Fort Worth Modern Art Museum Sale Brings Wyeth, Marsh Among American Art Masters to Christie’s

Reginald Marsh’s double-sided work Carousel and Girls on a Boardwalk. Courtesy Christies.

Christie’s is auctioning works by a host of top names in American art including Andrew Wyeth, Childe Hassam and Mary Cassatt across 87 lots in an online auction that will run until August 7th. The sale is expected to net a total in excess of $4.5 million.

Among the works carrying notable provenance are seven lots consigned by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, sold to benefit the institution. American artist Andrew Wyeth’s 1951 work, Prevailing Wind, which depicts a rooftop scene in Maine coming from the museum’s holdings and is slated with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-70,000.

Another from the Texas museum collection is Reginald Marsh’s double-sided work Carousel and Girls on a Boardwalk, dated 1941-52— an example of the artist’s signature subject matter chronicling New York City life in the 1920s to 1930s. During the pre-war period, Paris-born Marsh studied at New York’s Art Students League under American art mainstays like John Sloan, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and George Luks. Also prominent surveyors of urban life in the modern age, these artists came to widely influence Marsh’s subject matter. The work on offer in the online sale carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.

Last exhibited publicly in 1977, Marsh’s piece is one example among several in the group boasting a long holding period in a prominent American art collection. Both works by Wyeth and Marsh were originally held in the collection of Texas-based philanthropic organization and prominent arts backer, the William E. Scott Foundation of Fort Worth. Each of the works were gifted from the foundation’s collection to the city’s museum between 1954 and 1963.

One of the top priced lots in the sale’s offering is Mary Cassatt’s Two Little Sisters dated 1901-02. The early modern portrait of two young children is from the storied collection of influential Chicago collectors, Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer—for whom a center at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is named— after being held privately since 1958, the work is now coming to the market at an estimate of $400,000-600,000.

Christie’s secured the highly competitive Mayer collection for sale last year, bringing a selection of high caliber works from the couple’s foremost American postwar holdings, including Roy Lichtenstein’s $31 million 1962 painting, The Kiss and Robert Rauschenberg’s $89 million 1964 assemblage work, Buffalo II. Each of the works sold in the house’s marquee New York evening sale in May 2019.

Elsewhere in the sale, a watercolor seaside scene by Wyeth’s son, Jamie Wyeth, titled Open Seas from 1969 is available to bidders at an of $70,000-100,000. In addition, a group of modernist works are represented in the auction’s offerings with sculptures by Polish-American artist, Elie Nadelman; Lithuanian-born sculptor, Boris Lovet-Lorski and French-American, Gaston Lachaise, alongside paintings and works on paper by Milton Avery, Charles Green Shaw and Wolf Kahn.

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