• American Paintings  auction at Christies

    Sale 2199

    American Paintings

    29 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 84

    Edward Kemeys (1843-1907)


    Price Realised  


    Edward Kemeys (1843-1907)
    inscribed 'Edward Kemeys.' with artist's device (along the base)--inscribed 'Gray Spirit of a day gone by/In canons haunted by thy cry/Coyote thou hast been for aye/Part of the lone lands mystery' (on the base)--inscribed 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS/N.Y. (along the base)
    bronze with verdigris patina
    26 in. (66 cm.) high

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Known for his life-sized, realistic representations of animals, Edward Kemeys acknowledged his penchant for sculpting at a young age while employed by the Civil Engineering Corps and assiting with the layout of Central Park in New York. In 1877, Kemeys traveled to Paris where he further expanded his skills and became acquainted with well-known French artist and fellow animal sculptor, Alfred Barye. Inspired by his studies abroad, Kemeys returned to the United States and set out on hunting excursions to the West to observe his subjects firsthand. "Studying the wild animals in their native environment, he represented them sympathetically and with great truth." (New York Times, Exhibition of Kemeys's Works, January 12, 1908) Unlike many of his artistic contemporaries, Kemeys placed his bronzes in realistic settings to further emphasize their natural habitat. Kemeys works can be seen in Central Park, New York and Fairmont Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and are currently in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The artist's anatomical accuracy and intimate understanding of animal movement and behavior established Kemeys as America's foremost sculptor of wildlife of the Nineteenth Century.


    Private collection, New York, circa 1950s.
    By descent.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.