Lot 126

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American, (1881-1961)
"Portrait of Marion Fox at 11 Months"
oil on canvas
signed and dated lower right "Agnes Pelton 1925," titled and dated on the reverse "Feb 1925"

  • Private Collection, Massachusetts; Private Collection, Indiana; Hirschl and Adler, New York, New York; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California.
  • Dimensions:
  • 34 x 38 1/4 inches
  • Artist Name:
  • Literature:
  • "Eyes of the Art World Center On Many Striking Exhibits at Independent Artists' Salon," in "Buffalo Courier," November 15, 1925, p. 84 (illustrated). (A copy of this clipping accompanies the lot.)
  • Medium:
  • oil on canvas
  • Notes:
  • Like many modern American artists, Agnes Pelton (1881-1961) pursued a variety of styles and subjects over her long career, from dreamy "Imaginative" paintings based on mythological sources to bright, colorful "Abstractions" motivated by her spiritual beliefs in New Thought, Theosophy, astrology, and Agni Yoga. Pelton also painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, traveling widely to accept commissions. In the mid-1920s, for example, she traveled to Hawaii to paint the portrait of the daughter of Chinese doctors in Honolulu, and to Lebanon to paint the children of the president of the American University in Beirut.

    Pelton honed her portraiture skills while visiting art patroness Mabel Dodge in Taos, and in 1919 exhibited pastels of Pueblo Indians at the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe. In the 1920s, living on Long Island in an old windmill near Southampton, she painted pictures of local elites such as Samuel Parrish, founder of the Parrish Art Museum, and children such as Marion Fox at 11 Months, a stalwart toddler shown standing guard in a playpen full of stuffed animals. In 1925, she exhibited Marion Fox at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Salon of Independent Artists, where reviewers described Pelton as a "noted child portrait artist."

    (Comments by Erika Doss, author of the forthcoming publication, "Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth Century American Artists and Religion," to be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022, featuring chapters on Joseph Cornell, Agnes Pelton (above work to be illustrated), Mark Tobey and Andy Warhol.)

    The late Michael Zakian, past director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University and noted Pelton scholar stated of this work "...instead of being a random commission, it appears portraiture was a crucial part of her efforts immediately before discovering her Transcendental Abstractions, so they play a bigger role than most people believe."

    Framed dimensions: 40 x 43 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches

    tags: oil painting, female artist, listed artist, portrait, modern / contemporary, 20th century
  • Condition:
  • overall very good condition; unlined canvas; very minor restoration apparent under UV; mostly to edges
    Condition Report Note:
    We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE. Thank you for your interest in our sale.

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by Shannon's
October 28, 2021 6:00 PM EDT
Milford, CT, US

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