Christie's eye-opener | Rock Candy

Christie's eye-opener

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Candy fans, my eyes have been directed elsewhere, since I don't get to concentrate only on art here at the Arkansas Times! But I'm taking a break from news duties to mention the Christie's auction Dec. 1, "Important American Paintings and Sculpture." Since Alice Walton started building Crystal Bridges Museum for American Art, I've been looking at Sotheby's and Christie's catalogs as if they were gift catalogs, wondering what Walton might put under the tree in Bentonville when CBMAA opens 11/11/11.

I hope Walton hasn't quit buying, because I'd like for her to select several things from this auction. Just for me. Here's a list:

Charles Ephraim Burchfield's "Red Trilliums and Hemlock," watercolor on paperboard. I have a thing for this artist, and every time I see a Burchfield at auction, I'm hoping it will be part of the museum's collection. None has been announced yet. Estimated bid: $150k to $250k.

John Koch's "Sunday Noon," oil on canvas. It was painted in 1973, a salon scene, jarringly modern. Estimated bid: $80k to $120k.

Everett Shinn's "Snowstorm Broadway," pastel, gouache and watercolor on paperboard. I'm just crazy about it. Estimated bid: $70k to $100k.

Louis Ritman's "Lady by a Window," oil on canvas. To my eye, an American Bonnard. Estimated bid: $250k to $350k.

I could go on and on — about Milton Avery's "Red Roses by the Sea" or Elie Nadelman's "Early Ideal Head" or George Tooker's "Window X" — or I could provide this link to the catalogue and ask for readers' ideas on what they suppose or hope Walton might pick up at the auction.

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