Tuesday, November 23, 2010

when an albers or a shahn could be had for a song...

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a few weeks ago i found this little brochure for the "la tausca art exhibition" held at the santa barbara museum of art in 1948. inclusion into the show was juried by guy pene du bois, adolf dehn, robert gwathmey, karl knaths, yasuo kuniyoshi, and others. awards were also given, by a different jury, which included ben shahn, bradley walker tomlin, and others. there are several interesting things about the show beyond the participants.

first off, instead of charging artists to participate, the brochure states that "all participants (except those who win prizes or make sales) will receive a rental fee of $100 for the use of their work - just as if the fine artist rated the same economic importance as the carpenter at $3.05 per hour or the metropolitan opera tenor at $2,000.00 per night. from any angle, cultural or industrial, this enlightened attitude makes sense..."

all of the work in the exhibition was for sale, and the artists and prices are pretty interesting... here's a bit of the best knowns of the 65 exhibited.

joseph (sic) albers "dark" $800
william baziotes "blue flower" $750
stuart davis "lawn and sky" $800
philip evergood "new york city susanna" $1500
charles howard "the ancestral mitre" $675
karl knaths "fighting cockerel" $1000
yasuo kuniyoshi "this is my playground" $3500
reginald marsh, "lackawanna ferry" $750
george LK morris "mechanical forms" $650
irene rice pereira "yellow square" $900
ben shahn "the boy" $650
raphael soyer "yadida hindu dancer" $1500
bradley walker tomlin "still life" $350

the stuart davis won second prize of $2000, the kuniyoshi won fifth award of $250, and the nicholas vasilieff still life pictured above won first prize of $3000 (more than the cost of any painting in the show). i love the charles howard painting, which won third prize.

i snooped around a little to see if any of these paintings were online in color, and or in museum collections, and discovered the blanton owns the stuart davis painting. you can see a small color image of it here.

for those of you design minded folks, the cover and catalog were designed by milton ackoff.

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2 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Steve, I just saw a list of what MOMA paid for their first three Jasper Johns out of his first show. Flag went for $1000, other pieces were $1000 and $750.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Joey said...

A Charles Howard AND a Stuart Davis for $1475! Lord I wish I had a time machine...

4:04 PM  

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