Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio
5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18902
About Auction HouseThe Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio opened its doors in the summer of 2000 in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Pennsylvania Impressionism. Nine years later, the Gratz family moved its gallery and studio to Doylestown, just a block from the James A. Michener Art Museum and its world-class Pennsylvania Impressionism collection.
Auction Previews & News8 Results
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Images from around the auction world this month. Left and right image from Christie’s. Middle image from Squawk on the Street. Collage by Heemin Moon (Auction Daily). NFTs undoubtedly ruled the headlines across the auction industry this month. Whether amazed, angry, or confused by the trend, everyone had something to say. Time will tell if other NFTs can match or break the record set at Christie's in March, as Sotheby's and other auction houses plan their responses. Christie's broke other records this month, including one for a Western artwork sold in Asia. Jean-Michel Basquiat's Warrior inspired a six-minute bidding war, eventually selling for USD 41.8 million in Hong Kong. The sale was one of several opportunities this month to celebrate the work of Black artists, which Auction Daily was happy to report on last month. From NFTs to Warrior, Auction Daily takes a look back at the top headlines from around the auction world in March 2021. Industry Trends Although digital art and NFTs have been around for years, Christie's sale of Beeple's EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS for a whopping $69.3 million forced many in the auction industry and beyond to finally reckon with their presence. Here's how media sources presented NFTs and Beeple in the wake of the sale. Sotheby's announced a partnership with digital artist Pak as its first step into digital art and NFTs. However, many question marks still surround Pak, and the industry knows little about the upcoming sale. The Turn by Pak. Image from the Gallery of Crypto Art. Jean-Michel Basquiat's Warrior achieved USD 41.8 million at Christie's Hong Kong. That was not only a record for a Western art piece sold on the continent, but also a reminder of the steady growth auction houses are seeing across Asia. In a major push towards environmental sustainability, Christie's aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. But the auction house’s recent embrace of NFTs and cryptocurrencies could set back its efforts. Japanese Garden 3 by Jonas Wood, which sold in 2019 with Christie’s to benefit tropical forest conservation. Photo from the auction house. Auction Highlights Many…
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Although he passed away at the age of 54, Bernard Harmon spent decades inspiring many as a painter, teacher, and champion of Black artists. On March 21st, 2021, Gratz Gallery will celebrate Harmon by offering three of his works in the Fine American Paintings Sale & Live Online Auction. The owner and head conservator of Gratz Gallery, Paul Gratz, sat down with Auction Daily to discuss Harmon and the other artists represented in this sale. Best Friends by Bernard Harmon. Photo courtesy of Gratz Gallery. Auction Daily: Gratz Gallery's upcoming Fine American Paintings Sale & Live Online Auction will feature three works by portrait painter Bernard Harmon. Tell our readers a bit about his life and career. Paul Gratz: Bernard Harmon was born in Philadelphia in 1935. He was a graduate of the Philadelphia Museum School and Temple Tyler School of Art. Harmon was a public school teacher and taught in the Philadelphia School District for 32 of his 54 years of life. He also taught at the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts, University of the Arts, and Drexel University. He organized many early and important shows, including the “Afro American Artists 1800 – 1969” at the Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center in 1969. Harmon was a well-loved teacher, became an innovator in art curriculums, traveled extensively to Europe and South America, and was a beloved mentor and advocate of African American artists and gifted students. Auction Daily: Along with being a renowned painter and teacher, Bernard Harmon also championed his fellow Black artists. What stands out to you about this aspect of Harmon's life? And what can the auction industry learn from Harmon as it tries to tear down racial biases? Paul Gratz: Bernard Harmon loved his students regardless of color or origin. His portraits reflect that sentiment in the strength, uniqueness, and individuality of every person represented in his paintings. He promoted African American artists way before it became popular, because it was about humanity, not popularity. He saw the importance of equality in a most natural way, being a mentor and advocate where he saw…
- Auction Industry, Press Release
Doylestown, Pennsylvania - On Sunday, March 21, 2021 beginning at 12pm, Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio is yet again partnering with Invaluable.com to ring in the spring season with our fourth annual Fine American Paintings Sale and LIVE Online Auction event. John Frederick Kensett (American, NY, CT, 1816 - 1872) "Kaaterskill Falls"; Oil on Canvas; 9" x 16"; Period frame, monogrammed "JFK" The sale will present almost one hundred lots of fine art by American and European artists. Included are a wide selection of impressionist, realist, folk art, modern, abstract and surrealist art, decorative art, as well as a few unknown treasures and gems. The online catalog will be available for viewing after March 1, 2021 through our website at gratzgallery.com. John Pierce Barnes (American, PA 1893 - 1954), "Waterfall"; Oil on Board; 12.75" x 16.25", Signed "John P Barnes" Works included in the sale reflect a wide spectrum of American art genres, from 18th, 19th and 20th centuries’ Hudson River style and American Impressionism, all the way to 20th and 21st centuries’ contemporary and modern art. Some of the highlights represented are a rare Pennsylvania landscape by famed furniture designer Wharton Esherick, “Kaaterskill Falls”, a landscape by Hudson River painter John Frederick Kensett, an elegant, environmental female portrait by Charles Courtney Curran, impressionist landscapes by John Pierce Barnes, Emile Gruppe, and Henry Snell. Included also are bold and colorful autumn foliage paintings by S. George Phillips, and classic Bucks County winter snow scenes by Walter Emerson Baum. The sale offers a greatly varied selection of paintings, etchings, and drawings of all mediums. David Ellinger (American, PA, 1913 - 2003), "Amish School"; Oil on Canvas; 18” x 28”; Signed "D. Ellinger" Also included in this sale are paintings by Philadelphia artists and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts students and teachers like surrealist Leon Kelly, abstract painter Leonard Nelson, and African American painter Bernard Harmon, who created vibrant, large scale, expressionist portraits of friends and students. A special cross section of paintings in various medium is included of the very prolific painter and Pennsylvania Academy student, Albert Van Nesse Greene.…
Colorfield by Leonard Nelson. Photo courtesy of Gratz Gallery. How are galleries adjusting in the age of social distancing? Auction Daily had the opportunity to discuss this with Paul Gratz, owner and head conservator of Gratz Gallery. The gallery is currently participating in the Spring AFA online show and The Philadelphia Show, as well as preparing for other events later this year. Auction Daily: It feels like a year since we last spoke with you, but really it’s been about two months. Can you briefly remind our readers of your gallery’s background and its primary services? Paul Gratz, owner and head conservator of Gratz Gallery: Thank you very much for having us back. Gratz Gallery opened its doors in the summer of 2000 in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and in the fall of 2014, the gallery and studio moved to its current home on the outskirts of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where our clients can view all of our current inventory throughout two gallery spaces. We also have our conservation studio space on premises where our staff works on art and frame restoration. It is of no coincidence that both towns have close ties to the Pennsylvania Impressionists, being the birthplace of the movement as well as the home to the James A. Michener Art Museum and its world-class Pennsylvania Impressionism collection. Gratz Gallery offers an extensive collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century paintings. The gallery has focused mainly on the Pennsylvania Impressionists, the Philadelphia Ten, painters from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and painters from the Hudson River School. This allows us to offer fine American paintings spanning in style from the traditional to the modern, from Impressionism to Abstraction. Additionally, Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio holds close to 40 years of experience in art restoration. Paul Gratz started his career as a conservator in 1982. Our clients include museums, universities, churches, historical societies, and private collectors. We are a full-service studio, offering appraisals, fine art and frame restoration and conservation. Auction Daily: Is Gratz Gallery still open by appointment only? And how has the gallery adjusted to building relationships…
Auction Daily: Your gallery specializes in American Impressionism as well as fine art with ties to Pennsylvania. This includes Pennsylvania Impressionists, the Philadelphia Ten, and painters from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Please tell our readers how your interest in these categories came about, and what makes these types of paintings so interesting and noteworthy. Paul Gratz, Owner and head conservator, Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio: My interest in Pennsylvania and American Art started when I studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the 1980s. As a student there, I would sneak up into the museum at lunchtime and study the works of American artists Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931), Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924), Edward Redfield (1869-1965), Daniel Garber (1880-1958), and others. They were inspiring to me. The New Hope School was very close to where I lived, so I could relate to the paintings. What makes these works so personally interesting is that they use architectural elements and figures in the compositions. Many other American Schools paint only landscapes; those tend to be tedious to me. The most influential artist to my career was Jamie Wyeth (American, 1946- ). I saw an exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum and discovered Wyeth's portrait of John F. Kennedy there. I was so taken by the work; it was a feeling I will never forget. And I knew then and there that I wanted to spend my life in the world of art. Kenneth Rollo Nunamaker (Center Bridge, Pennsylvania, 1890 - 1957), Plum Blossoms (Springtime at Fitting Farm), from the Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio. Auction Daily: In addition to buying and selling fine art, your company offers conservation services. Is conservation the same as restoration? In terms of conservation - what exactly is it, what techniques are used, and what type of training or experience is needed to do the job? Paul Gratz: The terms "restoration" and "conservation" are used often in the treatment of art. They are different things. Conservation - for the most part - is a minimalist approach, focusing on less is more. It attempts to…
- Press Release
Forty-two pieces by the New York impressionist Albert Van Neese Greene “checked in” to the Centre Bridge hotel and restaurant for an extended stay. Art checked into Centre Bridge Inn hotel and restaurant this week. Art hung in the lounge, made a scene at the bar, and framed the day with an evening by the fireplace. Forty-two pieces by New York impressionist Albert Van Neese Greene are expected to lodge here in Solebury, at Bucks County’s first “art hotel,” through the summer. Except, this is no vacation. These artworks are working the rooms from noon to 9 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, as art mixes businesses with pleasure. In the modern world, art surrounds us, so much so, we often fail to appreciate it, or even leave it stacked in a closet, as Paul Gratz had done with dozens of treasured paintings. The owner of Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio in Plumstead has been buying, conserving and selling art for nearly four decades. And, too much beauty can be a problem. “I have a disease,” he joked. “I sell one painting, and I buy four more.” This month, many of his works left the racks of a storage warehouse, and made a jaunt up Solebury’s River Road. Floor boards creaked as decorators bustled about the inn built by the British back in 1705. Sounds of hammer and nails filled the halls, which some say are haunted, as Gratz, assistant Stephanie Lisle, and inn keeper Jerry Horan, picked out the perfect spot for each painting. Van Nesse’s “Golden Maple,” took a prized position on the main staircase. The landscape of a magnificent old tree with leaves turning autumnal shades red and yellow seemed a perfect match for the natural light streaming down onto walls of wheatfield orange. Above the fireplace, Van Neese’s “Art of Spring” shows a rural farmhouse flanked by flowering trees; their bright leaves seeming to pop off the canvas. For a brief while, Van Nesse’s works will hang at the hotel and in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Art.…
- Press Release
“THE STREAM”: This painting by Daniel Garber is one of more than 130 works of art to be featured in the Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio Modern Art and Fine American Paintings online auction on March 17. A special preview day is Saturday, March 16, from 12 to 5 p.m. at the gallery in Doylestown, Pa. On March 17, at 11 a.m., Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio is again partnering with Invaluable.com for its second Modern Art and Fine American Paintings Auction. The online auction will include more than 130 lots of works by American and international artists. Included are a selection of fine American paintings and an array of impressionist, realist, modern art, abstract and surreal, and decorative art as well as small, unknown treasures and gems. The online catalog is available for viewing at gratzgallery.com, where there is also a direct link to the live auction site at Invaluable.com. Works included in the auction reflect a selection from a wide spectrum of art genres, from the 19th to 21st century. The gallery offers a varied selection of paintings, etchings, drawings, sculptures, and frames. Featured are American artists such as Walter Emerson Baum, Paulette Van Roekens, John Pierce Barnes, Henry Snell, Frederick Harer, Emile Gruppe, Arthur Meltzer, Harry Bertoia, and Clarence Carter, as well international artists such as Peter Howell, Thomas Sherwood LaFontaine, and Raymond Douillet-Chevoleau. It is an online exclusive auction, held in cooperation with the auction platform Invaluable.com. Interested bidders must register and place bids with their online auction collaborators. Invaluable.com allows for both absentee and live real-time online bidding. Gratz Gallery is able to extend a low buyer’s premium to its clients, offering very competitive estimates on this inventory of fine American and modern paintings. A special preview day is Saturday, March 16, from 12 to 5 p.m. at Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio, 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown.
- Press Release
“PANSIES”: Works by local artist Trisha Vergis are now on view at the Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio in Doylestown, Pa. The exhibit runs through the end of the year. Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio in Doylestown, Pa., now presents a special summer exhibition of works by local artist Trisha Vergis. Vergis, born in 1962, is an American painter, master woodcarver, and conservator based in Hunterdon County and Bucks County, Pa. Having studied her craftsmanship and painting skills at institutions including Ursinus College, PAFA, Moore College of Art, and Philadelphia College of Art, as well as in her apprenticeships with master carvers, painters, and conservators, her talent was awarded with the 2017 Best of Show at Ellarslie, Trenton City Museum; Best of Show and First Place awards at Tinicum Arts Festival; and numerous inclusions at Phillips Mill Exhibitions. In addition, she has exhibited in solo shows throughout her career. As a realist painter, she paints her surroundings; local landscapes; activities; people; and seasonal fruits, flowers, and vegetables. This realist approach to painting ranges from Fauvism, heightened colors with aggressive brush work, to trompe-l’oeil (trick of the eye), realistic imagery creating the optical illusion of three dimensions. “I feel my job as an artist is to bring joy,” said Vergis. “I try to become very close with my subject, creating an intimate and parallel presence for the viewer. Painting, like dreaming, becomes about making personal connections to observations, memories, and impressions. My intention is to engage the viewer to experience the nuances of the subject.” To create color harmony in her paintings, Vergis paints with a very limited palette and sculptural brushstrokes. As a plein air and studio painter, she prefers to paint alla prima (wet on wet). Trisha Vergis’ special exhibition will be on view through the remainder of the year at Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, 5230 Silo Hill Road, Doylestown, Pa. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12 – 6 p.m., and by appointment.