Two Oskar Schlemmer Paintings
Appraised Value: $140,000 - $160,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:19)
Paintings & Drawings
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
GUEST: This picture is my father when he was 11 in 1928, and it's been in our home ever since my grandparents gave us all their furniture when they downsized their home. This picture was in my grandfather's retirement home, on the ocean at Oxnard, California and when we went out to help him come home, he said, "Be sure to take this picture." We had no idea why. It was covered with tobacco smoke and looked very brown.
APPRAISER: Well, they're both wonderful paintings. The German artist Oskar Schlemmer was born in 1888 in Stuttgart, Germany, and was a very major German painter, sculptor, choreographer and stage designer. Schlemmer was really known as an abstract artist and a member of the German Bauhaus movement, which was a very sort of cutting edge group in the early century. And what we have here are very non-abstract pieces. This early example from 1928 is just a spectacular figural painting. And what strikes me about it is that the quality, whatever style we're painting in, doesn't lie. The beautiful brushstroke that we have here, the broken color and the really sensitive handling of the face. The later piece is working into what we begin to think of as Schlemmer's work, a much more abstract cubist piece. The very abstract cubist pieces can bring two, three million dollars. What I suspect that we're looking at here is an early example that I would value at probably between $40,000 and $60,000.
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: And a mid-period Schlemmer that I would value at probably in excess of $100,000.
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: What we have to do, though, because he's such an important artist, we have to make sure that we have our "T"s crossed and our "I"s dotted. There's a catalogue raisonné of the artist's work. We have to make sure that these pieces are included in that. The catalogue raisonné is the listing of everything that the artist did. We have to investigate the condition a bit more. Both have been restored. But as I said earlier, quality doesn't lie. And they're very, very beautiful quality.
GUEST (chuckling ): Okay. Thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thanks for coming.
GUEST: Thank you.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.