Associated American Artists Prints, ca. 1940

Value (2010) | $48,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I brought some prints that I've had for about 20 years. They're from the Associated American Artists. They've been in the family for a long time. My great... a great-aunt had them.

APPRAISER:
What do you know about Associated American Artists?

GUEST:
Well, when I first got them, you know, I didn't have a personal computer, didn't really have any way of finding out anything. I was watching your show a few years back, and a girl had something similar, and she had hers appraised, and I was like, "I have got to see what... a little bit more about these."

APPRAISER:
Well, Associated American Artists was a gallery that was formed in 1935 by a man named Reeves Lewenthal. And Reeves Lewenthal decided that art should be for the middle class, not just the super-wealthy. So he, with his populist approach, came upon the idea of commissioning artists to do a series of prints that he would sell by subscription. He only commissioned about four artists a year. And the ones that you have came out of 1939, 1940, 1941.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Reeves Lewenthal, with Sylvan Cole and Estelle Yanco, would choose a variety of artists, all American artists, and one of the most famous was Thomas Hart Benton.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And the print that we have here is Thomas Hart Benton's Slow Train to Arkansas, which is a rather important work.

GUEST:
Is it really?

APPRAISER:
The painting itself is important.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And the print is very well known. This work, when it comes on the auction market individually, sells for $4,500.

GUEST:
That's good.

APPRAISER:
Then here we have Reginald Marsh, and this work, when it comes individually on the auction market, sells for approximately $1,500.

GUEST:
Good.

APPRAISER:
The... Luigi Luccione is a Vermont painter, and he did these beautiful prints. And this etching sells for approximately $100. Ernest Feeney, if this were to come on the market, this would only make about $50 at auction. So you have 40 works here.

GUEST:
40, yeah.

APPRAISER:
Mostly they're in excellent condition. Together, we're talking about a value for the group of 40 of approximately $48,000...

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
...at auction.

GUEST:
That's great. That's unbelievable. I cannot believe that. I had no idea. I mean, I really had no idea.

APPRAISER:
It's exciting.

GUEST:
That is so exciting. I mean, who'd have ever thought?

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Betty Krulik Fine Art Limited
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$48,000 Auction
Event
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Form
Print
Material
Paper
November 21, 2011: In this segment, the Associated American Artists is identified as having been formed in 1935; in fact, Reeves Lewenthal formed the association in 1934.

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