Setting Records

The Col­lec­tion of Peggy and David Rock­e­feller makes his­tory at Christie’s

American Fine Art Magazine - - Auction Report: New York, Ny -

Christie’s week­long auc­tion of the Col­lec­tion of Peggy and David Rock­e­feller made his­tory as the most sig­nif­i­cant char­i­ta­ble auc­tion ever staged, bring­ing in $832.5 mil­lion, with 100 per­cent sell-through. The Amer­i­can seg­ment, which took place on May 9, achieved $106.9 mil­lion.

“We are ab­so­lutely thrilled with the re­sults of the sale,” says Paige Kesten­man, Christie’s as­so­ciate spe­cial­ist in the Amer­i­can art depart­ment. “The en­thu­si­asm for the cat­e­gory was ev­i­dent, setting a new record for any Amer­i­can art sale, at­test­ing to both the strength of the mar­ket­place and the Rock­e­feller col­lec­tion as a whole.”

Avaughan type por­trait of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, by Gil­bert Stu­art, was one of the sale’s run­away suc­cesses. It sold for $11.6 mil­lion, well over its high es­ti­mate of $1.2 mil­lion, and setting a new world auc­tion record for the artist.“it’s truly one of the best por­traits of Wash­ing­ton left in pri­vate hands,” Kesten­man ex­plains. “We saw sev­eral phone bid­ders and great par­tic­i­pa­tion in the room .there was a heated bid­ding bat­tle that went on for sev­eral min­utes.”

Sev­eral other artist world auc­tion records were set dur­ing the sale. Diego Rivera’s The Ri­vals re­al­ized $9.8 mil­lion, more than tripling his pre­vi­ous auc­tion record and setting a new world auc­tion record for any Latin Amer­i­can artist. Morris Cole Graves, Ste­fan Hirsch, Charles Sheeler, Charles E. Burch­field and Fair­field Porter were also among the artists that broke pre­vi­ous auc­tion records. Per­form­ing par­tic­u­larly well were works that had been com­mis­sioned by Abby Aldrich Rock­e­feller, in­clud­ing Sheeler’s White Sen­tinel

(est. $1/1.5 mil­lion), which achieved $2.2 mil­lion.

The top lot of the evening was Willem de Koon­ing’s

ab­stract oil and char­coal Un­ti­tled XIX, achiev­ing $14.2 mil­lion over an es­ti­mate of $6 mil­lion to $8 mil­lion. Other notable sales in­clude John Singer Sar­gent’s San Geremia, selling for $9.1 mil­lion, and Ed­ward Hop­per’s Cape

Ann Gran­ite and Ge­or­gia O’ke­effe’s Near Abiquiu, New Mex­ico, both cross­ing the block for $8.4 mil­lion. Of the en­tire week of sales, David Rock­e­feller Jr. says,“we are grate­ful to the Christie’s team for the deep care and at­ten­tion they took in pre­sent­ing our par­ents’ col­lec­tion to the world over this past year. this was an ex­pe­ri­ence that beau­ti­fully and thor­oughly con­veyed Peggy and

David Rock­e­feller’s great pas­sion for art, de­sign, crafts­man­ship and beauty. Just as my sib­lings and our own chil­dren are full of pride and grat­i­tude at the end of this his­toric week, we know our par­ents would feel the same.”

Gil­bert Stu­art (1755-1828), Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton (Vaughan type), 1795. Oil on can­vas, 291/8 x 241/8 in., in­scribed on verso: ‘D. Brien’. Artist World Auc­tion Record. Es­ti­mate: $800/1,200,000 SOLD: $11,562,500

Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Where are the Boats?, 1883. Wa­ter­color and pen­cil on pa­per, 13½ x 19 5/8 in., signed and dated lower right: ‘Winslow Homer/1883’. Es­ti­mate: $1.5/2.5 mil­lion SOLD: $4,572,500

John Singer Sar­gent (1856-1925), San Geremia, 1913. Oil on can­vas, 22 x 28 in., signed and dated lower right: ‘John S. Sar­gent 1913’. Es­ti­mate: $3/5 mil­lion SOLD: $9,087,500

Ed­ward Hop­per (1882-1967), Cape Ann Gran­ite, 1928. Oil on can­vas, 29 x 40¼ in., signed lower right: ‘Ed­ward Hop­per’. Es­ti­mate: $6/8 mil­lion SOLD: $8,412,500

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