Milton Avery (1885-1965)
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Milton Avery (1885-1965)

Sooty Terns

Details
Milton Avery (1885-1965)
Sooty Terns
signed and dated 'Milton Avery/1945' (lower right)
oil on panel
23 x 34 in. (58.4 x 86.4 cm.)
Painted in 1945.
Provenance
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, acquired from the above, 1950.
Cecil Blaffer “Titi” von Fürstenberg, Houston, Texas, acquired from the above, 1959.
By descent to the present owners.
Exhibited
Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art; Boston, Massachusetts, Institute of Contemporary Art; Lowe Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; Hartford, Connecticut, Wadsworth Atheneum, Milton Avery, 1952-53, p. 18, no. 46.
Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Art Museum, Two Centuries of American Painting, October 4-November 4, 1958.
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Lot Essay

A seabird which spends most of its time traversing oceans, the Sooty Tern most commonly nests in remote islands and can often be found in tropical locales, such as Hawaii, the Dry Tortugas and the Florida Keys. At the time the present work was painted, Milton Avery was probably looking at John James Audubon's depiction of a Sooty Tern, originally published in his seminal volume Birds of America in 1827.

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