Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 edition of "Mooney Makes Sense" in Boerne Business Monthly

Going Once, Going Twice


Auction Houses have been a mainstay in the art world for centuries, with the oldest art auction house title belonging to Stockholms Auktionsverk, founded in 1674. Perishable goods, spoils of war, land, personal possessions, prisoners, slaves and serfs are just a few of the things that have seen the auction block in the last 300 years.  Fine art has not been different; looted and pillaged art found their way to the mainstream auction houses.  After WWII the German Nazis stole priceless fine art from hundreds and hundreds of families with some eventually resurfacing at auction; prompting many art collectors to reevaluate legal ownership.  Instances like these court battle cases prompted the creation of The Lost Art Register where families can claim ownership rights and auctioneers and auction houses can register fine art to compare with this extensive database of missing art.

The top ten auction houses in the world include Bonhams, Christie’s, Dorotheum, Phillips de Pury & Company, Sotheby’s, Stockholms Auktionsverk, Tajan, and Villa Grisebach Auktionen.  Take no fear Texas, there is a small group of trusted art auction houses right here in the Lonestar State, giving us opportunity to buy, sell and ponder fine art selections without traveling to the coasts or over oceans .

 Vogt Auction, Heritage Auction, Altermann Auctioneers, and Simpson Auctioneers a few of the fine art auction houses available to the public, not counting local representatives to Sotheby’s, and Christie’s.

It is always a unique experience to find that “needle in the haystack” when filtering through estate sales or auctions.  These matchless artworks can be an original by an unknown painter or a rediscovered masterpiece by a world renowned artist.

Two such works that have graced the walls of JR Mooney Galleries to be found from an estate include the irreplaceable paintings by Gail Sherman Corbett (1871-1952) and Anthonius Henricus “Toon” Koster (1913-1989).

Corbett was a student of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1898-1899. Her pictorial depictions of turn-of-the-century Paris street scenes cemented her reputation as a leading female figure in the Impressionistic genre. Her achievements include memberships to the National Sculpture Society, 1907, Architectural League of New York; National Association of Women Artists, and American Numistic Society.  Outstanding exhibition histories include Art Institute of Chicago, 1912, 1916; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Annual, 1902-06 (as Sherman), 1913; Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (medal); National Association of Women Artists, 1935 (medal); National Sculpture Society, 1923. Corbett is also referenced in the Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, Sound View Press.

Antonius "Toon" Koster, a renowned Dutch artist, was born in Schiedam, (South Holland) Netherlands in 1913. He went to the Art Academy in Rotterdam, Netherlands and became a painter, printmaker, industrial artist, enamellist and muralist. During most of his artistic career he lived and worked in Nieuwkoop near the Nieuwkoopse Plassen. Koster was a member of the Dutch Federation of Visual Artists, and died November 25, 1989 in Woerden, Netherlands. Koster often used dark earthy colors and painted in broad coarse brush strokes, creating depressive and gloomy atmospheres; making for subtle impressionistic qualities. When asked to which movement he belonged or which subjects he preferred, he answered: “There is no movement… and everything repeats itself.”

Gallery Presidents, Directors, and Owners, including Mr. Robert Mooney of J.R. Mooney Galleries take stock of local auction houses, lots and estates looking for treasures to add to an already impressive gallery stock of inventory.

©Gabriel Diego Delgado

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