PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Freeman’s is pleased to present six works by Albert York—five oil paintings and one watercolor—in its June 6 American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Undoubtedly an auction highlight, this selection features both the pastoral scenes for which York is best known, as well as figurative work, including a bold, exquisite portrait of York’s wife, a rare depiction of the subject. Concise and modest, York’s paintings stand out to the viewer with a disarming rawness and purity that convey sentimentality, qualities that have led him to be called the “Painter of the Ordinary.”
All of the pieces on offer come from an estate in Reading, Pennsylvania, and were acquired through York’s lifetime dealer, Roy Davis. Though York remains anonymous to many art historians, dealers, and collectors, and his work very rarely appears at auction, he garnered a small, loyal group of collectors during his lifetime, among them Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Paul and Bunny Mellon, Edward Gorey, and Lauren Bacall.
The six York works on offer are: Reflections in the Pond, Jar of Wildflowers, Ostrich Feathers (Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Virginia Caldwell), Cow, Still Life: Green Apples, and Pink Rose on a Yellow Ground, and they comprise lots 43-48 in the sale.
The sale of this selection is an important milestone; never before have so many works by the artist been presented at auction at the same time. In fact, York is said to have only painted about 200 works in his 30-year career. Among them is Reflections in the Pond, an important, early painting by York, included in the artist’s first solo exhibition at Davis Galleries in 1963. It carries an estimate of $60,000-$100,000.
“To offer so many works by Albert York at once at an auction is an absolute first, and Freeman’s could not be more pleased to steward this milestone event,” says Alasdair Nichol, Chairman. “We are excited to present such a variety of subjects by this important artist who truly deserves to be in the spotlight given his unique, arresting style and his significant contribution to American Modernism.”
In addition to these six Albert York works, Freeman’s June 6 American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction will feature the historic sale of Sylvia Shaw Judson’s Bird Girl, as well as several notable works by significant American artists, including Daniel Garber, Norman Rockwell, and Edward Willis Redfield, among others.
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