Cowan’s mounts auction of WPA, WWII artworks March 2


Claire Mahl (American, 1912-1988), ‘Dancer Resting,’ color lithograph, signed and titled, stamped New York City WPA Art Project, framed, 14 in. x 13.5 in. (sight). Estimate: $300-$500. Cowan’s Auctions image

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s will offer an extensive collection of WPA-era prints featuring the works of important artists of the period on Friday, March 2. Artists whose work will be sold include Dox Thrash, Raymond Steth, Minetta Good, Don Freeman, Jack Markow, Claire Mahl and Reginald Marsh. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Epitomizing the Regionalist movement of the 1930s and depicting scenes of the Great Depression, the collection samples a number of subjects ranging from the urban to the rural and addresses the stakes and issues of the period in a variety of tones, at times humorous, at times somber, often socially conscious.


Leon Louis Dolice (American, 1892-1960), ‘The Little Church around the Corner, N. Y.,’
color woodcut, unframed (matted), 7.5 in. x 11.5 in. (sheet). Estimate: $200-$400. Cowan’s Auctions image

The collection is supplemented by a body of original works by Richard Wood Baldwin (1921-2012), a veteran of the Air Force during World War II and former combat artist. Baldwin’s sketches featured in this auction are all preliminary works for murals he completed in the early 1940s at Pendleton Field Air Force Base in Pendleton, Oregon.


Richard Wood Baldwin completed eight murals at Pendleton Field Air in Oregon in 1943 and 1944.The murals were removed after the war and are believed to have been destroyed. Cowan’s will offer three of Baldwin’s preparatory maquettes for the murals. They are oils on masonite, each framed, unsigned; 41.5 x 23.5 in. (sight of each). Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Cowan’s Auction image

Believed to have been destroyed, the murals now remain only through these preparatory works, which offer a glimpse of crucial episodes of the war, such as the Guadalcanal or Tunisia campaigns, and the Attu and Pearl Harbor battles. Most importantly, the sketches celebrate the relentless efforts of the Air Force during the war.

For details contact Cowan’s Auctions at 513-871-1670.