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Clementine Hunter, ‘Bouquet of Zinnias’, a 1973 work estimated at $6,000-$8,000 at Neal Auction Company.

Clementine Hunter, Theora Hamblett, Berenice Abbott among women artists lauded at Neal May 30

NEW ORLEANS – Women artists are the focus of Through Her Eyes, a dedicated 100-lot sale taking place at Neal Auction Company on Thursday, May 30. It is the house’s second annual offering of this type, and showcases the work of dozens of women artists, some prominent, others less so. The catalog is open for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Having succeeded with works by Mississippi artist Theora Hamblett (1895-1977) as recently as March 14, when two of her paintings modestly exceeded their estimates, Neal has assigned a 1977 canvas of hers the highest estimate in the May 30 sale. Red Rooster Atop the Chicken Coop, painted in the year of Hamblett’s death, likely reflects one of her childhood memories of living on a chicken farm in Paris, Misssissippi. Works by Hamblett are in short supply as her will dictated that the University of Mississippi would receive the bulk of her output. This signed and dated oil on canvas is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

Another local self-taught artist in the sale is Clementine Hunter (1886-1988), who is represented by six lots. Chief among them is an oil on canvas that features one of her favorite subjects. Painted in 1973, Bouquet of Zinnias has an estimate of $6,000-$8,000.

Also featured are three black-and-white photographs by Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), each dating to the 1930s and printed decades later, and having identical individual estimates of $2,000-$3,000. These choice images are from the period when Abbott was documenting New York City, finding rich troves of subject matter in the vast cityscape. A standout among the trio is Advertisements, East Houston Street and 2nd Ave, which she took in 1937. The gelatin silver print on offer dates to 1982 and is number 13 from an edition of 40.