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Pen and ink drawings attributed to van Gogh will headline Woodshed's June 21st art auction
Pen and ink drawing attributed to the Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), showing a group of three figural studies, artist signed (est. $10,000-$20,000).

FRANKLIN, MASS.- A pair of pen and ink drawings attributed to the Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) – one a tree study and a landscape with a haystack drawn on both sides of a single sketchbook page, the other a group of three figural studies on one page – will be part of Woodshed Art Auctions’ online-only art sale, slated for Wednesday, June 21st.

Internet bidding will be provided by, and Lots may be viewed on the Woodshed Art Auctions website.

The van Goghs will be two offerings in a 41-lot Prestige Collection sale, so-named because they are smaller auctions focused mainly on modestly priced works by big-name artists. This auction certainly fits that bill. In addition to van Gogh, other artists will include Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Maurice Sendak, Roy Lichtenstein and Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss).

The list continues with names such as Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Erte, Victor Brauner, Hans Hofmann, Jean Cocteau, Al Hirschfeld, Edouard Manet, Joaquin Torres Garcia, Aristide Maillol, Kurt Schwitters and Kees van Dongen. There is also a drawing of the character Batman by comic book artist Bob Kane (and signed by actor Adam West, who played Batman in the TV series), and a drawing of Superman signed and inscribed by artist Joe Schuster, Superman’s co-creator.

“This is our third Prestige Collection sale, and our consignors have provided a great selection of drawings,” said Bruce Wood of Woodshed Art Auctions. “It’s a mix of intense works attributed to the pen of van Gogh, campy drawings by Warhol, Chagall souvenir drawings from a voyage aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, and autographed superhero portraits from comic book superstars Schuster and Kane. The way these diverse artworks play off each other just makes me smile.”

The van Gogh drawings are attributions – done in the manner of the Dutch master but lacking the necessary provenance to say they were definitively drawn by him. However, both carry the clout and cache of the van Gogh name and are expected to attract keen bidder interest. The drawings on either side of a sketchbook page is the more ambitious of the two lots (est. $25,000-$35,000).

One side, titled Tree Study, is signed “Vincent”, while the other side, Landscape with Haystack, is unsigned. The page was removed from a cardboard and linen sketchbook measuring about 6 inches by 9 inches that previously contained 11 sheets of drawings and sketches, all attributed to van Gogh. The cardboard front cover is inscribed in Dutch which, when translated into English, reads: “Some small drawings by Vincent van Gogh. From the collection of my grandfather.”

The cover is signed “S. James van den Bergh” and the style of the cover’s pencil inscription is consistent with its age. A photo of the sketchbook cover is included in the lot, but not the actual cover. The sketchbook was discovered in a family estate. The owner of the estate is deceased.

The other van Gogh pen and ink drawing is titled Figure Studies (est. $10,000-$20,000) and is also an attribution, albeit signed. It was executed on Ingres 1871 watermarked drawing paper and measures 6 ½ inches by 7 ½ inches. The drawing shows three figural renderings – sketch studies, actually – and is in overall very good condition, except for a very small repair to the left margin.

Two whimsical and colorful souvenir drawings attributed to Marc Chagall (Fr., 1887-1985), done and signed on sheets of stationery from the Cunard ship RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, will both be in the sale, each with an estimate of $10,000-$20,000. Both are unframed black ink and chalk drawings and one is dated 1973, the year the QE2 chartered a Mediterranean cruise honoring the 25th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Chagall did the drawings aboard the cruise.

A gouache painting on paper attributed to the Pop Art icon Roy Lichtenstein (Am., 1923-1997), titled Still Life with Goldfish, is expected to change hands for $6,000-$10,000. The unframed piece is signed front and back and was possibly a study for a larger painting. It comes with a certificate of authenticity/attribution from Bonner Art Services in Toulouse, France (2011).

A mixed media on paper attributed to the equally renowned Pop Artist Andy Warhol (Am., 1928-1987), titled Electric Chair (Orange), is also a possible study for a larger painting and it, too, carries an estimate of $6,000-$10,000. The drawing, signed front and back, comes with a certificate of authenticity/attribution from Gallery 64 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, dated 2006.

Another drawing attributed to Warhol, titled Campbell’s Soup Can, signed and initialed and done in marker ink on buff bond paper, has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000. An identical estimate has been assigned to the drawing in graphite and color pencils on buff-toned medium-weight bond paper attributed to Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss, 1904-1991) of a bird, signed by the artist.

Robert “Bob” Kane (Am., 1915-1998) was the comic book writer and artist who co-created, along with Bill Finger, the DC Comics character Batman. His marker, ink and white pencil on die-cut blue card stock of Batman (est. $1,000-$2,000), signed and dated 1991, is inscribed with “Bats Wishes,” and is also signed by Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the TV series.

Joe Schuster (1914-1992) is the Canadian-born American artist-illustrator who co-created the equally famous superhero Superman, along with writer Jerry Siegel, in Action Comics #1, in 1939. His colorfully rendered drawing of Superman, done in ink and crayon on white card stock, signed and inscribed “Best wishes, from Joe Schuster,” unframed, should sell for $3,000-$5,000.

Maurice Bernard Sendak (Am., 1928-2012) was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books, best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. A drawing of a character from that very book, attributed to Sendak and titled Wild Thing (a.k.a. Moishe), was executed in graphite pencil on green bond paper. The signed drawing should hit $2,000-$4,000.

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