First off, there’s the art on hand and its overall variety, as well as the depth of its specialties. This being Woodstock, the big draws are works by vintage and contemporary artists working in and from the town. There’s a lot of great work on hand here from the likes of Jehudith Sobel, Eugene Speicher, Rolph Scarlett, Andree Ruellen and Carl Linden; in fact, pretty much the entire spectrum of classic artists from the 1930s-to-1950s heyday of the local scene is represented, including great pieces by Kuniyoshi, Carlson, Cramer, Lee, Ludins and Bolton Brown as well as such newer luminaries as Mary Frank and Joan Snyder. There are also some fine varied works, including grand collections of African masks and totems, Japanese woodblocks and classic serigraphs and other print work from the past century, culled from serious local collections whose provenance or history of ownership can be as prized as the pieces themselves.
Consignments include important pieces from the collection of Milton and Shirley Glaser and the estate of Frank Schwin. Artists include George Bellows, Milton Avery, Louise Nevelson, Christo, David Wojnarowicz and Walt Kuhn. There’s an Edward Steichen portrait of Matisse and a William Gottlieb photo of Ella Fitzgerald with Dizzy Gillespie, plus exhibition posters by Salvador Dalí and Robert Rauschenberg.
But what about those other prized elements? First off, there are the auctioneer and the auction site. The former, here, is the always-entertaining and rurally sophisticated James Cox, a master of the form. The latter is the wonderful WAAM galleries, one of the town’s classic spaces.
Finally, there’s the idea of the cause, the overriding draw of an event, which here means that same Woodstock Artists’ Association and Museum, now 92 years old and one of the key arts associations in our nation. “Buyers can be assured that the quality of the art offered has been professionally vetted by a committee comprised of proven professionals including respected art dealers, a print expert, a top art appraiser, a museum director and knowledgeable collectors,” said WAAM executive director and Museum curator Josephine Bloodgood of the auction, which is featuring over 260 lots in the $100-to-$10,000 range, and an overriding “no reserves” policy on 90 percent of what’s on view.
Before the 1 p.m. launch of the bidding itself on Sunday, September 4, all works will be up for preview viewing through the current week, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Preview hours the day of the auction are 10 a.m. to 12 noon. In addition, the complete catalogue and phone and absentee bid forms are available online at www.woodstockart.org and www.jamescoxgalley.com.
WAAM is located at 28 Tinker Street in the heart of Woodstock. For further information call (845) 679-6940, contact Cox Gallery at (845) 679-7608 or visit www.woodstockart.org.