Painting of conductor Leonard Bernstein’s Carnegie Hall debut shines at Amelia Jeffers March 7-9

Theresa Ferber Bernstein-Meyerowitz’s oil on canvas depicting Leonard Bernstein’s first performance with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, estimated at $8,000-$16,000 at Amelia Jeffers.

DELAWARE, Ohio – An exuberant canvas depicting Leonard Bernstein’s first performance with the New York Philharmonic is among a group of works by Theresa Ferber Bernstein-Meyerowitz (1890-2002) offered by Amelia Jeffers in Ohio on Thursday, March 7. It comes to auction as part of ‘A Lifetime Collection of Fine Art’ formed by the late Carl Eriksson, a civil engineer and past president of the Scandinavian Club of Columbus.

The painting, which captures much of the vitality of Bernstein’s last-minute debut at the Carnegie Hall on November 14, 1943, is estimated at $8,000-$16,000. It is one of 10 works on offer by Bernstein-Meyerowitz, the Krakow-born Philadelphia artist who painted for close to a century in a style that evolved from realism to expressionism. To try to avoid the discrimination that came with being a women painter, she seldom used her full name and instead signed her works T. Bernstein or just Bernstein.

Remarkably, having held her first solo exhibition at the Milch Gallery in New York City in 1919, she was also in attendance at Jo-An Fine Art in New York City in 2000 for the exhibition Theresa Bernstein: An Early Modernist, held to mark her 110th birthday. She died in 2002, just a couple of weeks short of her 112th year, still living in the rent-controlled loft-style studio a block from Central Park West where she had worked for decades.

The second day of this three-day Ohio sale brings more Americana from the collection of Bruce and Vivalyn Knight. Knight, a full-time antiques dealer from the late 1960s, was the man who put Springfield, Ohio on the antiques map. He founded the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market, which became one of the largest of its kind in the country, and the Heart of Ohio Antique Center in Springfield, which is still America’s biggest. The lion’s share of his collection was sold by the auction house during two days in January, with an 18th-century Native American trade axe pipe linked to the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh selling at $41,000. However, this offering numbers a further 438 lots, with most categories of folk art well represented.

Sharing top-lot status on the third day of the sale are two 1969 pencil-signed Alexander Calder lithographs from an edition of 75 each. Soucoupes Volantes numbered 72/75, and Soucoupes Dans de Noir numbered 55/75, are both estimated at $4,000-$8,000.