Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsMarlborough MA
May 25, 2022 10:00 AMCalender

Samuel Isham (American, 1855-1914) A Fairy Tale

Sell one like this
Auction: American & European Works of Art - 4110MLocation: MarlboroughDate / Time: May 25, 2022 10:00AM


Samuel Isham (American, 1855-1914)

A Fairy Tale
Signed and dated "S. Isham 1901" lower left, identified on a modern label from the Saint Louis Art Museum affixed to the frame backing and on two period labels (including a 1911 AIC exhibition label, see below) affixed to the back of the frame.
Oil on canvas, 78 x 48 in. (198.1 x 121.9 cm),framed.
Condition: Lined, new stretcher.

Provenance: Property of the Saint Louis Art Museum, sold to benefit the Acquisition Fund (Bequest of the artist to the Saint Louis Art Museum).

Literature: "The Century's American Artists Series," The Century Magazine, vol. LXVIII, no. 3, July 1904, pp. 393 (illustrated),490; "Acquisitions Made by the City Art Museum in 1914: Various Gifts," Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis, vol. 1, January 1915, p. 29 (illustrated); City Art Museum Catalogue of Paintings, Saint Louis Art Museum, cat. 13, pp. 44, 109; Impressionism Reflected: American Art 1890-1920, exhibition catalogue, Saint Louis Art Museum, 1982, p. 4; Phillip Prodger, "The World in St. Louis," Apollo Magazine, December 2004, pp. 66 (illustrated),67.

Exhibitions: Twenty-third Annual Exhibition, Society of American Artists, Galleries of the American Fine Arts Society, New York, March 30-May 4, 1901; Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, October 29-December 8, 1901, cat. 174; Seventy-first Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, January 20-March 1, 1902, cat. 460; Spring Exhibition of Modern American Art, The Waldorf Astoria, New York, date unknown; Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, April 30-December 1, 1904; Twenty-fourth Annual Exhibition, American Oil Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, Nov 14-Dec 27, 1911, cat. 184; Impressionism Reflected: American Art 1890-1920, Saint Louis Art Museum, May 8-June 27, 1982.

N.B. According to the compilation of works included in the annual exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Isham exhibited a painting titled A Fairy Tale both in 1901 - the year in which this lot was painted - and again in 1911. Only the 1911 exhibition label remains attached. However, its inclusion was confirmed in the exhibition publication from 1901, digitized and available online through the website of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Estimate $4,000-6,000

Framed dimensions are 84 x 55 x 4 inches.

The foam core backing was removed so the back could be examined. The work is wax lined. The stretcher is new. The painting is in very good condition, so we assume that the work was lined as a precaution because the canvas is so large and the work, quite heavy. In its frame, the painting weighs 87 pounds.

There is no apparent retouch under UV examination, and no sign of craquelure to the naked eye.

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Phillip Prodger, Samuel Isham, Philadelphia, St. Louis