Formidable assembly of American art comes to Freeman’s Dec. 3

Mary Cassatt, Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen, $300,000-$500,000 at Freeman's.

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PHILADELPHIA — Though it consists of only 98 lots in all, Freeman’s has assembled an amazing lineup of fine American and Pennsylvania Impressionist art for its auction on Sunday, December 3. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Leading all estimates is a classic mother-and-child portrait by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). In Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen, the infant places her hand on her mother’s face and looks out, while the mother gazes lovingly. These parent-child themes recur in Cassatt’s body of work and are highly favored by collectors. Painted in 1898, the work comes from a productive and successful period in Cassatt’s life, where she was receiving recognition and many requests for work. The painting is estimated at $300,000-$500,000.

Although executed in 1978, The Station by Henry Koerner (1915-1991) would not be exhibited until 1983 at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. A colorful and reflective study of human nature in the mundane location of a commuter passenger train platform, the work remained in the artist’s possession for years until it was placed at ACA Gallery in New York, from where it was purchased by the consignor. At 61 by 50in, this is an impressive painting that carries an estimate of $250,000-$400,000.

New Hope art colony Impressionist Edward Willis Redfield (1869-1965) is also represented classically with Winter Holiday, a snow-filled winter scene of children sledding. The work is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

American Realist Bo Bartlett (b. 1955-) offers rare insight into Fear of Division, a 1989 painted recollection of the moment he and his brother saw their first jet aircraft contrail in 1963, soon after the Cuban Missile Crisis: “My brother told me that the jet stream was the bomb, and that’s the moment I tried to capture in the painting, he is yelling, ‘Hit the Dirt, It’s the End of the World!’ I am crying on the ground. He kept it up, and I kept on crying.” He went on to say, “At the time, I was having petite-mal seizures and I was completely confounded with the concept of division in second grade — addition, multiplication, and subtraction, I could grasp, but division was the beginning of my dysfunctional relationship with math.” One of two Bartlett paintings in the sale, Fear of Division is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
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Mary Cassatt, ‘Mrs. Harris Whittemore and Baby Helen,’ estimated at $300,000-$500,000 at Freeman’s.
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Henry Koerner, ‘The Station,’ estimated at $250,000-$400,000 at Freeman’s.
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Edward Willis Redfield, ‘Winter Holiday,’ estimated at $100,000-$150,000 at Freeman’s.
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Bo Bartlett, ‘Fear of Division,’ estimated at $40,000-$60,000 at Freeman’s.
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Guy Pène Du Bois, ‘Teddy at the Typewriter,’ estimated at $50,000-$80,000 at Freeman’s.
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