Published On: Mon, Aug 27th, 2018

Paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionists on tap this fall at Rago Auctions in Lambertville

Untitled winter scene by George W. Sotter

Rago Auctions in Lambertville will present locally-consigned works by notable New Hope School artists, never before offered for sale at auction, on Saturday, Nov. 10.

These paintings come from some of Pennsylvania’s most celebrated impressionists, including Walter Emerson Baum, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, Nancy Maybin Ferguson, John Fulton Folinsbee, George W. Sotter, and Robert Spencer.

The star of this segment of the American and European Fine Art Auction is a large, untitled winter night scene by George W. Sotter. It depicts the artist’s studio from above — an angle which he would never have seen, but could only have imagined. This is a Sotter masterwork; a keen demonstration of the artist’s ability to make the darkness light, gilding a cold, blue winter night with the glow of the moon.

“April” by Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge

Another splendid landscape comes from Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, who settled in Lumberville in 1920, and joined the Philadelphia Ten in 1922 after training at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women with Henry B. Snell. Among the most well-known of the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Coppedge employed bright, vibrant colors, and sophisticated techniques, bridging Impressionism with Modernism. Her painting entitled “April” is a fine example of her bold use of color in a springtime landscape, say the folks at Rago.

The art colony of New Hope was a small community with a broad reach. The Pennsylvania Impressionists are also known for scenes painted during their travels to various New England locales, including the shorelines of Massachusetts and Maine. Examples in November’s sale include George W. Sotter’s painting “Off Cape Ann” and an untitled nautical scene of the Maine shoreline by John Fulton Folinsbee. Despite being stricken with polio and confined to a wheelchair, Folinsbee painted en plein air like many of his peers, depicting landscapes whose real-world subjects have remained largely unchanged to this day.

“The Delaware” by Walter Emerson Baum

Additional Pennsylvania Impressionist works from this sale include “The Delaware” by Walter Emerson Baum, founder of the Baum School of Art and the Allentown Art Museum; an untitled scene of city hall (likely in Provincetown, Maine) by Nancy Maybin Ferguson, also of the Philadelphia Ten; and “Windy Day” by Robert Spencer, an artist celebrated for his paintings of local mills and the working people of the Delaware River region.

Untitled work by Nancy Maybin Ferguson

The catalogue for the Nov. 10 auction goes online at the end of October. The exhibition begins Nov 3.

For those unable to attend, telephone/absentee bidding is available at (609) 397-9374, and online bidding is available.

Located at 333 N. Main St. in Lambertville, Rago Arts and Auction Center is a leading U.S. auction house with $33 million in annual sales.

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