Sunday, November 17, 2019 will mark the seventh annual Sporting Art Auction at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion—a cooperative venture between the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house and its Lexington, Kentucky neighbor, Cross Gate Gallery, a leading source of the world’s finest sporting art. Collectors will take home works by highly regarded artists at prices possibly as low as $900, many under $3,000...others, truly exceptional works, as high as six figures.
This year’s offerings feature 189 lots of paintings and sculptures by masters long gone as well as by leading contemporary sporting artists of the day. Among the European artists represented are Henry Alken, Peter Curling, John Emms, Harry Hall, the various Herrings, Michael Lyne, Sir Alfred Munnings, and many others. American artists this year include Paul Brown, Juli Kirk, Booth Malone, LeRoy Neiman, Sandra Oppegard, Andre Pater, and Larry Wheeler.
A Franklin Voss oil on canvas of A. Henry Higginson’s Middlesex Hounds hunting in the Millbrook country is expected to fetch $8,000 to $10,000. This painting, shown above as the lead photo, dates back to the early twentieth century, a period when Higginson often took his hounds to good hunting countries for his sport.
I was especially pleased to see a lovely foxhunting work by the British-born American artist Heather St. Clair Davis. Rarely are her works seen at auction, and this one, “Out Hunting,” appears to be fully representative of her amazing talent with landscapes.
At the low end of the price range, a British hunting scene by Lionel Edwards in watercolor features an elegant stop-hatted gentleman in scarlet and a lady riding sidesaddle as the principal figures. “Oceans of Rolling Grass” is expected to sell for $900 to $1,200
Moving up in price, but still affordable considering the artist’s lustrous body of work, is a pastel and pencil “Study of a Cow” by Rosa Bonheur (France), estimated to bring $2,000 to $3,000.
A watercolor, gouache, and pencil of staff and hounds passing through the village of Exford (UK) by Peter Biegel is estimated to go in the same range. Your correspondent along with many Americans riding with the Exmoor foxhounds and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds know that tiny village well, and, I expect would be very tempted to own this painting both for the fond memories as well as for the artistic value. And bids may be made by phone.
Andre Pater has for some years been enjoying the rapt attention of the art world. Born in Poland, Pater worked for a time as an architectural designer at a firm in Dallas. There, he was drawn to the Arabian horse world. He moved to Kentucky in 1988—Thoroughbred breeding country and a sporting world of racing and foxhunting. Those subjects as well as cattle and wildlife thoroughly absorbed his creative urges, and he is already considered a master of the genre.
Pater’s Summer Stream is expected to fetch the highest price in this year’s auction—$100,000 to $125,000. Three years ago the hammer fell at $276,000 for Pater’s magnificent pastel, Red Arrow, a portrait of a Lakota warrior, circa 1870, wearing a buckskin war-shirt decorated in locks of horsehair and scalps along his arm, and draped in a buffalo robe.
The Sporting Art Auction at Keeneland promises to be exciting as well as artistically fulfilling. The works have been on display since the September Yearling Sales and have been seen throughout the October Fall Race Meet just concluded. The works to be auctioned may now be seen by appointment until the November Breeding Stock Sales which begin on November 6. From that date, they will remain available for viewing until sold at auction on November 17.
The Sales Catalog of artworks, along with the history of both distinguished institutions, Keeneland and Cross Gate, may be viewed onscreen or purchased. Bids may be made at the auction, by phone through prior arrangement, and online. For questions, call 859-233-3856 or inquire by email.
Posted October 28, 2019