Red chalk drawing on official White House stationary watermarked with the Great Seal of the United States, untitled portrait of a woman, signed* (Willem de Kooning, 1918-1989). 8 x 5 inches. Excellent condition. Has been removed from its frame for inspection and shipping. Sold without 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.
Neither we nor the consignor know who John Duggan was or by what means he obtained the drawings from Lem Billings. A copy of Duggan's note will accompany each drawing.
Provenance: Property of a private collection, Texas. Gifted to the present owner circa 1995.
*Preston Hall Gallery has not had this lot examined by an expert to determine its authenticity. The lot description and the lot title are for identification purposes only and do not constitute an attribution. Preston Hall Gallery is not an authority on works by this artist. The style, subject matter, and signature seem correct in our opinion although our assessment may not be accurate. Some works sold by Preston Hall Gallery have subsequently been authenticated and resold by major auction houses worldwide; however, we cannot guarantee the same outcome for the present lot. There are risks associated with buying unauthenticated works of art. The value and marketability of this work could be positively or negatively affected by an expert's examination and opinion. Such opinions can vary, and some opinions may not be favorable. For additional information regarding works of art, please see "Authentication and Provenance of Fine Art," following Section 27 in our Terms & Conditions of Sale (as found on Live Auctioneers) before placing your bid. No additional information regarding this lot's provenance is available nor will any be provided after the sale. Unless stated otherwise in the lot description, the provenance for this lot may not have been verified and could contain factual inaccuracies or omissions that could impact the value of the artwork. This lot is not guaranteed nor is its provenance. It may not be returned. [Copyright 2018 Preston Hall Gallery].
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