Martín Ramírez (1895-1963)
Property from the Collection of Larry DumontLots 1076 - 1118There are people who collect and there are collectors, and these are not necessarily one in the same. Larry Dumont was a collector. The acquisition of an object of desire was his drug of choice, his personal ‘high’, and was soon followed by the pursuit of the next item to capture his fascination and attention. And there was no predicting just what that next object might be. Larry’s collecting began when furnishing the home he and his husband purchased in Bucks County with colorful painted furniture and more traditional forms of American folk art. Each piece selected had a special quality that appealed to his discerning eye. Larry’s many visits to antiques shows, galleries and museums brought him in contact with Outsider Art, and he became determined to acquire exceptional pieces by some of his favorite artists – William Hawkins, Thornton Dial, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Clementine Hunter (from his native Louisiana), Sam Doyle and William Edmondson, among many others. But a piece by an unknown artist, such as a carved limestone head of a man (lot 1080), or a pair of wonderfully inventive Adirondack root sculptures (lots 1077 and 1078), could elicit as much pleasure in him as his prized Martín Ramírez (lot 1076). Larry had a uniquely personal view of art and kept a constant watch for what he found exciting, which was not always discovered in the expected places. He certainly enjoyed the comradeship of fellow collectors and dealers whose taste he admired, and he could speak for hours on the art he loved. By profession he was an accomplished psychiatrist specializing in childhood behavior, and with his brilliant mind and seemingly photographic memory, he could converse on virtually any topic from Broadway to politics with that same passion and knowledge. As long-time friend and dealer Frank Maresca recalls, “when it came to art that he responded to, Larry had the eagerness of a child when presented with an ice cream cone or a toy; the same immediate, fearless, uninhibited joy. Every time was the first time for Larry.” Those fortunate to have gained his friendship all remember this virtually boundless enthusiasm, and it is expressed here in some of the treasures that brought him joy.- Patrick BellPROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LARRY DUMONT
Martín Ramírez (1895-1963)

Untitled (Horse and Rider), circa 1953

Martín Ramírez (1895-1963)
Untitled (Horse and Rider), circa 1953
graphite and crayon on pieced paper
46 x 36 ½ in.
Jim Nutt and Gladys Nilsson, Chicago
Janet Fleisher Gallery, Philadelphia
Elsa Longhauser et al., Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century: An American Anthology (Museum of American Folk Art with Chronicle Books, 1998), p. 101.
Organized New York, Museum of American Folk Art, Self-Taught Artists of the Twentieth Century: An American Anthology, 10 March - 17 May 1998 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), 14 July - 20 September 1998 (High Museum of Art, Atlanta), 31 October 1998 - 24 January 1999 (Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas), 20 February - 18 April 1999 (Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York), 15 May - 15 August 1999 (Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio), 19 September - 11 December 1999 (Museum of American Folk Art).

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Lot Essay

Martín Ramírez drew what he knew, from animals and horsemen in his native Mexico to railroads and cars that marked his early experiences in the United States. Born in Jalisco, Mexico, he spent five years as a sharecropper and journeyman laborer before purchasing a small piece of land near his hometown. He had difficulty repaying the loans for this purchase, so he left for the United States in search of temporary work on August 24, 1925. In January 1931 Ramírez was picked up by the San Joaquin County, California police and sent to the Stockton State Hospital with a diagnosis of manic depression. Transferred to the DeWitt State Hospital in Auburn, California in 1948, he remained institutionalized until his death on February 17, 1963. After the artist’s arrival at DeWitt, psychologist Dr. Tarmo Pasto noticed Ramírez’s drawings and provided a steady supply of paper and pencils, preserved his work and arranged exhibitions.
This work has been granted clear title by the artist's estate.

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