Important Women Painters at Heritage Auctions

DALLAS, TX - Dorothea Sharp’s lyrical, sun-dappled oil painting At the Fountain (estimate: $50,000+) and Martha Walter’s Beach Scene (estimate: $50,000+) headline a very strong selection of works by important women painters of the 19th and 20th Centuries featured in Heritage Auctions; May 15 Signature® American & European Art Auction, to be held at the company’s Dallas Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street.
“Since antiquity, women have created vital and imperative art while not receiving recognition for it,” said Brian Roughton, Director of American & European Art at Heritage Auctions, “and we felt, as a company, that it’s important to spotlight these important members of American and European art history and encourage that they receive well-deserved attention from collectors and the public.”
The history of fine art is littered with examples of bias - except on very rare occasions - shown toward women painters that kept them from attaining the level of success their male peers achieved, a bias that to a significant extent continues to this day.
“Obtaining a proper history of women in art has often proved difficult as many records have been manipulated,” said Roughton, “and a great number of works by women have been wrongly credited to their male teachers or relatives as it was believed that no truly great art could be created by a woman. While that perception has shifted somewhat, we feel that it’s not enough and want to do our part, as an auction house with access to so much fine work, to right that awareness.”
Noted Expressionist Myrtle Jean Maclane’s exuberant oil Against the Red Cliffs of Devon, circa 1926-1927, is the top American offering in the grouping, with an estimate of $30,000+, while Harriet Cany Peale’s - best known as the wife of portraitist Rembrandt Peale - classically inspired Agatharkhis, 1848, is expected to bring $18,000+.

British painter Elizabeth Violet Blackadder’s Aveiro Beach, Portugal, 1966, is already proving to be one of the grouping’s most popular offerings, with a $16,000+ estimate. Blackadder, known for her minimalist Japanese print-inspired landscapes and floral still lifes, received numerous accolades during her lifetime and continues to be one of the more collectable British painters of the 20th Century.
Louise Catherine Breslau’s ethereal La Toilette, 1898 (estimate: $16,000+), is another principle European highlight while Helen Sheldon Jacobs Smillie’s oil When the Dew is in the Grass, 1884 (estimate: $8,000+) and Harriette Bowdoin’s Morning Shadow and Sunlight (estimate: $8,000+) add more American heft to the event while Rita Hoffman Shulak’s oil Apple Maiden of the Spanish Steps (estimate: $9,000+), presents a more contemporary perspective as this California-based artist shows her skill by adeptly with pointillism.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Clara Hoffman (American, 1862-1897) Fragrant Flower, 1895: Oil on canvas. Estimate: $6,000+.
Gladys Rockmore Davis (American, 1901-1967), The Reading Lesson (Two Girls): Oil on canvas. Estimate: $4,000+.
Anna Elisabeth Klumpke (American, 1856-1942), Solitude: Oil on canvas. Estimate: $4,000+.
Mildred Bunting Miller (American, 1892-1964), In My Iris Garden, 1925: Oil on canvas. Estimate: $3,000+.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $800 million, and 700,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit
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