Slotin Auction to disperse landmark folk art collections May 1-2
Headlining the event will be the prestigious folk art collections of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer and Roger Schlaifer. Both collections have been widely exhibited and illustrated. Many of the works were highlighted in the book American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century by Jay Johnson and William Ketchum Jr. The auction will read like a “who’s who” in folk art.
Almost every artist featured in Johnson and Ketchum’s landmark book will be represented in the auction. The sale will also feature an ambitious fund-raiser for Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; the Clay Morrison Estate to benefit the School of Art Institute of Chicago; and property of the Columbus Museum of Art.
An oil on canvas painting by Georgia artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley (1908-1997), The Watermelon Cutting, signed and dated 1979, is expected to bring $20,000-$30,000. The work served as cover art for William Ketchum’s book American Folk Art. Also sold will be a 1978 work by O’Kelley titled Spotted Cat (est. $8,000-$12,000), which appeared in Life Magazine.
A large (40 inches by 15 1/2 inches) museum-quality mixed media on paper rendering by Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), titled The Great Now Jerusalem, featuring Sister Gertrude marrying Jesus, has been conservatively estimated at $30,000-$40,000. The paint, acrylic, tempera and ballpoint pen on paper work depicts angels and dinner table detail and is signed.
Six works by Clementine Hunter (1886-1988) will cross the block, including Madona (sic) of the Lilies, a large paint on board work executed in the 1950s and recently exhibited at the African American Museum in Dallas. The 23- by 19-inch painting includes authentication papers from Shelby Gilley, and is expected to command $8,000-$12,000.
The auction will feature 23 works by the talented and prolific potters from the Meaders family. A china plate teeth face jug by Lanier Meaders was the top lot at Slotin’s last Southern Fold Pottery Auction in November, bringing $8,855. This sale will feature a late 1960s china plate teeth face jug, attributed to Lanier and in mint condition (est. $3,000-$5,000).
What would a Slotin Auction be without Howard Finster (1916-2001)? This auction has 26 renderings by the artist, including an enamel on board beauty titled There Were Just Enough (est. $5,000-$8,000). The pre-1976 work was exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Alliance Show titled Howard Finster, Man of Vision, and was featured in a pair of authoritative folk art books.
An oil on board by Red Grooms, titled Bill Traylor and Fighting Dogs, acquired from the Marlborough Gallery, N.Y., is expected to hit $5,000-$7,000. An ink and watercolor on paper by David Hockney, titled Family Outing, should make $2,000-$4,000. And No. 74, The Tragic Fire at Bucks Stables, Independence, Indiana, by Tella Kitchens, should breeze to $7,000-$10,000.
Welcoming Lady, a 6-foot-tall painted cement sculpture by an anonymous maker, circa 1920s, should rise to $4,000-$6,000.
Additional artists of note in the sale include Frank Jones, Joseph Yoakum, S.L. Jones, Raymond Coins, Sam Doyle, Thornton Dial, Charlie Willeto, George Lopez, Felipe Archuleta, Robert St. Brice, Forrest King Moses and Edgar Tolson.
Also represented in the sale will be William Dawson, Jesse Howard, Eddie Arning, Bryan McNutt, Justin McCarthy, Victor Joseph Gatto, Andrea Badami, Lawrence Lebduska, Gustav Klumpp, James Castle, Chief Wiley, Frog Smith, Stephen Huneck, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose Tolliver, Robert Brady (nudes), Teofilo Magliocchi (sensual pencil drawings) and many others.
The auction will also feature some rare and special treats, like the anonymous water hose-powered whirligig, circa 1940s; a Flemish Impressionist work by Edmond Verstraeten, 1870-1956; an original study by Norman Rockwell; circus sideshow banners; African American juke joint signs; 19th-century ledger drawings; and works of mid-century modernism.
Additional surprises will include contemporary art by Todd Murphy, profound art by Monji, Jewish folk art from Burma, Day of Dead masks, skeletons and costumes, newly acquired 1950s drawings by Boykin Richardson, African American quilts, industrial skull molds, a real North Georgia moonshine still and a drivable 1992 folk art van, painted by Sam McMillan.
Slotin Auction’s next big sale after this one will be held in November and feature the prestigious Howard Campbell Americana Collection. More information will be posted on the Web site as the auction date draws near at www.slotinfolkart.com. Slotin Auction has been in business for about 17 years. The firm conducts several sales a year in a converted grocery store in downtown Buford.
Slotin Auction is always accepting quality consignments. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, call (770) 532-1115 or (404) 403-4244. Or, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To order a free 140-page color catalog for the Spring 2010 Masterpiece Auction, call (770) 532-1115.
To learn more about Slotin Auction and the firm’s calendar of upcoming events, please log on to www.slotinfolkart.com.
Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE