Rediscovered Georgia O’Keeffe painting headlines Skinner auction Jan. 29

BOSTON – Considered lost since the mid-1950s, Georgia O’Keeffe Alligator Pear in White Dish, 1921 will likely headline Skinner, Inc.’s American & European Paintings & Prints auction Jan. 29.

O’Keeffe’s painting was originally included in her Catalogue Raisonne, Volume II, and evidenced by a photograph her husband Alfred Stieglitz took. The painting was last known to have been purchased by a Cape Cod collector. The work is representative of O’Keeffe’s early work, describing “nature in her simplest appearance” and is indicative of O’Keeffe’s artistic relationship with modernist painter Arthur Dove. Alligator Pear in White Dish is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

Another anticipated gem and veiled from public view since the 1960s is an Arnaldo Pomodoro sculpture, Rotante primo sezionale n. 1 (Rotating First Section No. 1). Coming from the collection of Melvin B. Nessel of Boston, founder of the Fenton Show Corporation of Cambridge, the present work is one of two artist proofs outside the edition of two. This three-dimensional sphere was somewhat of a transitional piece for Pomodoro; the disintegration of form is more geometrical than in the other works. The Pomodoro is conservatively estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

One more featured treasure is a long-hidden away Yves Tanguy, Sans Titre. From the estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (née Braman) Grasso, the piece is illustrative of Tanguy’s early American work, similar to the art he produced in Europe, but with a more saturated palette. Sans Titre is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.

A few additional offerings of note include Alexander Calder’s Germination, estimated at $40,000-$60,000, whose scale makes it an incredible piece; Jesus Rafael Soto’s Struttura also from the Nessel collection and estimated at $30,000-$40,000; and Arab Horsemen by Adolf Schreyer, under glass and in impeccable condition, estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

“We have worked hard to heighten the quality of the works we’re offering,” said Robin Starr, Director of American & European Paintings & Prints at Skinner. “Many of the lots included here are true masterpieces and are fresh to the market as well.”

Previews for the auction will be held from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Jan 27, from 12 p.m.-7 p.m. Jan 28 and 9-10:30 a.m. Jan 29. The Jan. 28 evening preview will feature a reception and gallery walk beginning at 5:30 p.m. R.S.V.P. to 617-350-5400.

Auction results will be available on the Skinner Web site during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive! For more information, visit or call 508-970-3000.

Photos courtesy Skinner, Inc.


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