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American Art / Eugene Edward Speicher (1883-1962) Babette 57 1/8 x 45 3/8 in. (145.1 x 115.3 cm.) (Painted in 1931.)

Lot 38
Eugene Edward Speicher
Babette 57 1/8 x 45 3/8 in. (145.1 x 115.3 cm.)
24 August 2022, 14:00 EDT
New York

US$5,000 - US$7,000

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Eugene Edward Speicher (1883-1962)

signed and dated 'Eugene Speicher '31' (center right)
oil on canvas
57 1/8 x 45 3/8 in. (145.1 x 115.3 cm.)
Painted in 1931.


Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, acquired from the artist, November 1931.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, by 1981.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, April 22, 1981.

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Thirtieth Annual International Exhibition, October 15-December 6, 1931, n.p., pl. 9.
Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Museum of Art, Twentieth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings, June 5-August 28, 1932.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, April 28, 1933.
New York, Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery, One Man Exhibition of Paintings, 1933.
St. Louis, Missouri, City Art Museum, 1934.
San Francisco, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Exhibition of American Paintings, 1935.
Buffalo, Albright Art Gallery, 1935.
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Texas Centennial Expo, 1935.
Baltimore Museum of Art, Two Hundred Years of American Painting, January 15-February 28, 1938, n.p., no. 73, illustrated.
New York, National Academy of Design, Special Exhibition in Connection with the New York World's Fair, May 8-July 25, 1939.
Worcester, Massachusetts, Worchester Art Museum, A Decade of American Paintings 1930-1940, February 18-March 22, 1942.
Buffalo, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Eugene Speicher: A Retrospective Exhibition of Oils and Drawings, 1908-1949, September 29-October 26, 1950, p. 16, no. 11, pl. 6, illustrated.
New York, The Century Association, Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings 1908-1951 by Eugene Speicher, December 5, 1951-January 6, 1952, no. 9.
Youngstown, Ohio, The Butler Institute of American Art, Exhibition of Paintings, October 5-November 2, 1952.
New York, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, Eugene Speicher: Memorial Exhibition, Paintings and Drawings, January 25-February 24, 1963, n.p., no. 10, illustrated.
Washington D.C., National Collection of Fine Arts, 150th Anniversary of The National Academy of Design, June 6-September 1, 1975.
New York, Kennedy Galleries, Inc., Selected American Masterworks: John Singleton Copley to Jack Levine, 1770 to 1979, December 4, 1979-January 5, 1980, n.p., no. 33, illustrated.

E.A. Jewell, "Carnegie Art Show Makes Fine Display," The New York Times, New York, October 15, 1931, vol. LXXXI, no. 26,927, p. 18.
E.A. Jewell, "Thirtieth Carnegie International Opens at Pittsburgh," The New York Times, New York, October 18, 1931, vol. LXXXI, no. 26,930, sec. 9, p. 14 XX, illustrated.
"Patrons Art Fund Buys Babette", Carnegie Magazine, Pittsburgh, November 1931, vol. V, no. 6, p. 177, illustrated on the front cover.
"Art," Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, November 1, 1931, vol. L, roto. sec., p. 5, illustrated.
"'Babette,' By Speicher Sold For Carnegie Collection," The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, November 9, 1931, vol. XLVIII, no. 132, p. 13, illustrated.
"Speicher's 'Babette' Bought by Carnegie: Institute in Pittsburgh Acquires Noted American's Painting for American Museum," The New York Times, New York, November 10, 1931, vol. LXXXI, no. 26953, p. 29.
Art Digest, November 15, 1931, p. 161, illustrated on the front cover.
"The Thirtieth Carnegie International," The American Magazine of Art, Washington, D.C., December 1931, vol. XXIII, no. 6, pp. 470, 476, illustrated.
"Carnegie Buys 'Babette,'" Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, December 6, 1931, vol. LI, pt. III, p. 16.
Formes, January 1932, p. 200D.
"Some Modern Museum Acquisitions," Parnassus, New York, February 1932, vol. IV, no. II, p. 32.
"Lilya by Eugene Speicher," Town & Country, New York, June 15, 1932, vol. 87, iss. 4082, p. 16.
"American Artist's Series. 4.: Babette, by Eugene Speicher," Vanity Fair, New York, July 1932, vol. 38, iss. 5, pp. 28-29, illustrated.
"Art on the Air - Lexington, Kentucky," The American Magazine of Art, Washington, D.C., November 1932, vol. XXV, no. 5, p. 293.
"Society," The Park City Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky, May 15, 1933, no. 99, p. 3.
Fine Arts, June 1933, p. 46.
H.A. Read, "Carnegie's 31st," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York, October 29, 1933, no. 300, sec. B-C, p. 12 B-C.
"Eugene Speicher Shows Paintings of Last 5 Years: Exhibition at Rehn Gallery to Continue to Feb. 3," New York Herald Tribune, New York, January 3, 1934, vol. XCIII, no. 31, 825, p. 14.
"One Painter's New High," The New York World-Telegram, New York, January 6, 1934.
"Eugene Speicher Holds First One Man Show in Five Years," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York, January 7, 1934, no. 6, sec. B-C, p. 12 B-C.
H. Cahill, A.H. Barr, Jr., eds., Art in America: in Modern Times, New York, 1934, n.p., no. IV, illustrated.
S. Skidelsky, "Art by Eugene Speicher Enjoys Broad Popularity: Applauded as Being Among Few Americans Achieving Success Along With True Devotion; Pictures of Young Women Notable," The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., October 11, 1936, no. 22, 032, sec. VII, p. 7.
H. Cahill, A.H. Barr, Jr., eds., Art in America: A Complete Survey, New York, 1939, p. 98, no. XII, illustrated.
F. Crowninshield, "Portrait by Eugene Speicher," Vogue, New York, December 15, 1939, vol. 94, iss. 12, p. 84.
"We Take You Now To The Foot Of The Class," The Pittsburgh Press Pittsburg, February 11, 1940, vol. 56, no. 230, p. 5, illustrated.
"Program Shows Art, Music Relationship," Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1940, vol. 84, no. 250, p. 16.
"Lodge and Club Announcements," The Eagle, South Sioux City, Nebraska, February 20, 1941, vol. LXIV, no. 38, p. 1.
American Artist's Group, Eugene Speicher, New York, 1945, n.p., n.no., illustrated.
"Butler to Show Speicher Paintings," East Liverpool Review, Liverpool, Ohio, October 2, 1952, vol. 73, no. 294, p. 10.
R.S. Thibaut, Jr., "Woodstock News: Speicher Show Planned at Butler Institute," The Kingston Daily Freeman, Kingston, New York, October 3, 1952, vol. LXXXI, no. 295, p. 15.
D. Miller, "D.C. Art Collections Challenging Visitors," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, August 25, 1975, vol. 49, no. 22, p. 12.
"Then...And Now," The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, December 11, 1977, vol. 94, no. 169, roto. sec., p. 10, illustrated.
"LAAC Paintings Are Home After a Turn At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art," Mercury, Los Angeles, October 1988, p. 18, illustrated.

Eugene Speicher's Babette is one of the artist's most widely exhibited and published portraits and has been considered by art historians and critics alike as his most accomplished work. Painted in 1931, Speicher employed a model by the name of Babette New to pose, a model he would employ numerous times. Babette was first exhibited in 1931 at the Thirtieth International Exhibition at the Carnegie Institute and was quickly purchased by the Carnegie Institute during the exhibition through the patrons' art fund provided by twenty-one citizens of Pittsburg. When the work was first exhibited at the Carnegie Institute, the renowned art critic, Edward Alden Jewell (1888-1947) wrote extensively on the work for various publications and remarked "This is probably Speicher's finest canvas to date and on many counts it may be regarded as the best picture in the entire exhibition. It is nobly conceived and carried to completion in the same spirit. Elements of composition and a magnificent color orchestration combine to establish a statement of definitive aesthetic repose, rarely indeed achieved by an artist. This seems to me one of the most memorable canvases of the twentieth century." (as quoted in "The Thirtieth Carnegie International," The American Magazine of Art, Washington, D.C., December 1931, vol. XXIII, no. 6, p. 476) Babette would go on to tour in exhibitions across the country for decades and would continue to be featured in newspaper reviews, magazines, such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, and surveys addressing Speicher and the significance of his portrait of Babette New in the greater context of the history of American Art.

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