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Author Archives: Elizabeth Haff

Harry Jackson Sculpture and Abstract Expressionism

Who would have thought that a budding Abstract Expressionist in the 1940s would become one of the most famous sculptors of the American West just a decade later?  That is the story of Harry Jackson, whose bronzes are beloved by collectors and enthusiasts of Western art.

As a young man, Harry Jackson served as a combat artist in the Marine Corps during World War II. He returned from the war seeking an outlet through his art for the intense experiences he had undergone, finding in color a way to express emotional content.… Read More

Portrait of an Artist Not Necessarily as a Young Man…Or Woman…

The January 26th auction of American & European Works of Art at Skinner features some delightful and surprising takes on portraits of artists.

Traditionally, through fine prints, photographs, sketches, and oils, artists have captured likenesses of their circles, their friends, students, and mentors. Some may not resonate immediately as portraits of artists, appealing as sensitive portrayals of individual characters without any clues to their professions.… Read More

Martha’s Vineyard Memories

Two works in Skinner’s September 27 Fine Paintings & Sculpture auction will surely please lovers of Martha’s Vineyard: a view of Menemsha Pond by Thomas Hart Benton (Lot 306) and Dinghies at a Shallow Mooring by Loïs Mailou Jones (Lot 321). Both artists had enduring ties with the island and were influenced by the island’s landscape and culture, even though their reputations were largely built elsewhere.

Benton’s affection for Martha’s Vineyard may not be as familiar to many art lovers as are his ties to Missouri and the Midwest.… Read More

Rodin and Fragments

Two bronze sculptures by Rodin will be offered in our May 19th American & European Works of Art auction. Both were conceived by the artist as parts of larger works, and can therefore be considered fragments, but both also stand as unique and expressive works of art in their own right.

Tête de la Luxure (Head of Lust) (Lot 385, Estimate $8,000-12,000) was first created as the head of the figure Crouching Woman, one of Rodin’s favorite compositions, likely originally dated to 1881-82, and one of the earliest figures Rodin modeled for the Gates of Hell. … Read More

From Russia with Love: A History of Russian Art in Skinner’s January Auction

Skinner’s January 27 Fine Paintings & Sculpture auction has almost 30 works by Russian and Ukrainian artists from the mid-19th through the 20th centuries. The works, featuring many differing styles and schools, include landscape, still life, portraits, and costume design.

Among the most significant and earliest of the artists is Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900), the leading figure of Russian Romanticism and master of marine painting and coastal scenes.… Read More

Andrew Wyeth: America’s Preeminent Artist

Andrew Wyeth was an iconic figure in American painting of the 20th century. Son and student of famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth, the young man seemed destined to follow his father’s footsteps yet developed his own individual style. His father’s illustrations took as subjects active figures and colorful places from around the word, while Andrew Wyeth found artistic inspiration in friends and family and his immediate surroundings of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Port Clyde, Maine.… Read More

Cats! Millions of Cats!

This spring, lovers of cats can have a “Fancy Feast” for their eyes at the Worcester Art Museum and at Skinner, Inc.

At Skinner on May 13th bidders can acquire a wonderful drawing of a cat by Wanda Gag in our Fine Paintings & Sculpture auction. The ink drawing (Lot 342) shows a wide-eyed kitten peeking out from a jumble of laundry on an overstuffed arm chair. Wanda Gag is known to many as the author of Millions of Cats. Published in 1928, the fanciful illustrations and rhythmic language have delighted generations of children.… Read More

The New England Landscapes of Albert Bierstadt

For many, Albert Bierstadt’s name is synonymous with grand panoramas capturing the awe-inspiring landscapes of the American west. However, the German-born artist actually had roots on the east coast, was raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and painted throughout New England and upstate New York. His works gained wide popularity in his lifetime, and by the mid-1860s he had constructed a magnificent home at Irvington-on-Hudson. For two decades Bierstadt continued to enjoy critical and commercial success, making him, along with his contemporary Frederick Church (1842-1924), one of American’s preeminent landscape painters of the period.… Read More

Alexander Calder’s Path to Abstraction

Alexander Calder was an artistic “jack of all trades,” working in metal, from jewelry to large-scale public sculptures, in paint, as a theatrical set designer, and as a lithographer. What makes Calder – in any medium – so compelling is his wit and energy. Skinner’s Fine Paintings & Sculpture auction on January 22, 2016 features four lots of Calder’s work.

Alexander Calder was born in 1898, the second child of artist parents—his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter.Read More

Paintings Reunited After 122 Years In Skinner's American & European Works of Art Auction in January

Previewers at Skinner’s American & European Works of Art auction in January will have something special in common with the throngs of visitors at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. What could that possibly be?

As department specialists were researching paintings being offered in our January 23rd auction, we discovered that two of our American paintings had hung together 122 years earlier…in the Palace of Fine Arts at the World’s Columbian Exposition. … Read More

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