Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Etienne Bignou, Paris (acquired from the above).
Carstairs Gallery, New York (acquired from the estate of the above, circa 1952).
Acquired from the above by the late owner, January 1958.
Please note the correct dimensions:
13 7/8 x 21 7/8 in. (35.2 x 55.6 cm.)
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JAMES PEARSON DUFFY
James Pearson Duffy, longtime Detroit businessman, was a consummate patron of the arts, and champion of the city's arts scene. Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Director Graham W.J. Beal said of Duffy, "Jim was extraordinary in so many ways. If anyone can be said to have danced to a different drummer, it was Jim. His passion for art manifested itself all the time, and over a lifetime he collected avidly. He collected widely but gave special support to Detroit artists by relentless acquisition of their works--the best sort of support that can be given. His generosity to the DIA in gifts of works of art and funds puts him in the top ranks of DIA patrons."
Born in Cleveland in 1923, Duffy graduated from Georgetown University in 1947 and while still in college began weekend jaunts to New York to learn about art. It was on these weekend trips and summer excursions to Europe that he developed what became a lifelong passion for the visual arts.
Duffy helped his parents collect 19th century American and English paintings and decorative arts. He remembered with great fondness the conversations he had with his mother, Helen Pearson Duffy, about these works, but most especially their discussions of paintings he discovered and recommended that his parents purchase by School of Paris artists Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy and Georges Rouault, among others.
In 1947 when Duffy became an employee of the family-owned pipefitting and value supply business, Edward W. Duffy & Company, he took up residence in Detroit. Duffy assumed control of the company from his father in 1960, and it was at the company headquarters and warehouse on West Jefferson that many of Duffy's commissioned works were later installed. The company motto soon became "We put art anywhere and everywhere we can."
"To Jim it was all good; it was the good that mattered. He loved making a difference, making grand supportive gestures, helping, being part of the process," reminisced onetime Detroit artist John Egner. For Duffy, though, the quest was a two-way street: discovering meaning in an artwork helped him discover a bit of each artist's genius and at the same time allowed him to claim part of his humanity.
As he supported Detroit institutions in life, Duffy left a bequest to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Selections from the Collections of the Friends of Modern Art, 1969.