As a leading gallery in the western United States our past collections have included and our present inventory encompasses a wide array of artwork ranging from Old Masters to 20th century Modernists, and from European and American Impressionists to pioneering California and Bay Area artists.
RECOGNIZING A MASTER
Lost to scholars since the 1920s, this painting was discovered in a Michigan collection, languishing high above a stairwell with a false attribution, when the Gallery was called upon to perform a routine appraisal. Our research confirmed our conviction that this was a rare Dutch Mannerist painting thought to have been destroyed during the bombing of Berlin. Familiar with the artist from a previous experience as agent for a Royal collector to purchase another Hendrik Goltzius, ‘jupiter and Danae’, we consulted with the expert who informed us that this was indeed one of the remaining unlocated pieces from the artist’s small body of about fifty works. By recognizing this as a work of extraordinary quality, we were able to return to the owners not the original appraised value of $20,000 but well in excess of one million dollars.
Hendrik Goltzius Lot and His Daughters 1616
THE REWARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP
Completed in 1867 at the height of the artist’s career, this painting was in exceptionally good condition because it had remained untouched in the ownership of the same family for one hundred years. In 1853, Jean-Leon Gerome began making trips to Africa and the Middle East. from which he returned with a substantial collection of props and costumes for his Paris salon, many of which can be seen here. In this masterpiece, Gerome depicts an array of characters from the orient. including the white-skirted Bashi-Bazouk, the Arnaut. the Skipetar, the Berber, the Syrian and the red-pantalooned Turk to whom the bearded merchant offers his wares. In addition to other major Orientalist paint ings by John Frederick Lewis and Edward Lear, we have also uncovered great 19th century works by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. Jean Francois Millet, Gustave Courbet. Jules Bastien-Lepage, and Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, among others.
Jean-Leon Gerome Old Clothes Merchant of Cairo 1867
AN EARLY CALIFORNIA DISCOVERY
We first became aware of this marvelous Gold Rush era painting when the corporation that owned it was moving and asked us to assist them with an insurance appraisal. As the painting had been a boardroom fixture for decades, the owners were surprised to learn that it had been painted by one of the foremost artists working in California at the time and had significant value. By sifting through the newspaper articles of the day, we were able to recreate the 1853 event that Charles Christian Nahl so brilliantly depicted, identifying the various wharves and vessels and filling in the disastrous chain of events. Upon researching all of the artist’s known works, we discovered that this painting is Nahl’s only major portrayal of the San Francisco Bay, and the artistic equal of any in museum collections. Thus apprised of the painting’s importance and value, the owners decided that it would be better appreciated in a museum or private collection than on the wall of a business office.
Charles Christian Nahl Fire is San Fransico 1865
ASSESSING A LOST LANDMARK
Eight years ago, the president of a Kansas bank asked us to help him identify a painting which had been hanging in the bank’s offices since the turn of the century We suggested that he send us a photo and that we would provide him with a free market valuation enabling him to decide how best to proceed. Seeing the snapshot, we recognized the painting as an early view of one of the renowned landmarks of the Pacific West, the Monterey Cypress, by Albert Bierstadt, America’s foremost landscape artist. Knowing that a major Bierstadt retrospective exhibition was being prepared, we informed the two curators about this undocumented work. In the ensuing years, we provided the bank with a series of updated insurance appraisals until recently they decided to entrust its sale to us, with proceeds to benefit their employee retirement fund.
Albert Bierstadt Cypress Point 1871
As with his other famous series depicting haystacks, the Rouen Cathedral, and waterlilies at Giverny, by early 1885 Claude Monet had painted fifteen views of the coast of Normandy near Pourville and Varengeville. Many of these images are familiar due to their prominence in the Impressionist col lections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and The Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Monet’s attraction to the Normandy coast in the early 1880s lay in the simplicity and starkness of the dramatic cliffs and stretches of beach. While painting at Etretat in late September; 1885, Monet made one sojourn to Cap d’Antifer where he chose to paint from a high perspective, looking down toward the beach and accentuating the precipitous height of the sheer cliffs. Remarkably, this painting has had only three owners: Monet’s dealer; Durand-Ruel; the American collector; Alden Weyman Kingman; and the present family.
Claude Monet Le Val d’Antifer 1885
FREE APPRAISAL BENEFITS
Knowing of our free appraisal service, a woman came to us one day with a plastic bag containing an unframed painting she had purchased from a garage sale. Unsigned, but obviously by an accomplished hand, the painting appeared to be the work of the foremost American impressionist artist to paint with Monet in Giverny, Theodore Robinson. To our client’s good fortune, when we consulted with the authority on Robinson at the Baltimore Museum of Art, she confirmed it to be a variation on his grand Salon painting, ‘La Vachere’, which hangs in the Museum’s collection. Having ascertained its authenticity and arranged for its inclusion in the artist’s catalogue raisonne, we restored the painting and had it framed in a style of the period. Today it is part of a prominent American art collection.
Theodore Robinson Variation on “La Vachere” 1889
A TALENT FLOURISHES
The Gallery’s commitment to serving the cultural life of the community is found not only in its exhibition of emerging artists of the present, but also in its keeping the public aware of the great, but nearly forgotten talents of the past. One such artist is Henri Lebasque, whose paintings we first became aware of in the early 1980s. Struck by the artistic quality and endearing familial subject of his work, we embarked upon putting together a representative collection of his paintings. After receiving authority from his eldest child, Marthe Lebasque, we commenced compiling the catalogue raisonne and wrote the first definitive Lebasque monograph to be published since 1928, which accompanied our grand retrospective exhibition in 1986. Known for our expertise on the artist, we received this painting, thought to have been lost from a private collection in Argentina.
Henri Lebasque En Promenade, St. Tropez 1906