The American Art department offers the finest in American paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the colonial period to 1950. Artists included are from the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, Ashcan School, Western Art, American Modernism and Illustration Art, among others. Christie's hosts major sales of American Art in New York twice a year as well as sales of more moderately priced works in the early spring and fall.
Over the past decade, the American Art department has set over 100 world records at auction. Among them is the record for a 19th Century American landscape, $17,737,000 for Thomas Moran’s Green River of Wyoming. Others include records for Mary Cassatt's Children Playing with a Dog ($6,200,000), Georgia O’Keeffe's Calla Lilies with Red Anemone ($6,166,000) and Andrew Wyeth's Ericksons ($10,344,000). Christie’s American Art department has been at the forefront of the market for many years and continues to be one of the world’s top vendors in this field.
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Peter Kloman started his career at Christie’s in the Estates & Appraisals department, which readied him for his Specialist’s role in American Paintings. Prior to joining Christie’s, Peter worked at both the National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Peter received a B.A. in Art History from the University of Virginia.
As Deputy Chairman and formerly head of our American Paintings Department, Eric Widing has worked at Christie’s for over fourteen years. His interest in art started early, when at the age of eleven he purchased his first art book, an exhibition catalogue on the art of Andrew Wyeth. Prior to joining Christie’s, Mr. Widing worked for seventeen years as a dealer in American Art, first with the Spanierman Gallery in New York, and later as the director of the Richard York Gallery. Subsequently he established his own gallery, Widing & Peck Fine Art, on East 66th Street. His gallery represented the Estate of George Bellows and handled important American art from 1750 to 1950 – the focus of Mr. Widing’s entire career. In all, Mr. Widing has spent over three decades in the American Art business.
Mr. Widing’s responsibilities as Deputy Chairman focus primarily on the American Paintings department. Additionally he works closely with other departments across Christie’s business, and continues to support major clients.
During Mr. Widing’s tenure at Christie’s, the American Paintings Department has established new world records for artists in virtually every category of American Art. Among them is the 2008 sale of Thomas Moran’s Green River of Wyoming for $17,737,000, the highest price ever achieved at auction for any 19th century American painting. Also in recent years Christie’s established a new world record for the Stieglitz circle with the sale of Marsden Hartley’s Lighthouse for $6,313,000. In 2011, the sale of Oscar Bluemner’s Illusion of Prairie, New Jersey (Red Farm at Pochuck) for $5,346,500 affirmed Christie’s leadership in American art. With respect to private sales, an important part of Christie’s business, Mr. Widing was one of a team of two who sold Thomas Eakins’ The Gross Clinic in 2006 for $68,000,000, the highest price ever achieved for a work of art in his field.
A recognized authority on American painting and sculpture, Mr. Widing is often cited in the national press. He has been quoted in The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Antiques and the Arts Weekly, Art + Auction Magazine, Architectural Digest, Town & Country Magazine, The Art Newsletter, The Maine Antiques Digest, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. Recently Mr. Widing has been interviewed by National Public Radio and has appeared on Bloomberg Television. He continues to be a frequent source of information on the American field. Mr. Widing has also lectured widely at museums across the country and on occasion to university students. He is a graduate of Williams College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Karl E. Weston prize for his senior thesis in Art History.
Elizabeth Sterling joined the American Art department in 2004. Prior to joining Christie’s, she interned with a major New York auction house and worked for a prominent American Paintings dealer. Ms. Sterling received a B.A. in Art History from William College
Elizabeth Beaman joined the American Paintings department in New York as Vice President, Senior Specialist in June 2011. Prior to joining Christie’s, Elizabeth held the position of Vice President, Specialist of American Paintings at another major auction house in New York, where she worked for 10 years. During her time there, Elizabeth participated in several notable sales, including the collections of Rita & Daniel Fraad, Vivian & Meyer Potamkin, and The New York Public Library and was responsible for overseeing the catalogues for the major sales. Elizabeth earned a dual degree in Art History and French from Vanderbilt University.
Catherine Foster joined the American Art department in 2008. Prior to joining Christie’s, she worked for a prominent American Paintings dealer in New York. Ms. Foster earned a B.A. in History of Art from Middlebury College.
Jennifer Klaus joined the American Art department in 2012. Prior to joining Christie’s, she served as an Associate at a private gallery specializing in American Art. Ms. Klaus received a B.A. in Art History from Mary Washington College and an M.A. from Christie’s Education.