• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2055

    Sporting and Wildlife Art

    3 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 96

    Henry Koehler (American, b.1927)

    Stage Door Johnny pulling up

    Price Realised  


    Henry Koehler (American, b.1927)
    Stage Door Johnny pulling up
    signed 'HENRY KOEHLER' (lower right) and signed, inscribed and dated 'STAGE DOOR JOHNNY PULLING UP/HENRY KOEHLER.1968' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 24 in. (45.7 x 61 cm.)

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    Stage Door Johnny was foaled in 1965 by Prince John, out of Peroxide Blonde. Bred by W.S. Farish and O.M. Phipps in Kentucky, he was owned by Greentree Stables and trained by John M. Gaver, Jr. In 1968 he was a champion two-year-old, winning five races that year including The Belmont Stakes, Dwyer Handicap, and Saranac Handicap. He was elected to the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame on 21 January, 1977. He is depicted here in the racing silks of Greentree Stables.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Henry Koehler is widely regarded as one of the finest living sporting artists. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, his long association with the sporting life began soon after his graduation from Yale when his illustrations began to appear in The New Yorker, Town & Country and Sports Illustrated. His first exhibition was in 1961 and since that time, he has shown over sixty times in London, Paris, Dublin, Johannesburg and throughout the United States. His works can be seen at The National Racing Museum in Saratoga and at The National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket. He has painted several portraits of well-known thoroughbreds on commission but prefers to capture 'the flavor, sound and smell of racing'. He is unique amongst contemporary artists in being able to capture with such intimacy the world of the horse, not only on the hunting field and racecourse, but also in the boot room, polo lines, and in his sensitive studies of jockeys before and after racing. He now lives and works in Southampton, New York.