Edward Hopper’s “East Wind Over Weehawken” will lead Christie’s sale of American Art in New York, scheduled for December 5. The proceeds of the sale will benefit the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, who also owns one more Hopper’s painting. In 1952, the academy in Philadelphia, bough this masterpiece from 1934, from the artist’s dealer Frank K. M. Rehn for $2,750. Now, the academy’s museum hopes to get between $22 million and $28 million at the auction.
“Christie’s is honored to have been entrusted by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with the sale of East Wind Over Weehawken by Edward Hopper. On the heels of our May sale, which achieved the highest total that the category has seen since May 2008, it is clear that the market for American Modernism is thriving. Examples from the genre have soared at auction in recent seasons, driven by a renewed demand for these masterpiece-quality works,” said Elizabeth Sterling, Head of American Art at Christie’s in New York.
Weehawken has been shown at PAFA many times and has been included in major Hopper exhibitions elsewhere, most recently a touring European retrospective that closed this year in Paris.
The academy owns the only oil paintings by Hopper in Philadelphia. (The other is Apartment Houses, from 1923.) The artist was not prolific, producing only about 360 paintings in his career. He died in 1967 at 84.
Prices of the occasional Hoppers entering the market have soared in recent years. Actor and collector Steve Martin sold Hotel Window at auction in 2006 for $26.9 million, a record for Hopper.