An outstanding collection of Paul Cadmus drawings led the bidding at Swann Galleries’ first stand-alone auction of American Art on June 13. The drawings, from the artist’s late-career Nantucket Man series, all featured Cadmus’s longtime lover Jon Anderson. Anderson met Cadmus in Nantucket in 1965, and their 30-year collaboration explored all aspects of the male nude. The two remained lovers until Cadmus’s death just before his 95th birthday.
Highlights from the series included Male Nude, NM 165, color crayon, 1981, the auction’s top lot, which brought a new record price for any drawing by the artist at $48,000*. There were also Male Nude, NM 199, color crayon, 1986, $33,600; Male Nude, NM 276, color crayon, 1996, $33,600 and Male Nude, NM 164A, color crayon, 1981, $21,600.
Friend and fellow artist Jared French was also featured in the sale, his Coupla Girls, casein tempera on board, 1948-49 brought $24,000, while a trio of his pencil studies for paintings, Homesickness, 1942, Learning, 1946 and Bathers, circa 1950, achieved $18,000.
Todd Weyman, Swann Galleries Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, said, “Swann’s first stand-alone American Art auction included excellent examples by Paul Cadmus, Frank Lloyd Wright and Milton Avery, with the overwhelming majority of top lots selling to private collectors amidst fierce bidding.”
The Frank Lloyd Wright drawing, a cover design for the June 1927 issue of Liberty Magazine, done in color crayon and pencil, brought $36,000; and Avery’s color pastel of a Lady Seated in a Chair, 1935, $20,400.
Another illustration, Frank Xavier Leyendecker’s Poetry and Music, oil on board, sold for $12,000.
Featured paintings by female artists included Anne Estelle Rice’s Morning, oil on board, 1914, $16,800; and Jane Peterson’s Florida Everglades, oil on board, $9,600 and Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, gouache, watercolor and charcoal, 1923, $9,000.
Rounding out the top lots were George Bellows’s Sunday in the Park, charcoal, $14,400; Rockwell Kent’s Study of an African-American, pen and ink, 1934, $7,200 and Childe Hassam’s Frame House with a Woman and a Dog, pen and ink on board, circa 1882, $6,480.
For complete auction results, an illustrated catalogue, with prices realized on request, can be purchased for $35 from Swann Auction Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.
To propose consignments to upcoming auctions of American Art, please contact Todd Weyman at (212) 254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at [email protected]
*All prices include buyer’s premium.