The painting, which belonged to the late playwright Lanford Wilson, was donated to the museum by his Circle Repertory Company co-founder, Tanya Berezin.The Art Newspaper
Gifts are great! As the old saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive! Unless you’re receiving a masterpiece of an artwork made by the one and only Bill Traylor.
According to The Art Newspaper, the American Folk Art Museum in New York City is adding a surprising fourth Bill Traylor to it’s permanent collection thanks to actress and co-founder of Circle Repertory Company.
Surprising, for a variety of reasons. To be gifted a truly gorgeous artwork would come to a surprise to anyone, including the AFAM, who reportedly thought it was a joke. ““When Tanya Berezin offered it to the museum, I could not believe it was true,” says Valérie Rousseau, AFAM’s senior curator of self-taught art and art brut. Also, surprising, because I would have assumed the museum had more than three Bill Traylor works already in their permanent collection.
Then again, with a recent Bill Traylor selling for $252,000 at Christies — his current auction record is $507,000 — I can see why adding a fourth to your permanent collection is so exciting and so surprising.
I don’t have any Bill Traylor works! Yet!
The painting, executed in graphite and poster paint on cardboard, is officially dated to between 1939 and 1942. As is typical of Traylor’s work, it is untitled, though the descriptive subtitle added by a dealer, “Blue Construction, Figures, and Bottles; or Two Men Reaching for Bottles”, has been retained. It has several features that are quintessential of the artist’s practice, foremost among them the dominant shade of cerulean blue that was a trademark of the artist’s iconography.The Art Newspaper