Bucks County Herald

Rago auction includes works by well-known New Hope School artists

“April” by Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge is crossing the Rago auction block on Nov. 10.

Rago presents works by notable New Hope School artists, locally consigned and never before offered for sale at auction, on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Lambertville, N.J.

These fresh-to-market works come from some of Pennsylvania’s most celebrated Impressionists, including Walter Emerson Baum, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge, Nancy Maybin Ferguson, John Fulton Folinsbee, George W. Sotter and Robert Spencer.

The star of this segment of the American and European Fine Art Auction is a large, untitled winter night scene by Sotter. It depicts the artist’s studio from above: an angle which he would never have seen but could only have imagined.

This is a Sotter masterwork, a keen demonstration of the artist’s ability to make the darkness light, gilding a cold, blue winter night with the glow of the moon.

A landscape by Coppedge, who settled in Lumberville in 1920 and joined the Philadelphia Ten in 1922 after training at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women with Henry B. Snell, is also offered.

Among the most well-known of the Pennsylvania Impressionists, Coppedge employed bright, vibrant colors and sophisticated techniques, bridging Impressionism with Modernism. Her painting titled “April” – also crossing the auction block on Nov. 10 – is a fine example of her bold use of color in a springtime landscape.

The Pennsylvania Impressionists are also known for scenes painted during their travels to various New England locales. Examples in this sale include Sotter’s painting “Off Cape Ann” and an untitled nautical scene of the Maine shoreline by Folinsbee. Despite being stricken with polio and confined to a wheelchair, Folinsbee painted en plein air like many of his peers.

Additional Pennsylvania Impressionist works from this sale include “The Delaware” by Baum, founder of the Baum School of Art and the Allentown Art Museum; an untitled scene of city hall (likely in Provincetown, Mass.) by Ferguson, also of the Philadelphia Ten; and “Windy Day” by Spencer, an artist celebrated for his paintings of local mills and the working people of the Delaware River region.

The catalogue for Rago’s Nov. 10 Fine Art Auction is currently online. The exhibition can be viewed from noon to 5 p.m. today and noon to 7 p.m. Friday. Doors for the auction open at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Questions about the sale can be answered by calling 609-397-9374 or emailing Rago at info@ragoarts.com.


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