• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 23 May 2018

RESULTS: Christie's Spring Season of American Art Totals $141,650,87

Art of The Americas, Evening Sale: The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: $106,883,500

American Art: $32,843,500

American Art Online Auction: $1,923,875

New YorkChristie’s American Art sale on May 22 realized $32,843,500, with 82% sold by lot and 91% sold by value and the American Art Online Auction totaled $1,923,875, with 77% sold by lot and 100% sold by value. Together with the Art of the Americas, Evening Sale from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, the spring season of American Art totals $141,650,875.

The top lot of the May 22 sale was Georgia O’Keeffe’s seminal work, Hibiscus, painted in 1939 during her three-month Hawaiian sojourn at the behest of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which realized $4,812,500.Other notable lots include Milton Avery’s Red Nude which sold for $3,012,500, more than double its high estimate, Norman Rockwell’s Piano Tuner, which sold for $2,772,500, and Childe Hassam’s Conversation on the Avenue which brought in $2,412,500. The top lot of the American Art Online Auction was Thomas Hill’s Yosemite Valley, which sold for $93,750, above the high estimate of $50,000.

New World Auction Records were set during the May 22 sale for John Kane, Douglass Crockwell, and the record for Charles Ephraim Burchfield was reset just 2 weeks after being established in the Art of the Americas, Evening Sale from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. 

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Art of the Americas Evening Sale totaled $106,883,500 with seven artist records established, including Gilbert Stuart ($11.6 million), Charles Sheeler ($2.2 million), Fairfield Porter ($1.9 million), Stefan Hirsch ($187,500), Morris Graves ($408,500) and Diego Rivera ($9.8 million). The top lot of the sale was Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XIX, which sold for $14.2 million and formerly resided in David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan office. Other key prices were Edward Hopper’s Cape Ann Granite and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Near Abiquiu, New Mexico, with both selling for $8.4 million, and John Singer Sargent’s San Geremia, which achieved $9.1 million.

Overall, the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller has totaled $832 million, and established the highest total achieved for any private collection offered at auction during the first night of the sale week. 22 world auction records have been set within the collection along with additional decorative arts records.

Will Haydock, Head of American Art, remarks: “The American art from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller represents one of the best single owner collections to come to market and this evening collectors responded accordingly. Peggy and David appreciated and cherished this material in the same manner as their Impressionist and Modern masterworks and that allowed us to expose it on a broader, international stage. Both established and new collectors gravitated to the auction and it enabled us to achieve this monumental result. Tonight’s sale set a record total for any American Art auction, with strong results achieved across all time periods of the category. There was a particular interest in works commissioned by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller one the first true pioneers and patrons of Modernism in the United States, as seen with the records set for Rivera, Sheeler and Hirsch.”

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.