American Art Market Flexes Its Muscles In New York

November 21, 2014 6:00 PM

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American Art Market Flexes Its Muscles In New York

NEW YORK — Sotheby’s made auction history during its American art sale on Thursday morning, when Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,” 1932, soared to $44,405,000 (est. $10-15 million) to a bidder on the phone with North and South Americas chair Lisa Dennison. It was a new record for O’Keeffe, whose previous high, set in 2001 at Christie’s, was $5.6 million at the hammer, and a record price for a work by any woman artist.

It was not the first American art lot to cross the many-millions threshold recently reserved for contemporary lots by the likes of Lichtenstein or Warhol — Norman Rockwell’s “Saying Grace,” 1951, fetched $46,085,000 at Sotheby’s last year — but the only one to do so in the series of American art sal...

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