From Disney to Philly

May 18,2016 | 14:39 EDT By Bidsquare

American artist Ralston Crawford made possibly the most important decision of his life one day on the lot at the Walt Disney Studios in California. Deciding it was time to re-embrace his art, he turned his back on his position at Disney to return east and study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art and at the Barnes Foundation. Influenced by the work of Matisse and Picasso, he had his first one-man show in 1934.

Crawford is best known for his abstract representations of urban life and industry. Yet on Wednesday, May 25 it will be a depiction of rural life that puts the artist center stage in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ American & European Art sale. Selling as Lot 110, the oil on canvas titled “Smith Silo, Exton” was painted by Crawford in 1936 and is expected by many to be the sale topper.

The American & European Art sale offers a strong catalog of work from both sides of the pond. Lot 6 is by George Inness, a 19th Century artist often called the father of American landscape painting. Titled "Sunset," it shows the influence of the the Hudson River school and the Barbizon school on the work of the New York-born artist. Inness earned international fame in 1889 when he received a gold medal at the Paris Exposition.


Celebrated in popular culture by the Hugh Grant film "Notting Hill," the work of Russian-born Marc Chagall is alway in hot demand. Lot 417, a gouache, India ink and pencil on paper, is impressively titled "Larche portee par David a Jerusalem" and was created by the artist in 1956.

In 1930, Mai Trung Thu was among the first graduating class of the École des Beaux-Arts de lIndochine in Hanoi. Lot 220 - titled "Trois enfants couches" is typical of the artist whose main subjects were women, children and day-to-day life. Despite  his penchant for incorporating traditional Vietnamese conceptions about fine arts and folk arts in his work, Thu spent most of his life in France.

Birger Sandzen produced most of his work while working as an art professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, where he remained on the faculty for fifty-two years. Lot 79 - titled "Pacific Coastline," is a classic Sandzen landscape painted by the artist a few years before his death in 1954.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers American & European Art sale is set down for Wednesday, May 25 and contains 467 expertly curated lots. Look now at the full catalog.