It was pleasant to watch the success in sales that works by women artists enjoyed at Sotheby’s latest sale of American Art on the 13th of November, 2017 in New York. Overall, the sale rendered 19,407,375 USD in revenue. Among the works sold were paintings by numerous well-known artists such as Joseph Stella, Milton Avery, Georgia O’Keeffe and one of our own favorites, Winslow Homer. Despite the prevailing male presence in the sale, works by women artists demonstrated a great success during this auction.
Among the women artist representatives of Sotheby’s American Art auction were the historic Mary Cassatt, famous American illustrator Jessie Willcox Smith, and Georgia O’Keeffe whose painting of a shell sold for an impressive 1,515,000 USD. Works by Jessie Willcox Smith did not run below 100.000 USD while Mary Cassatt’s Master Robert Kelso Cassatt sold for 1,455,000 USD. Women sculptors were also popular throughout this sale with a bronze of the goddess Diana by Anna Hyatt Huntington having sold for 225.000 USD while Harriet Whitney Frishmuth’s Reflections sold for 250.000 USD. What came as a pleasant surprise, however, was the selling of a work by Lilla Cabot Perry which reached the price of $150.000 against the odds that calculated a high estimate of $80.000, and the sale of “Irises” by Henrietta Shore which went for an impressive 68,750 USD.
It is intriguing to consider what this success brought from works by women artists this November may mean for the future of similar such sales and the rise of popularity and awareness around the quality and historical importance of women artists in America.