''The King's Tent'', 1938, signed lower right: Millard Owen Sheets, titled on the stretcher and gallery affixed to the stretcher, oil on canvas, 32'' H x 36'' W, est: $30,000/40,000 Note: The King?s Tent'', Millard Sheets' early oil painting from 1928, was executed while the artist was a student at Chouinard Art Institute. The painting depicts a Gypsy tent camp located at the Whittier Narrows, just east of Los Angeles. The camp was erected by Gypsies from around the United States who came together to elect a new queen. ''It was a huge encampment, very, very exciting, lots of color?.The tents were decorated. It was almost like going back to the days of knighthood with all the tents and the horses?? (M. Sheets, interview by G.M. Goodwin, ''Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait: Millard Sheets'', Oral History Program, UCLA, 1977, vol. 1, p. 37). Sheets recalled that he skipped classes for nearly a month during the six-week Gypsy encampment in order to execute at least a dozen oil paintings on-site, including the present work (M. Sheets, p. 37). The color and exotic ritual of the Gypsy culture is on full display in ''The King?s Tent'', which captures vibrantly dressed figures in small groups gathering before a line of white tents. Painted in the thick, bold brushwork that defines Sheets' early oils, ''The King?s Tent'' is a rare and important work from this maturing period. The year 1928 was a seminal moment for Sheets. He was approached for representation by The Dalzell Hatfield Gallery, located near the Chouinard campus, and they purchased about 20 canvases at the onset of their association, including ''The King?s Tent''. Sheets estimated that they sold at least 3,000 of his paintings and prints during their three-decades-long relationship (M. Sheets, p. ix). Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, CA, acquired directly from the artist; by descent in the family to the present owner
Visual: Generally good condition. Craquelure scattered throughout, concentrated mainly in the lighter pigments. Stretcher bar crease along the upper edge. A pea-sized spot of paint loss lower left. Blacklight: No evidence of restoration under blacklight.