Freeman’s devotes Dec. 8 sale to American art, Pennsylvania Impressionists

Daniel Garber (American, 1880-1958), ‘By the River,’ oil on canvas, 28 1/8in x 30 1/8in in its original frame. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA – On Dec. 8, Freeman’s will hold its highly anticipated biannual American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction. As ever, the sale will feature works by distinguished American artists including illustrators N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell, Hudson River School painters Jasper Cropsey and Louis Rémy Mignot, as well as Philadelphians Mary Cassatt and William Glackens. Also on offer will be works by famed Pennsylvania Impressionists Daniel Garber, Fern Coppedge and Edward Redfield. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

An undeniable frontrunner of the auction will be N.C. Wyeth’s Rebel Jerry and Yankee Jake, (Lot 62; $200,000-300,000) a 1931 oil depicting a ferocious knife fight between two twin brothers. The painting served as an illustration for John Fox, Jr.’s The Little Shepherd from Kingdom Come, a best-selling novel published by the renowned publishing company Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1903. Set in the vast Kentucky mountains during the American Civil War, the oil captures the highly anticipated fight between the Dillon brothers, who grew estranged as one embraced the Union’s side, and the other chose to remain a Rebel and fight alongside the South.

N.C. Wyeth (American, 1882–1945), ‘Rebel Jerry and Yankee Jake,’ oil on canvas, 34in x 25in, circa 1930-1931. Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. Freeman’s image

Another notable highlight from the Pennsylvania Impressionists section of the sale is Daniel Garber’s By the River (Lot 138; $200,000-$300,000), a dazzling view of the Delaware River executed in 1929. Long unrecorded, the work resurfaces from a collection in Arkansas with a prestigious provenance. It represents a pivotal work for the artist and an important stylistic change in Garber’s career, marked by a new level of sophistication in his use of color and light, and by a bold taste for highly structured compositions.

Among the many 19th century pieces on offer, the sale will also showcase a sizable section of Modern works from the mid-20th century, including a surrealist scene by Peter Blume (Lot 87; $60,000-$100,000), and a portrait of Mercedes Matter by Hans Hoffman, which the artist executed in Gloucester in 1934 (Lot 83; $50,000-$80,000). Of particular note among several works by Romare Bearden is New York Scenes, a series of 23 watercolors depicting various views of New York City, completed in 1979 for John Cassavetes’ film Gloria (Lot 88; $20,000-$30,000).

Peter Blume (American, 1906-1992), ‘Autumn,’ oil on canvas, dated 1984, 45¼in x 50 in. Estimate: $60,000-$100,000. Freeman’s image

Also presented are newly rediscovered lots; namely a stunning landscape by Louis Rémy Mignot, which has been kept in the same collection of a Roman family for more than 75 years, Incense Breathing Morn. – Gray’s Elegy (Lot 25; $40,000-$60,000); and L’Amour Ménétrier (or Pupils of Love or Cupid, the Fiddler) (Lot 22; $20,000-$30,000), a fine early work by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1877, long thought to be lost. A large focus on female artists will be made, especially through a pastel counterproof by Mary Cassatt, which the artist executed in Paris in the early 1900s under the influence of Edgar Degas, four snow scenes by Fern Coppedge, and three works by Mary Elizabeth Price, including the magnificent Hollyhocks and Delphinium Screen (Lot 152; $50,000-$80,000) made with gold and silver leaf and depicting a lovely floral motif throughout.

Louis Rémy Mignot (American, 1831-1870), ‘Incense Breathing Morn. – Gray’s Elegy’ (On the Guayaquil River), oil on canvas, 16in x 22 in. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Freeman’s image

Other highlights include an imposing view of a sailor by John George Brown (Lot 24; $15,000-$25,000), a quintessential beach scene by Edward Henry Potthast (Lot 45, $30,000-$50,000), two exceptional watercolors by Charles Demuth, Cyclamen (Lot 73; 70,000-$100,000) and Zinnias (Lot 74; $60,000-$80,000), both from the prominent collection of Philip A. Bruno. In addition, the sale will feature an oil study for a painting by William Glackens entitled Nude Drying Hair (Lot 33; $15,000-$25,000), and a group of five works by Susette Keast, three of them consigned through the artist’s grand-daughter.

John George Brown (American, 1831-1913), ‘Hoisting the Sail,’ oil on canvas, 23in x 15 in, oil on canvas. Estimate: $15,000-$60,000. Freeman’s image

 For details contact  Alasdair Nichol, Freeman’s head of sale, anichol@freemansauction.com or 267-414-1211.