Christina’s Painting of the Olson House Featured at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries' Summer Auction

Andrew Wyeth's mixed media study of the Olson House, Cushing, ME, painted in 1942, to be sold at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on August 26, 2018.

THOMASTON, ME:  Four paintings by Wyeth family artists, Andrew and his son, Jamie, will be sold at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries on August 26, 2018.   This group includes a 1942 Andrew Wyeth mixed media rendering of the Olson House, site of his iconic painting “Christina’s World”.

From the first time he visited the property and met sibling residents Christina and her brother Alvaro, Wyeth was fascinated with the house and had an immediate attraction to Christina’s strength and dignity, in spite of a degenerative disease that ravaged her body and mobility.  He later set up an art studio inside the house and created many works that captured the property’s atmosphere and personalities of its inhabitants. Wyeth gifted this particular study of the house to Christina and her brother with the inscription: “To Christina and Alvaro, from Betsy and Andy”.

Commenting on his discovery of this work, John W. Olson, Sr., nephew of Christina and Alvaro, said: “My wife and I walked up to the house shortly after Christina passed (in January 1968).  She had never been through the house, so I gave her a tour and showed her the room where I was born.  My father came shortly after we got there to start cleaning things out.  My wife found this painting on the floor of the studio in Alvaro’s bedroom and said: ‘I’d like to have this’, and my father said: ‘Sure’.”

Olson, Sr. displayed this piece for a while in his restaurant, and later stored it in a local bank vault.  More recently, it has been at The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, ME.

A video interview with Olson, Sr. regarding the Olson House and this work of art can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVEGpeqYRKc.

Other works by Andrew Wyeth in this sale include “Spruce Timber”, a 1946 watercolor depicting two men using a bucksaw painted at Broad Cove Farm in Cushing, Maine.  One of the two men Forrest Wall, who is shown cutting trees used to build Wyeth’s Cushing home.

The third Andrew Wyeth painting is an original watercolor remarque depicting the Olson House painted on the endpaper from a copy of the 1968 art folio book “Andrew Wyeth”. The painting is inscribed to Burton Wayne Starrett and his wife, June, of Warren, ME.  Starrett was the contractor for renovation of the Olson House in the 1970s after it was purchased by movie director Joseph E. Levine, and June Starrett served as hostess and docent when the house re-opened after restoration.  This book with the inscribed painting may have been presented to them to commemorate that event.

Jamie Wyeth is represented in this auction with his oil on linen work titled “Fog”, depicting an array of purple irises set against mist laden pine trees.

Many other important treasures will come to the auction block on August 25 & 26 at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.  These include paintings by Milton Avery, Maurice Utrillo, Bernard Buffet, Edouard Cortes, Waldo Peirce, and Howard Chandler Christy, plus a large collection of important Asian antiques, fine antiquities, Faberge items, and estate jewelry.

The auction will begin at 11:00 a.m. EST each day.  A complete, full color catalog, with detailed descriptions and photographs, is available, and all lots can be viewed at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ website, www.thomastonauction.com.

In addition to live bidding in the auction hall, Thomaston Place accepts bids via absentee, telephone, and on the internet (via Thomaston Live, Invaluable, or Live Auctioneers). The buyer’s premium is 17% for live, telephone, and absentee bidders and 20% for online bidders.  Please call 1-207-354-8141 for more information, or to reserve seats in the auction hall.

The gallery will be open for previews Monday, August 20 through Friday, August 24 (between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day) and from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday morning before the auction begins.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is Maine’s premier international auction company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering Maine’s antique and fine art treasures by offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations, and providing house call appraisal services.  Their expertise in researching, preserving, and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.

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