8 Works to Collect For Spring

After a few false starts, spring has finally sprung in New York City. The days are longer, the parks are in full bloom, and the streets are filled with pedestrians taking in the warmer temperatures.

In celebration of the changing of the seasons we’re sharing a selection of works coming up for auction this month at Swann that are sure to inspire.

African American Art on April 4

Romare Bearden, Morning (Carolina Morning), color lithograph, 1979. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Left: Benny Andrews, Time for Church, mixed media, 1999. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.

This portrait of a seated woman in her Sunday best surrounded by colorful flowers is an excellent example of the painted collages of Benny Andrews.

Jonathan Green, Gladiolus Harvest, color lithograph, 1994. Estimate $3,000 to $5,000.

Fine Books Closing April 11

Right: Beatrix Potter, The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, first edition, London, 1906. Estimate $800 to $1,200.

The tale of this thieving rabbit was written for publisher Harold Warne’s daughter Louie Warne after she requested from Potter a story about a bunny with less admirable qualities than those of Peter Rabbit. The manuscript subsequently given to Louie was bound by her father in wallet form to match the published copies as offered here.

Tennesse Williams, The Rose Tattoo, first edition, signed, New York, 1950. Estimate $700 to $1,000.

Old Master Through Modern Prints April 18

Left: Mary Cassatt, Under the Horse Chestnut Tree, color aquatint and drypoint, 1896-97. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

Born in Philadelphia into a well-to-do family, Cassatt spent most of her adult life in Europe and, along with Berthe Morisot, went on to become one of the most celebrated female Impressionist artists. Edgar Degas served as her artistic mentor for some time and in 1876 invited her to show in the next Impressionist exhibition.

While she relied on Degas for his technical printmaking expertise, Cassatt was deeply influenced by traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e color woodcuts when she began work on this and several other color aquatints in the 1890s which mark the pinnacle of her career. In 1890, she and Degas had visited an exhibition of Japanese art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and thereafter she began collecting Ukiyo-e woodcuts and she determined to produce a series of prints based on these Japanese woodcuts. She wrote to the American collector Samuel P. Avery, “The set was done with the intention of attempting an imitation of the Japanese methods.” While she focused instead on producing these as color aquatints with etching, rather than woodcuts in the Japanese style, these mark a highpoint in Impressionist printmaking still today. 

Georges Rouault, Fleurs Décoratifs, color aquatint, circa 1940. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.