Catherine Wiley Impressionist painting of a mother and child leads Tennessee auction

At an upcoming 800-lot sale in Tennessee, the greatest interest is in a painting of a mother and child seated in a meadow by the state's most prominent Impressionist painter, Anna Catherine Wiley (1879-1958).

A student of major American impressionists such as Robert Reid, Jonas Lie, and Martha Walter, Wiley also helped pioneer the art program at the University of Tennessee. She exhibited at notable venues including the National Academy of Design in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Tragically, her career ended in 1926 when she suffered a mental breakdown; she remained institutionalised the rest of her life.

"Wiley's paintings are in demand even outside Tennessee and hardly ever come on the market," noted company president John Case.

Catherine Wiley Impressionist mother and child painting
Catherine Wiley painting of a mother and child

"This one was painted in 1913 at the peak of her career, and the size and subject matter give it a magnificent presence." The painting, which has been in a Tennessee family's collection for decades, is estimated at $60,000-$75,000.

Collectors keen on Impressionism, but without the resources to buy a painting by one of its exponents will be interested to know that we currently have a note written and signed by its founder: Claude Monet.

The sale also features a drypoint by Alfred Hutty (1877-1954), a cotton-picking scene by Southern memory artist Alice Lattimer Moseley (1909-2004) and three paintings by Tennessee born Joseph Delaney (1904-1991): a view of New York's Williamsburg Bridge, a circus scene, and a female nude, along with two Delaney drawings.

There is a landscape painting depicting a Maryland plantation by Charles Fleischmann (19th century) and an unsigned watercolour of a Civil War encampment, hunting dog paintings by John Martin Tracy (1843-1893) and Wilhelm Eilerts of Kentucky (19th century), and more than a half-dozen paintings from the estate of Horst Schrek (1885-1967), an artist who worked for the U.S. Veterinary Corps in World War I, painting real life war horses.

The sale takes place on January 28.

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