Joseph Decker Ripening Pears - Sold For $1,000,000Les Fox
New York Times bestselling authors Les and Sue Fox are doing research for a new book titled "The Art Buyers Handbook" to be published in 2011 or 2012. This book will feature a story on "Ripening Pears", a masterpiece by Joseph Decker that was bought at a garage sale in 2001 for $5 and sold to the National Gallery Of Art through Meredith Ward of The Richard York Gallery in 2004, for $1,000,000. We are interested in speaking to the "unidentified artist" (pseudnym "Roger Leiter") who bought the painting from an unidentified woman at a Los Angeles garage sale. We would like to publish this story in our new book, but with more details than what appeared in the ARTNews press release and news story of March, 2004. If you know anything about the purchase and sale of this interesting, beautiful and important painting, please contact me. Your name will be kept strictly confidential, although I plan to publish any new facts that can be verified. I have several questions, starting with who the actual buyer was, and also who the seller was. Thank you. Les Fox / West Highland Publishing / West Highland Art Auction Brokers.
joseph decker mediumsmichaelbwestman
I have an unsigned still life of grapes and vine that is on a thick gessoed panel from Boston. I am curious to see if he painted on any other mediums other than canvas. It is small (about 9 x 12 ) and extremely fine. Thanks
Joseph DeckerSusan E. Lebell-Phillips
Joseph Decker was my great grandfather. I recently read a newspaper article where one of his paintings bought at a garage sale recently sold for one million dollars. As a young child, I remember his paintings hanging in my grandmother's house. I would be interested in viewing some of his paintings and learning more about his life.
Jospeh DeckerAlexander Boyle
One of the most interesting artists this country has ever produced, Joseph Decker lived on the periphery of the Brooklyn art world in the 1880’s and 1890’s as a still life painter. He was born the son of a carpenter in Wurttemburg, Germany. In 1867, he traveled to the United States where he first took up residency in Reading, Pennsylvania. He soon settled permanently in Brooklyn. He studied art at night at the National Academy of Design, and in 1877 began showing paintings at the annual Brooklyn Art Association show. During the day he was an apprentice to a house painter and also worked as a sign painter. In 1879, Decker returned to Germany where he studied at the Munich Academy, studying under history painter Wilhelm Lingerschmidt. There he was introduced to the fluid, dark-toned, bravura style that represented the school. When he returned to the United States a year later, he proceeded to paint still lifes with the same bold, full of vibrate colors as he did before he left. His work is often said as falling into of two different periods or categories, the Hard and the Soft. Hard early and the Soft later, Concurrent with the arrival of Impressionism in this country he was a product of his time, as he adapted to the changing market circumstances. Decker’s early works, mostly still life and some genre, have an unsettling detachment of viewpoint, as a close focus and a dramatically cropped composition that was similar to the twentieth-century photography of Alfred Stieglitz and others. The flatness of the picture plan and the boldness of Decker’s colors bothered the art critics of his time but appeal to the modern eye. Decker’s later work was much influenced by impressionism: his landscapes followed the style of George Inness, and his still lifes adopted a balanced, classical composition While the rarest of his works are the “Hard” scenes of hanging apples, his images of squirrels gathering nuts are considered no less desirable. According to family lore the artist had a pet squirrel in the last decade of the 19th century named Bonnie, whom the artist fed chocolate covered almonds. Bonnie was the subject for many of his finest works, including the famous one in the collection of the Terra Museum in Evanston, Illinois. Judging by the date and subject matter, Squirrel with Nuts, 1899, is perhaps the final example from this series. As such it might well be regarded as punctuation mark of sorts symbolizing the end of an era.