Andrew Wyeth was a visual artist, primarily a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style. He was one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century. His artworks left an indelible impression on Eric Sambol after a museum class trip in the 1970s. Now, forty years later the collection of thirteen works by three generations of Wyeth will be offered at Christie’s sale of American Art on 23 May in New York.
This collectin include paintings by Wyeth’s equally famous father, the great classic novel illustrator N.C. Wyeth, and his son, Jamie Wyeth – more precisely six by Andrew, six by Jamie, and one by N.C. It is one of the largest collections of Wyeths it has ever sold.
Elizabeth Sterling, Head of American Art at Christie’s in New York said: “It is a privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of works from the collection of Eric and Cynthia Sambol. The artworks they have acquired over the years are a testament to the Sambols’ deep seeded commitment to forming a spectacular collection that captures the Wyeths’ vision of the American landscape.”
A businessman, photographer, and philanthropist, Eric Sambol said he fell in love with Andrew Wyeth’s work while on a high school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1976 to see “Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth: Kuerners and Olsons.”
“It solidified my fascination with the Wyeth family’s work, an enthrallment that remained with me for decades. … No one could compare,” he said.
Highlights from the three generations of Wyeth include “Flat Boat,” a 1988 watercolor of a winter scene showing a rowboat tied up near the shore by a bare tree, is expected to sell for $250,000 to $350,000, as well as “Lighthouse Dandelions,” an oil painting of a luminous Maine lighthouse set against a dramatic night sky, has the same pre-sale estimate. “Norry Seavey,” a 1938 oil in hues of blue depicting a fisherman, could fetch as much as $500,000.
One of the most expensive pieces in the auction is Andrew Wyeth’s “Rocky Hill,” a watercolor of the artist’s beloved dog, Nell, seated in the woods – a frequent subject of the artist’s paintings. It’s estimated to sell for $1.8 million to $2.4 million.