and world leaders. The historical role of media is less of a consideration.” 

In part, he said, that’s because it’s transitory, of the moment, meant primarily for impact in the instant of eyeballing. “That constitutes a fundamental gap in our cultural memory, and in the historical record,” he said. “It’s why original poster art is so important and why this collection is of the utmost interest, not just to “affichomaniacs,” as poster enthusiasts are called, but also to anyone working at the intersection of media, culture and society.”

The propaganda collection includes multiple famous works by James Montgomery Flagg (e.g. I Want You for U.S. Army) and Howard Chandler Christy (e.g. Gee! I Wish I Were a Man), the two most prominent American posterists of the First World War. The entire collection, though, delves far beyond that. When browsing the catalog, bidders will see:

?? the dialogue between the competing socialist parties of post-WWI Europe;

?? the sparking and inflaming of anti-Semitic sentiment during the inter-war period;

?? the various modes of American propaganda;

?? post-WWI humanitarian outreach;

?? propaganda in Vichy France; and

?? exceptionally rare work by Fidel Castro’s chief propaganda artist.

Highlights from the auction overall include Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster, the 1891 Moulin Rouge/La Goulue, which established the artist’s worldwide fame (est. $300,000-$350,000); plus numerous other famous and rare Lautrecs, including Le Jockey (est. $40,000-$50,000); P. Sescau / Photographe ($60,000-$70,000) and L’Anglais au Moulin Rouge, rarely seen at auction (est. $100,000-$120,000).   

From A. M. Cassandre will come four separate prints of his world-famous Art Deco triumph, Normandie - all from the opulent oceanliner’s inaugural cruise year of 1935, with slightly different text variants. It’s the first time all four 1935 lithographs have been offered simultaneously (est. $10,000-$18,000).

Thirty posters, decorative panels, maquettes and other material by Alphonse Mucha will come up for bid, including special printings of the 1897 and 1900 The Seasons set (est. $10,000-$40,000); and the finest specimen of the 1897 Monaco-Monte-Carlo PAI has ever seen (est. $17,000-$20,000). Also sold will be an especially superb lithograph of Bernhardt’s Lorenzaccio (est. $14,000-$17,000).

Twenty-three posters, rare books and unique items from the Russian Avant-Garde - including Lissitzky’s Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (est. $3,500-$4,000) and Victory Over the Sun: Anxious People (est. $17,000-$20,000) - will conveniently coincide with a major exhibition on the period now at New York’s Jewish Museum.

Eighteen works by Chéret, including three variants of Palais de Glace (est. $1,000-$5,000) and three original studies: two in pastel, and one oil painting (est. $10,000-$20,000) will come under the gavel; while 27 posters and maquettes by Cappiello, including famous works such as the Maurin Quina (est. $2,000-$2,5000) and Parapluie-Revel (est. $3,000-$10,000) plus magnificent rarities like the 1927 Sizaire (est. $8,000-$10,000) will also be on offer.

Steinlen’s iconic Chat Noir (est. $6,000-$8,000) and the rare Motocycles Comiot (est. $20,000-$25,000) will be in the sale, as will extremely unusual items, such as an 18th-century, pre-French Revolution poster for the French Guard ($2,000-$2,500); and posters by Haring (est. $1,000-$2,000), Warhol (est. $30,000-$35,000) and Yokoo (est. $1,000-$2,000).

Also in the auction are rare and important propaganda posters from World War I to the Cuban Revolution, to include multiple lithographs by Flagg, Christy, Biró, and Rivadulla (Destroy this Mad Brute, Des Libérateurs, aka The Red Poster, and others); and a rarely seen 1925 maquette for singer-dancer Josephine Baker, by Colin (est. $10,000-$12,000).

For more information, please visit http://www.rennertsgallery.com/ and http://www.rennertsgallery.com/propaganda-lxxvi-rare-posters/

Jack Rennert, president of Rennert’s Gallery / PAI, is the world’s foremost authority on rare original poster art and is the author of over a dozen books on the subject, including the catalogue raisonée for the ‘father’ of modern French poster art, Leonetto Cappiello.

Image: Lot 102. Destroy This Mad Brute, 1917 H. R. Hopps (est. $7,000-$9,000)

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Getty Research Institute Acquires Betye Saar Archive

Betye Saar.pngLos Angeles - Today, the Getty Research Institute (GRI) announced the establishment of the African American Art History Initiative with the acquisition of the archive of world-renowned artist Betye Saar (American, b. 1926).

The African American Art History Initiative is an ambitious program to establish the Getty Research Institute as a major center for the study of African American art history. In addition to acquiring archives and related original sources, the initiative will establish a dedicated curatorship in African American Art History, a bibliographer with a specialty in the subject, annual research graduate and post-graduate fellowships, a program to conduct oral histories of notable African American artists, scholars, critics, collectors and art dealers, and partnerships with other institutions to digitize existing archival collections and collaborate on joint conferences, publications, and research projects. The Getty is starting the project with an initial $5M allocation and will be raising additional funds as the project develops.

“The Getty is making a strong, long-term commitment of unprecedented breadth to the field of African American art history,” said James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “The study of African American art history is fundamental to a comprehensive understanding of American art history. We aim to bring our resources, talents, and relationships together to promote advanced research in an area of American art that has been underfunded and under researched.”

Acquisitions and exhibitions

Archives play a central role at the GRI, which collects archives of artists, scholars, curators, and other cultural figures and makes them accessible to researchers all over the world. The GRI’s unique collecting strategies and holdings allow researchers to make connections across disciplines and eras. Archives at the GRI are extensively catalogued and digitized, and archival research at the Getty often leads to or supports publications and exhibitions at the Getty and elsewhere.

Currently, the GRI is seeking a curator of modern and contemporary collections, specializing in postwar African American collections, a newly created position. Once hired, this curator will work with a dedicated bibliographer to acquire and digitize key collections and develop research projects, publications, and exhibitions about African American art.

While Betye Saar is not the first African American artist represented in the GRI’s holdings - others include Adrian Piper, Kara Walker, Ed Bereal, Benjamin Patterson, Melvin Edwards, Lorna Simpson, Harry Drinkwater, and Mark Bradford - the purchase of her complete archive represents the first major acquisition related to the African American Art History initiative.

Betye Saar is one of the most innovative and visionary artists of our era. She has also, in many ways, been the conscience of the art world for over fifty years and we are so honored that she has trusted us to preserve her powerful legacy,” said Andrew Perchuk, acting director of the Getty Research Institute. “She played a large role in our exploration of postwar Los Angeles art that became Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, and this acquisition is a particularly meaningful way for us to launch the African American Art History Initiative.”

Betye Saar’s pioneering assemblages and large-scale installations, grounded in unique materials and African American history, have had a profound and positive impact on artists and audiences nationally and internationally.

Saar began creating assemblages in the 1960s, combining her own drawings, prints, and etchings with found materials sourced from family albums as well as flea markets and swap meets. Like many of her artist peers working in Los Angeles at the time, Saar was profoundly affected by the Watts rebellion in 1965 and the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. She addressed the personal and societal effects of race in early assemblages like Black Girl’s Window (1969) and introduced innovative materials such as leather, fur, yarn, plastics skulls, and poker chips in works like Ten Mojo Secrets (1972). Saar’s deep inte rest in mysticism and cross-cultural spiritual practice can be seen in dozens of her large-scale assemblages such as the shrine-like Mti (1973) and Spiritcatcher (1977). She works from a vast collection of found objects and images, some of which include derogatory and racist images of African Americans. In one of her most politically potent and groundbreaking works, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972), she recast the stereotypical figure of the Mammie, the Southern black nanny and domestic servant, as an empowered woman by combining this persistent symbol of black female servitude (including the eponymous Aunt Jemima from the pancake mix box) with a Black Power fist and a toy rifle.

Saar was at the center of an animated Los Angeles art scene in the 1970s, collaborating and exhibiting with established artists like Charles White (American, 1918-1979) as well as with younger, experimental artists who coalesced around nascent galleries like Suzanne Jackson’s Gallery 32 and Dale and Alonzo Davis’s Brockman Gallery. Saar organized exhibitions of black women artists including Black Mirror (1973) and became active in the feminist art movement, serving on the board of the non-profit organization Womanspace with artist Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). She was the subject of major exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1975, the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1980, and the MOCA Geffen in 1990 and, in recent years, Saar’s stature has only continued to grow. Her work is in the collections of important museums around the world. Following a major exhibition at the Fondazione Prada in 2016, in October 2018 an exhibition of her work will open at the National Gallery of Scotland.  In 2019 she will have an exhibition organized by LACMA, which will travel to the Morgan Library in 2020.

The archive, The Betye Saar Papers, ranges from 1926 to the present covering her entire career and her life as an artist. The archive includes documentation of Saar’s prolific artistic production and her notable works in diverse media: sketchbooks of ideas, concepts, and Saar’s travels; prints and drawings; book illustrations and commercial graphics, as well as profuse documentation of her assemblages and installations. The archive features annual files on all aspects of Saar’s projects: exhibitions, catalogues, brochures and posters; ledgers of works created with records of exhibitions, galleries, museums, and collectors; letters, artist’s statements, and documentation on the circle of artists with whom Saar worked and collaborated.  The archive comes with an important gift: a vintage photograph album depicting Saar’s family and friends: the 1918 Beatrice Parson Family Photo Album.  

“As a child of the Depression, I learned at an early age the importance of saving things.  ‘Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’ was a common saying during my childhood,” said Saar. “As time went on, my saving turned into collecting, and collecting then evolved into the medium I use to create my art.  Little did I know back then that my frugal roots would develop into a profession with such a creative outlet. I’ve taken great pride in preserving these items for some 80 plus years. Items such as my early childhood drawings all the way through to the art ledgers that I continue to use on a daily basis. I am very pleased that the Getty Research Institute shares my desire for ‘saving things’ and that they will be providing a home for many of my collections so that they will be accessible by scholars, the arts community and the generally curious alike.”

Collaborations and Partnerships

Collaboration is an important part of the African American Art History Initiative and the Getty is consulting with the world’s leading scholars as it builds the program. Dr. Kellie Jones, Professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University, has been hired by the Getty as a senior consultant. Jones is a MacArthur Fellow who has curated several landmark exhibitions of African American Art and published extensively, including the recently published South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s and Now Dig This: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 published to accompany the exhibition of the same title that was part of the Getty-funded “Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980” in 2011. In her role as a consultant for the initiative she will help shape the strategic and intellectual directions of the project.

“The Getty is telling the world, through its actions, that American art has many facets,” said Jones. “The Getty has set out to create benchmarks and expand the field of art history. This initiative and its focus on archives is another approach to embracing a bigger idea of what art history is, by creating an important repository that will greatly impact the field and peer institutions. And in partnering with other institutions, including historically black colleges, we are also creating community through scholarship. I’m especially excited to think about the educational possibilities, at all levels, that will come out of this work.”

Additionally, the GRI has convened an advisory committee of leading scholars, artists, and curators for the African American Art History Initiative. With insights from their own scholarship and connections, the committee will advise on how the initiative can best serve the field and on a collecting strategy focused on growing the GRI’s holdings related to African American art and cultural history. Currently, the members of the growing advisory board include Jones, Getty Trustee Pamela Joyner, Director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Curator of International Art at the Tate Modern in London Mark Godfrey, Hammer Museum Assistant Curator Erin Christovale, Bridget Cooks, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Art History at University of California, Irvine, and others.

Partnerships with other institutions are another crucial part of the initiative. The GRI has partnered with the UC Berkeley Oral History Center to conduct oral histories that are already underway in California, New York, and other parts of the country to record stories of African American artists in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. These one-on-one interviews address an urgent need to capture the first-person accounts of artists who have not been properly documented to date.

The GRI is also partnering with historically black colleges and universities to help those institutions maximize the research potential of their holdings through digitization and increased scholarly access.   

“The Getty Trust’s decision to develop a digital archive will provide scholars, researchers, teachers, students, curators and collectors—anyone passionate about the study of African American artists—easy access to primary reference material in some of the world’s great artists. Spelman College has just launched the Atlanta University Center collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies, thanks to the generosity of the Walton Family Foundation.  We look forward to partnering with the Getty Trust in the course of establishing the collective, as our students become familiar with some of the country’s leading archival resources in the field of African American Art History,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College.

Other partnerships include museums and exhibition spaces such as the California African American Museum and Art + Practice in Los Angeles and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The Getty’s commitment to African American art history also extends to the J. Paul Getty Museum, which recently acquired twenty-one photographs from Gordon Parks’s photo essay chronicling the life of a young Brazilian boy named Flavio da Silvia.  On assignment for Life, Parks worked in Brazil in 1961 and again in 1977 documenting the plight of Latin Americans living in extreme poverty. The Getty Museum’s acquisition includes seventeen photographs from Parks’s original visit to Brazil and four from his subsequent trips.  At the Getty Museum, the department of photography is unique in actively collecting American art of the 20th and 21st century.

“The Museum is proud of this significant acquisition,” remarked Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts. “We are committed to building a collection of photographs by African American photographers as part of this important initiative.”

Research Fellowships, Bibliographer, and Visiting Scholars

Building collections of African American art history includes growing library materials and facilitating on-site research. A full-time bibliographer will be hired by the GRI to help trace written histories and create resources for researchers.

Two fellowships will be offered every year bringing scholars to the Getty specifically to research African American art history. This is in addition to the existing Getty Scholars Program, which will continue to include scholars working on African American art history. Currently there are two scholars in residence at the Getty who have made significant contributions to African American art history: Darby English, Professor, University of Chicago and Consulting Curator MoMA, and Renee Ater, Associate Professor Emirata, University of Maryland. This year, the Getty Scholars Program artist-in-residence is Theaster Gates (American, b. 1973) who is using his research time at the Getty to explore radical philanthropy through the built environment.

“Similar to the commitment we made to expand research into Latin American and Latino art over the last several years, the Getty is seeking to once again focus attention on an under-researched area of art history,” said Cuno.  “I particularly want to thank the Getty’s Board of Trustees for their enthusiastic support and endorsement of this exciting new initiative.”

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NYC-Focused Collection Shines at Swann

lblodimccdehpfdp.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries opened the fall season with a marathon sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, earning more than $2.4M. The September 20 auction offered 600 examples of fine and museum-quality works to a flurry of online and phone bidders.

The top lot of the sale was a brown and black linoleum cut by Pablo Picasso titled Grand nu Dansant, 1962, which sold for $70,000, an auction record for the print. Two other works by Picasso were top lots, including the etching Taureau ailé contemplé par Quatre Enfants, 1934, which sold for $35,000, and a second color linoleum cut, titled Mère, Danseur et Musicien, 1959-60, which sold for $30,000. Additionally, La Folie, 1958, a lithograph after the artist, sold for $11,250, more than double the original estimate.

Other notable lots included Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Embrace, a pencil drawing which sold for $27,500, and a Henri Matisse drypoint titled Mile Landsberg au viage rond, 1914, selling for $20,000.                    

Todd Weyman, Director of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries, noted of the auction, “collectors clearly have an appetite for American printmakers, as Architectural Splendor was a standout.”

The entire Architectural Splendor collection, which featured iconic views of New York, more than doubled its total estimate of $40,000, bringing over $80,000. The auction’s cover lot of John Taylor Arms’ etching, Downtown, New York, 1921, and John Marin’s etching of Downtown, The El, 1921 each doubled their original estimates selling for $9,375 and $8,750, respectively. Joseph Pennell’s Brooklyn Bridge at Night, 1922, exceeded expectations selling for $7,250 after being originally estimated at $1,800.

Several works by Edmund Blampied surpassed their predicted sales range: Chrysanthemums, 1930, which sold for $5,750; Anemones, 1930, which sold for five times its original estimate with a price realized of $10,625; and, Bar Scene, 1924, selling for $30,000.  

The next auction of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries, Old Master Through Modern Prints, is scheduled for November 1, 2018. Swann Galleries holds at least seven prints & drawings auctions each year and is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019.

Image: Lot 308: John Taylor Arms, Downtown, New York, aquatint and etching, 1921. Sold September 20, 2018 for $9,275.

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Rare Collection of Ansel Adams Photography Donated to the Yosemite Museum

Clearing Winter Storm copy.jpgYosemite National Park—A rare collection of 45 photographs by acclaimed 20th century photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) has been donated to the Yosemite Museum in Yosemite National Park.

The Museum Sets were originally created in three size groups of 25, 45 and 75 prints. It is estimated that about half of the original edition of 100 sets were completed before Adams passed away. This 45-print set is a gift by Don and Susan Fuhrer, who are residents of Montecito, Calif. and Foresta, Calif. (within Yosemite National Park) and Yosemite Conservancy council members. The set will be shown at the Yosemite Museum Sept. 21-Nov. 25 thanks to a grant by donors to Yosemite Conservancy.

“I’ve always felt a Museum Set belonged in Yosemite given Adams’ love for the park,” said Don Fuhrer, who purchased the set in 2003. “There’s an entire generation that is unaware of Adams, a true American icon, that will be able to see his work as he wanted it presented.”

Adams began producing what he called “The Museum Set” in 1979 to represent his artistic achievements and to ensure that a representative body of his work would enter public collections. Each set could be purchased on the condition that the buyer would eventually donate their set to an art or educational institution.

“Ansel and his advisors developed a plan to ensure that his work would be accessible for future generations. He created the Museum Set edition, sets of prints of his photographs, mostly the classic, iconic images that people have come to know and love, but also works that, while not as popular, he felt were important to his legacy,” said Matthew Adams, president of The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park and grandson of Ansel Adams.

From more than 2,500 of his negatives, Ansel Adams selected 75 images, which included photographs from as early as 1923 to 1968. A Museum Set contains a core of ten of Adams’ most famous images, including Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park and Moonrise, Hernandez. New Mexico. Buyers could then choose additional photographs from the list of 75, which makes every Museum Set unique. The Fuhrers’ gifted set also includes Yosemite photographs Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan Falls and Sequoia Gigantea Roots, as well as images from national parks such as Mr. Rainier, Yellowstone, Death Valley, Big Bend and more.

“This is an inspiring and generous gift,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean. “Few artists had the foresight to prepare for how their legacy was portrayed and to create a way to ensure that future generations are able to learn and appreciate it. It’s exciting that this collection of photographs will be shown at the Yosemite Museum.”

Adams’ career is inextricably linked to Yosemite, as he was introduced to photography on his first trip to the park, and spent many years exploring, living and working in the park. His work continues to be some of the most iconic images of Yosemite decades after his death.

Other museums and organizations with an Ansel Adams “Museum Set” include The National Gallery of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, M. H. Memorial de Young Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Cornell University, Princeton University, Scripps College and The Wilderness Society.  

Image: Courtesy of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust © 2018

 

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Patrick Nagel Among Featured Artists in Heritage Auctions’ October Illustration Art Auction

Nagel again.jpgDallas, Texas - Five works by Patrick Nagel are expected to be among the most heavily pursued offerings in Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art auction Oct. 12 in Dallas.

Nagel is known for his unique interpretation of women, often depicted with black hair and red lips juxtaposed against white skin, painted in a style that descended from Art Deco. His works regularly appeared in a number of publications - he frequently contributed images to Playboy - and on album covers, the best known of which was Duran Duran’s Rio album.

“Patrick Nagel was one of those artists whose style was so unique, so distinct, that his works are recognized instantly by collectors everywhere,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “He remains one of the primary reasons why Heritage has been so firmly established as the premier auction house for hard-to-find artworks, especially when it comes to popular culture.”

The top lot in the group could be Nagel’s 48-by-40-inch acrylic-on-canvas Untitled, 1984 (estimate: $60,000-80,000), which is signed in the lower left by the artist. Part of the widespread appeal in the painting is the fact that it graces the cover of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel, which is the only book the artist wrote about his own artwork.

A 1983 Untitled work (estimate: $40,000-60,000) is another in Nagel’s signature style, with a dark-haired woman with bright white skin, full red lips and dramatic eyebrows. The 27-by-36-inch image is done in acrylic on canvas, and is signed and dated in the lower left.

Nagel eschews his signature style of a close-up portrait-style image in The Leopard Trainer, Playboy Illustration (estimate: $30,000-50,000), although he retains an erotic edge by leaving the trainer’s jacket open. The 23-by-17 acrylic-and-pencil-on-paper, which is signed in the lower left, was reproduced on page 54 of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel.

The artist included an animal theme again in Aries (estimate: $15,000-25,000), a 20-by-9-inch acrylic-and-pencil-on-paper image of a woman, her gown slightly agape, standing behind a ram, which is the symbol for the astrological sign of the same name.

The only Nagel artwork in the auction that is not a painting is Carol, 1984 (estimate: $2,000-3,000). This bronze with polychrome shows a woman wearing an off-the-shoulder dress and a matching hat inspired by World War II-era military design, and stands 20-1/2 inches high.

 

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