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Lot 0104
Charcoal sketch of President John F. Kennedy on what appears to be official White House stationary watermarked with the Great Seal of the United States, attributed* to Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989). Signed. 8 x 5 inches. Excellent condition. Matted only (does not include frame).

Lot Note: When the current owner received this drawing it was accompanied by the following note: "Boston, 1989: I got these drawings from Lem Billings in 1976, when I was living in New York City. Lem Billings was a very close friend of President John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, and other members of the Kennedy family. Lem said the drawings were created in 1962 or 1963 although he did not say where they were drawn. I always assumed they were drawn at the White House because of the White House note paper but I have since been told that they may have been done at the Kennedy's home in Palm Beach, when Elaine de Kooning was preparing to paint a portrait of the President. Elaine de Kooning's husband, the artist Willem de Kooning, must have accompanied her when she was working on preparing sketches for her painting. Some of the drawings are notated on the back, one marked 'Lem,' one 'Jackie,' and one 'Bob M.' I was never exactly sure how Lem came by the drawings, whether from the Kennedys or the de Koonings. For reasons I cannot now recall, I never asked him." The note is signed J. R. Duggan.

Regarding John Duggan, we do not know who he was, his relationship (if any) to Lem Billings, or how he acquired the sketches (by purchase, gift, etc.) A copy of Duggan's note will accompany each drawing.

Provenance: Property of a private collection, Texas. Gifted to the present owner circa 1995.

* This lot is being offered as attributed to the named artist. The attribution is based in part on our careful study and does not represent the opinion of any recognized expert or panel of experts. Preston Hall Gallery and the consignor assume no risk, liability, or responsibility for the authenticity or authorship of any lot described by this term or by other similar qualifying terms such as "manner of," etc. These lots are not guaranteed and may not be returned. For further information, please see "Authentication and Provenance of Attributed Lots," following Section 27 in our Terms & Conditions of Sale before placing your bid. Unless stated otherwise, no further information regarding this lot's provenance is currently available. Such information could include the identity of the seller or previous owners, which may be excluded to accommodate a seller's or family's request for confidentiality or because the identity of certain prior owners is unknown.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24%

Elaine De Kooning (1918-1989) JFK Charcoal Study

Estimate $1,000 - $2,000Jul 24, 2017