1925 Nellie Knopf Still Life

Value (2007) | $15,000 Retail
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GUEST:
It was from grandparents. My grandparents were all from the Chicago area, and at some point, they gave it to my mother. And for years, we had this painting hanging up in our house, and it kind of knocked around-- I have to say-- the house. And I always loved it. I loved the colors, and I loved the bittersweet here and the parrot. And some years ago when I moved west to Spokane, my mother put some furniture, family furniture, on a moving van, and she said, "Is there anything else you want...?" And I said, "You know, are there any paintings or anything? My walls are really bare." And she said, "How about that painting with the parrot?" She said, "Oh, I'll throw it on." So she literally, I think, threw it on the van, and... opened in Spokane, it was, like, just shoved in there. And I put it on my wall here. I've had it on my wall here for probably ten years. And, so then, a couple of weeks ago, actually, it fell off the wall.

APPRAISER:
And that's why we have the small puncture here?

GUEST:
Yeah. I wanted to bring it here to see if it was worth repairing...

APPRAISER:
Well, certainly, it's a fairly clean break, so it should be relatively easy to repair. You've brought in a painting by Nellie Knopf, and interestingly enough, she's actually from Chicago. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and in the summers, up to the early '20s, she went to Ogunquit, Maine, and studied with an artist there named Charles Woodbury. And then, after about 1923, she actually went out West and began painting mountains and pueblos; and for a woman at that period, that was very rare. She was almost like a pioneer, because keep in mind that Georgia O'Keeffe didn't go out West until about 1929, so quite a bit later. She also was challenged in a couple of other ways. She was deaf, for one; and secondly, as a single woman, a single woman artist, she had a very hard road to travel. Because women artists, um, at this time, were not supported very well-- even the ones that were married. Often they were overshadowed by their husbands if they were married to artists. If they had husbands that weren't artists, perhaps they had extra support. But she really had to go out on her own and do that. And in terms of the rest of the condition, it's actually in very fine condition. It's a little bit dirty and probably could be cleaned.

GUEST:
Yeah, it looks dirty.

APPRAISER:
And the only other thing I might point out is this small little label here-- this number 32. And this probably relates to the fact that maybe the painting was shown in an artist invitational, and they would number them. And for some reason, in the 1920s-- this was done in 1925-- they would put them on the front of the canvas. And the other thing is the wonderful brushwork here. It's very bold, broad and gutsy. And again, for a woman...

GUEST:
A woman.

APPRAISER:
...it's very, very unusual. Now, in terms of value, the market for women artists has been constantly on the upswing for the last few years, so that there is a great deal of interest in finding undiscovered women artists, and Nellie Knopf would fit into that group.

GUEST:
Hmm.

APPRAISER:
If this painting were in a gallery in New York, or in Chicago, I think that the selling price would be somewhere in the range of $15,000.

GUEST:
Hmm.

APPRAISER:
Well, thank you very much.

GUEST:
Oh. Well, thank you. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
New York, New York
Appraised value (2007)
$15,000 Retail
Event
Spokane, WA (August 04, 2007)
Period
20th Century
Material
Paint

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