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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Acquires Hank Willis Thomas Sculpture, Diane Arbus Sells at Christie’s

Plus, Sotheby’s auctions off works from the collection of Marsha and Robin Williams, and billionaire Bill Gross’s collection of stamps brings in $10 million.

Hank Willis Thomas, "All Power to All People" (2017), aluminum and stainless steel, 98 x 43 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (image courtesy PAFA)
Hank Willis Thomas, “All Power to All People” (2017), aluminum and stainless steel, 98 x 43 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (image courtesy PAFA)

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has acquired nine artworks to be added to its permanent collection of American art. The pieces include works on paper, paintings, and an outdoor sculpture. The sculpture, Hank Willis Thomas’s “All Power to All People” (2017), was on view across from Philadelphia City Hall as part of the public art and history initiative, Monument Lab 2017. Included in the nine new acquisitions are six 19th century etchings by Stephen Parrish, Charles Adam Platt, Theodore Robinson, Frank Weston Benson, Ernest David Roth, and Julian Alden Weir. These works will be a part of the upcoming paper exhibition, Etch and Flow, on view in 2019. [via email announcement]

The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland, New Zealand has acquired a rare 1908–09 Clement Bayard two-door open runabout vehicle in full working condition. It is a pre-World War II vehicle whose bodywork was designed and built in New Zealand. It was originally purchased in 1910 for Edward Furness Barton, a wealthy sheep farmer and then in 1958 as a museum piece by George Edward Gilltrap. The vehicle was on display in the Gilltrap Motor Museum and then the Gilltrap Auto Museum, and it stayed with the Gilltrap family until 1989. Beginning in mid-November, the vehicle will be on display in the exhibition Accelerate: Driving New Zealand.

24¢ 1869 green & violet, center inverted block of four, beautifully centered, rich colors and sharp clear impressions clearly showing the inverted vignettes, segmented cork cancels of New York City (image courtesy Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.)
24¢ 1869 green & violet, center inverted block of four, beautifully centered, rich colors and sharp clear impressions clearly showing the inverted vignettes, segmented cork cancels of New York City (image courtesy Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.)

Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.’s sale of stamps from billionaire Bill Gross’s collection brought in $10 million on October 3, breaking a record for a single-day auction dedicated to philately. The sale’s top lot was a unique block of the 24¢ 1869 stamp with a pictorial inverted centered error. According to the auction gallery’s website, this stamp was “widely acclaimed the most important item in United States philately.” The block sold for $625,000.

Adolf Wölfli, "Der San Savathor" (1926), graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper, 58 1/2 x 83 inches (image courtesy Sotheby's)
Adolf Wölfli, “Der San Savathor” (1926), graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper, 58 1/2 x 83 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams auction in New York brought in a total of $6,088,250 on October 4. The sale’s top lot, Adolf Wölfli’sDer San Salvathor” (1926), sold for $795,000.

Sotheby’s sale of first editions, reviews, autograph letters, and manuscripts from the library of R. & B.L. VII in the 19th century (1840–1898) in Paris brought in a total of €3,477,064 (~$4,023,000) on October 9. The sale’s top lot, Arthur Rimbaud’s autographed letter to his sister Isabelle, signed and dated March 10, 1891, sold for €405,000 (~$469,000).

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day auction in London brought in a total of £14,008,500 (~$18,491,000) on October 6. the sale’s top lot, George Condo’sThe Prisoner” (2009), sold for £730,000 (~$963,575).

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening auction in London brought in a total of £33,865,900 (~$44,702,000) on October 5. The sale’s top lot, Adrian Ghenie’sBoogeyman” (2010), sold for £4,851,900 (~$6,404,000).

Sotheby’s The History of Now: The Collection of David Teiger auction in London brought in a total of £35,921,100 (~$47,415,000) on October 5. The sale’s top lot, Jenny Saville’sPropped” (1992), sold for £9,537,250 (~$12,589,000).

Sotheby’s sale from the collection of Elizabeth Pryce in Paris brought in a total of €994,110 (~$1,151,000) on October 10. The sale’s top lot, a flute stopper from Biwat, Yuat River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea sold for €225,000 (~$261,000).

Alfred Stieglitz, "The Terminal, New York, 1893" (printed c. 1910), large-format photogravure on tissue, mounted on original board, image: 10 x 13 1/4 inches, sheet: 11 x 15 3/4 inches, mount: 12 x 16 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Alfred Stieglitz, “The Terminal, New York, 1893” (printed c. 1910), large-format photogravure on tissue, mounted on original board, image: 10 x 13 1/4 inches, sheet: 11 x 15 3/4 inches, mount: 12 x 16 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s An American Journey: The Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Collection of Photographic Masterworks sale in New York brought in a total of $3,427,500 on October 4–5. The sale’s top lot, Alfred Stieglitz’sThe Terminal, New York, 1893” (1910) sold for $225,00.

Diane Arbus, "Identical twins, Roselle, N.J., 1966" (printed 1966–1969), gelatin silver print, image: 15 x 14 1/2 inches, sheet: 20 x 16 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Diane Arbus, “Identical twins, Roselle, N.J., 1966” (printed 1966–1969), gelatin silver print, image: 15 x 14 1/2 inches, sheet: 20 x 16 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s sale of Photographs in New York brought in a total of $3,297,562 on October 5. The sale’s top lot, Diane Arbus’s “Identical twins, Roselle, N.J., 1966” (1966–1969), sold for $732,500.

Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art Day auction in London brought in a total of £20,844,000 (~$27,509,000) on October 5. The sale’s top lot, Ernst Wilhelm Nay’sVom Aufsteigenden Blau (From the Rising Blue)” (1956), sold for £848,750 (~$1,120,000).

Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art Evening auction in London brought in a total of £84,610,000 (~$111,664,000) on October 4. The sale’s top lot, Francis Bacon’sFigure in Movement” (1972), sold for £19,921,250 (~$26,291,000).

Christie’s Thinking Italian sale in London brought in a total of £40,408,000 (~$53,328,000) on October 4. The sale’s top lot, Lucio Fontana’sConcetto spaziale, La fine di Dio” (1963), sold for £17,108,750 (~$22,579,000).

Christie’s The Pavilion Sale — Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in Hong Kong brought in a total of 32,237,750 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (~$4,114,000) on October 4. The sale’s top lot, a Huanghuali square incense stand, Xiangji, from the late Ming-Qing dynasty, 17th–18th century, sold for 3,700,000 HKD (~$472,000).

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