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Pieces from Two Prestigious Folk Art Collections to Go on the Block

by WorthPoint Staff (04/27/10).

This oil on canvas by Mattie Lou O'Kelley, titled “Watermelon Cutting” is expected to bring between $20,000 and $30,000 at a Folk Art auction hosted by Slotin Auciton on May 1-2, 2010 in Buford, Ga.

This oil on canvas by Mattie Lou O'Kelley, titled “Watermelon Cutting” is expected to bring between $20,000 and $30,000 at a Folk Art auction hosted by Slotin Auciton on May 1-2, 2010 in Buford, Ga.

BUFORD, Ga. – A two-day sale featuring more than 1,000 lots by self-taught artists featuring Southern folk pottery, outsider art, African-American decorative arts, quilts and circus art, as well as new discoveries and contents from major collections will be held May 1-2, 2010 by Slotin Auction.

The sale will be held in the Historic Buford Hall, located at 112 East Shadburn Ave. in Buford, starting promptly at 10 a.m. Headlining the event will be the prestigious folk art collections of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer and Roger Schlaifer. Both collections have been widely exhibited and illustrated. Many of the works were highlighted in the book “American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century” by Jay Johnson and William Ketchum, Jr. The auction will read like a “who’s who” in folk art.

Almost every artist featured in Johnson and Ketchum’s landmark book will be represented in the auction. The sale will also feature an ambitious fundraiser for Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; the Clay Morrison Estate (to benefit the School of Art Institute of Chicago); and property of the Columbus Museum of Art (for its acquisition fund).

Some expected top lots of the auction follow, with accompanying high and low estimates.

An oil on canvas painting by Georgia artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley (1908-1997), titled “The Watermelon Cutting,” signed and dated 1979, is expected to bring $20,000-$30,000. The work served as cover art for William Ketchum’s book “American Folk Art.” Also sold will be a 1978 work by O’Kelley titled “Spotted Cat” (est. $8,000-$12,000), which appeared in Life Magazine.

This mixed media work by Sister Gertrude Morgan, “The Great Now Jerusalem” will sell for an estimated $30,000-$40,000.

This mixed media work by Sister Gertrude Morgan, “The Great Now Jerusalem” will sell for an estimated $30,000-$40,000.

A large (40 inches by 15.5 inches), museum-quality mixed media on paper rendering by Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), titled “The Great Now Jerusalem,” featuring Sister Gertrude marrying Jesus, has been conservatively estimated at $30,000-$40,000. The paint, acrylic, tempera and ballpoint pen on paper work depicts angels and dinner table detail and is signed.

Six works by Clementine Hunter (1886-1988) will cross the block, including “Madona (sic) of the Lilies,” a large paint on board work executed in the 1950s and recently exhibited at the African American Museum in Dallas. The 23-inch by 19-inch painting (larger in its gilded frame) includes authentication papers from Shelby Gilley, and is expected to command $8,000-$12,000.

A China plate teeth face jug (circa late 1960s), attributed to Lanier Meaders, should bring between $3,000 and $5,000.

A China plate teeth face jug (circa late 1960s), attributed to Lanier Meaders, should bring between $3,000 and $5,000.

The auction will feature 23 works by the talented and prolific potters from the Meaders family. A china plate teeth face jug by Lanier Meaders was the top lot at Slotin’s last Southern Fold Pottery Auction in November, bringing $8,855. This sale will feature another china plate teeth face jug, attributed to Lanier (circa late 1960s) and in mint condition (est. $3,000-$5,000).

This enamel on board beauty by Howard Finster, titled "There Were Just Enough,” will cross the block on May 1-2 (est. $5,000-$8,000).

This enamel on board beauty by Howard Finster, titled "There Were Just Enough,” will cross the block on May 1-2 (est. $5,000-$8,000).

What would a Slotin Auction be without Howard Finster (1916-2001) piece? This auction has 26 renderings by the artist, including an enamel on board beauty titled “There Were Just Enough” (est. $5,000-$8,000). The pre-1976 work was exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Alliance Show titled “Howard Finster, Man of Vision,” and was featured in a pair of authoritative folk art books.

Oil on board work by Red Grooms, titled “Bill Traylor and Fighting Dogs” (est. $5,000-$7,000).

Oil on board work by Red Grooms, titled “Bill Traylor and Fighting Dogs” (est. $5,000-$7,000).

An oil on board by Red Grooms, titled “Bill Traylor and Fighting Dogs,” acquired from the Marlborough Gallery, N.Y., is expected to hit $5,000-$7,000. An ink and watercolor on paper by David Hockney, titled “Family Outing,” should make $2,000-$4,000. And “No. 74, The Tragic Fire at Bucks Stables, Independence, Indiana,” by Tella Kitchens, should breeze to $7,000-$10,000.

“Welcoming Lady,” a 6-foot-tall painted cement sculpture by an anonymous maker (circa 1920s) should rise to $4,000-$6,000. Additional artists of note in the sale include Frank Jones, Joseph Yoakum, S.L. Jones, Raymond Coins, Sam Doyle, Thornton Dial, Charlie Willeto, George Lopez, Felipe Archuleta, Robert St. Brice, Forrest King Moses and Edgar Tolson.

Also represented in the sale will be William Dawson, Jesse Howard, Eddie Arning, Bryan McNutt, Justin McCarthy, Victor Joseph Gatto, Andrea Badami, Lawrence Lebduska, Gustav Klumpp, James Castle, Chief Wiley, Frog Smith, Stephen Huneck, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose Tolliver, Robert Brady (nudes), Teofilo Magliocchi (sensual pencil drawings) and many others.

The auction will also feature some rare and special treats, like the anonymous water hose-powered whirligig (circa 1940s), a Flemish Impressionist work by Edmond Verstraeten (1870-1956), an original study by Norman Rockwell, circus freak show banners, African American juke joint signs, ledger drawings (circa 1833), and works of mid-century modernism.

Additional surprises will include contemporary art by Todd Murphy, profound art by Monji, Jewish folk art from Burma, Day of Dead masks, skeletons and costumes, newly acquired drawings by Boykin Richardson (circa 1950s), African American quilts, industrial skull molds, a real North Georgia moonshine still and a drivable 1992 folk art van, painted by Sam McMillan.

For more information about this auction, call 770.532.1115, e-mail to auction@slotinfolkart.com or visit the Slotin Auction web site.

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