Lot Content

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American School, 19th Century
Life with my mother, Kristina Barbara Johnson, was a voyage of discovery. Like any good explorer, she kept a watchful eye for the new, the unusual, the exotic, the beautiful and the alluring. This held true for people, places and, most certainly, for the objects that captured her attention and became part of her collection. Mother, grandmother, friend and scholar, Kristina was a lover of life and all its creatures (both animate and inanimate) - her warmth and passion were absorbed by and reflected off of the people and things that she chose to call her own. It is the collector that we celebrate here with the sale of what she would often refer to as her 'favorite things.' While the winds of passion filled her sails, Kristina knew exactly how to steer her course. With impeccable timing she would hone in on the perfect piece to fill out her collection, or she would find the right advisor to select for her. She discerned good and bad; and the good came into her home. As Kristina's friend and fellow folk art collector, Ralph Esmerian, wrote following her passing, "[Kristina] was a passionate collector, intent on living with her objects and being surrounded by their aura of individual creativity and purpose." Kristina believed she was immortal: in a way she was. She made her mark on this world through her collecting, and through her collection she will live on. She provided that important step in the journey of each painting or sculpture - a journey that began with the hands and heart of the unschooled artist, continued through the dealer, collectors, auction houses, and finally made its way to Kristina's collection where it was given a home, an identity and an education. Any given piece in this sale might have been pictured in a book or magazine, lent to a museum, or studied for a thesis; every piece was certainly enjoyed by countless children and adults attending parties, house tours and school field trips. Kristina the explorer loved to share her discoveries with other curious minds and adventurous souls. To select the objects offered here was no easy task. The collection numbered in the thousands; each and every object with a story to tell, each imbued with the spirit, humor and beauty of the human experience. While these 'favorites' represent the eye of Kristina, the collector, they were selected with a sophisticated audience in mind. Among the pieces chosen are those items that will not only enhance, or even launch, a folk art collection, but will also lend depth, warmth and humanity to an abstract collection or lightness of being and historical relevance to a traditional academic collection. This sale represents a point of necessary departure for these works of art and the beginning of a new voyage of discovery. Jeniah "Kookie" Johnson FAVORITES FROM THE COLLECTION OF KRISTINA BARBARA JOHNSON
American School, 19th Century

A Calligraphic Eagle

American School, 19th Century
A Calligraphic Eagle
ink and watercolor on paper
14 x 15 in.

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Lot Essay

A related example by Benjamin Proctor (1786-1848), described as a Certificate of Merit belongs to the New Hampshire Historical Society; gift of Alexis C. Proctor, and is illustrated in By Good Hands: New Hampshire Folk Art (Hanover, New Hampshire, 1989), no. 56, p. 69.

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