HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – On Friday, Dec. 6, Leland Little Auctions will auction 13 original works by acclaimed American artist Andrew Wyeth (Pennsylvania, 1917-2009), as part of the sale of a single-owner collection. All of the works will be offered without reserve, giving fine art collectors an unparalleled opportunity to own a piece of the American artistic canon. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Ten of the Wyeths to be auctioned are pencil studies and watercolors from the artist’s depictions of his model and muse Helga Testorf, who he painted in secret for 15 years before revealing the existence of the Helga series in 1985. These paintings were the subject of intense media attention and scrutiny, fueled in part by Wyeth’s secrecy. The Helga paintings are considered some of Wyeth’s most intimate and private works, and the preparatory pencil studies and watercolors provide a window into his artistic process.
The collection also includes the tempera painting Breakup, which will be sold with a bronze life cast of Wyeth’s hands. Breakup has been included in exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Greenville Museum of Art.
Several others of the works to be sold have also been included in exhibitions: Cape Coat (Helga), a dry-brush and watercolor, was shown at the National Gallery of Art, and Study for Grape Wine, a pencil study, was shown at the Greenville Museum of Art. The tempera painting Grape Wine is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
In advance of the auction, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m., at the Leland Little Auctions gallery in Hillsborough, N.C., Victoria Browning Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth’s only grandchild, will present a lecture on the artwork. Victoria Wyeth, who has been lecturing about her grandfather’s art since she was a teenager, will share her personal, firsthand knowledge of the pieces being sold and her grandfather’s artistic process.
For more information contact Leland Little Auctions at 919-644-1243.