Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Annex Galleries

When I was in New York a number of years ago I went to visit a photography gallery where the proprietor, who I knew, asked if I had ever heard of Gustave Baumann.  I said I certainly had.

He told me a client had left a collection of photographs with him to sell.  Along with the photographs was this Baumann woodcut that he asked if I could I handle for him.  I said, of course I could though I did not know that much about Baumann but had seen a number of his great colored woodcuts and was a big fan. The New Mexico Museum of Art has a great collection of his work and the curator, Merry Scully, told me to get in touch with the Annex Galleries.  I did but they were not interested in my print or maybe it was the price I was asking for it!  Here is an image of “Taos Placita”, 1947.

Anyway, this correspondence via email got me on their mailing list and pretty much every day from then on I got an email with their “Print of the Day”.  It was an education in itself.  There were 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st century prints not just European and American but also Mexican, Asian, African and Pacific Rim.  The prices ran roughly from $50 to $50,000 with the great majority in the hundreds of dollars.

I found, not surprisingly, that what I liked did not necessarily correspond to the price.  I felt that this website was the answer to all those people who had come to my gallery saying, “I can’t afford to collect” and indirectly to their other question, “what should I collect?”  For instance if you are looking for a strong and not very expensive print here is a block print called “Worker with Drill” of about 1935  by Russian artist Albert Abramovitz (1879 – 1963) for $600.

The gallery is in Santa Rosa, California and that put the news coverage of the terrible fires last fall on a more personal level for me.  I emailed them at the time as I was concerned with their plight.  When, shortly after, we saw their stand at the New York Print Fair I asked about a fabulous Baumann print they had up on the wall and the price and I was told “It’s $35,000 but it was just sold” – Bummer! – The lady with whom I was speaking was Gala Chamberlain, she is partnered with her husband, Daniel Lienau, founder of the Annex Galleries.  Here is an image of “Silver Sky” the woodcut I saw which is finished with hand applied aluminum leaf.

Turns out that Gala and Daniel worked closely with Baumann’s daughter who also lived in Santa Rosa and died in 2011.  They are sole representatives of the estate and Gala is the executor; I did not quite understand the transaction.  It was explained to me that Gala would buy it from the gallery and give the woodcut back to the estate for resale and then the proceeds could be used for Baumann projects around the country.   Gala has just completed the Catalogue Raisonné on Gustave Baumann’s prints, which is scheduled to be published by Rizzoli in 2019.

It all began when Daniel was at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and he came across the Roten Gallery, which brought prints to college campuses giving the students a chance to buy with a year to pay for them.  He acquired a monumental woodcut by Leonard Baskin, “Hydrogen Man” for $100 and two Franz Marc’s for $20 each and paid them off over the following year.  The rest is history but Daniel started in business as a framer in Berkeley and then San Francisco where he first framed single prints and then editions of prints.  He ended up trading frames for cash and prints.  He now has over 6,000 prints on his website for every taste and pocket book.

Back in the 1970’s prints were not considered a high art like paintings and sculpture so selling was difficult.  Since Daniel saw the burgeoning interest in the collecting of photography which, of course, is just a category of prints, he reached out to a New York dealer by the name of Lee Witkin, who was a pioneer in the photography  market.   Daniel did a show in New York with Lee in the early 1980’s.  My wife and I were then regular visitors to the gallery where we bought much of our photography collection. Why were we acquainted with the name and images of Gustave Baumann before we came out to the Southwest?  It must have been Daniel Lieneau’s exhibition at Lee Witkin’s gallery.  My father always said that we live in a Global Village and it took just 37 years for these links to come together in our lives!

I asked Daniel how it is possible to do a global business from a small town in Northern California and the response was interesting.  He said that they do 18 to 20 art fairs a year. Having never done more than a couple annually I can tell you that even that was exhausting!  Nonetheless, Daniel told me that today he does most of his business on line.  I found this rather mind-boggling but with his method of being in continuous touch with potential clients by offering them something new to consider every day,---why not?

If you want to start on the same journey into the print world that I did just email the Annex Galleries ( to get on their mailing list for “The Print of the Day”.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lifeways of the Southern Athabaskans

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe opened an exhibition last month,  “Lifeways of the Southern Athabaskans”.  What is Athabaskan? Well you may ask. According to the dictionary it is “a family of languages spoken by American Indians in most of inland northwest Canada and Alaska, in coastal Oregon and California, and in Arizona and the Rio Grande basin, and including especially Navajo, Apache, and Chipewyan.”

This exhibition focuses on the Apache. There are 5 different main tribes with a number of Bands in each.  The five tribes are the Jicarilla, the Mescalero, the Chiricahua, the San Carlos and White Mountain. In the movies the Apache have often been represented as a single warlike tribe lead by Geronimo (1829-1909).  The Mescalero-Chiricahua, the warrior and medicine man led bands of Indians on numerous raids during a prolonged period in what he probably saw as protecting the lands of his people which were being settled by the Anglos after the United States’ war with Mexico.

The curator of the exhibition is Joyce Begay-Foss (Diné, known in the Anglo world as Navajo).  She is Director of Education at he museum and she wanted to call attention to the Apache because she felt that visitors to the museum might only be acquainted with a few of the Pueblos and not the Apache.  The show gives an across the board view of how the Apache lived and the utilitarian objects that they made.  Each of the tribes was different and approached the creation of these objects differently. 

Ms. Begay-Foss approaches her subject in a very ethnographic manner with the accent more on material culture and less on art though I would venture that many of works in the show reach the qualitative term, art. As an aside students  have traditionally been taught that there are the Fine Arts, paintings, drawings and sculpture and everything else is decorative arts, which in my opinion is a pejorative term.  Not as bad, of course, as at my Alma Mater, Columbia University, where there was a file cabinet outside of the library labeled, “The Minor Arts”.  In medieval times, however, there was just art, with no such distinction.

The Apache lived a migratory lifestyle, moving around from hill to dale seeking food and good hunting.  They camped in tipis that could be easily taken down, transported and put up in the next place. Here is a photo of the Mescalero Apache tipis in New Mexico taken around 1906 by R.H. Robinson.

Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors, Photo Archives

I will illustrate a few objects but there are so many that you really need to see the exhibition for yourselves to fully appreciate its scope.  Happily the show will be up into July of 2019 so you can put it on your calendars for when you will be in the neighborhood.

The most impressive work in the exhibition is a huge buffalo hide painted to record in abstract terms the early homelands of the Jicarilla.  The U.S. government had not yet set boundaries for tribal lands and as a nomadic people they had no sense of their specific land but roamed the Southwest freely.  Of course, there were natural boundaries, rivers, sacred mountains, lakes plains and other natural markers.  Each band could define their territory using these landmarks.

The primary weapon used for hunting was the bow and arrow and here is a Chiricahua Quiver (ca. 1886), which held the arrows. The colorful stars that decorate the brain tanned leather and the red flannel wool are made of tiny glass seed beads.

Photo by Addison Doty. Courtesy Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

For any group of people procreation is vital to continuation of the species and therefore we protect our children and teach them so that life can continue.  In the Apache tribes the children become aware of their identity as male and female through their language, education and cultural values which seems no different from most other worlds except I was not carried around on my mothers back on a cradleboard.  Dolls and tiny cradle boards helped to teach children how to take care of their siblings.  The style of clothing and moccasins a child wore were changed according to their age and amulets were attached to their garments for protection.  The same as we see St. Christopher medals hanging from the rear view mirror in many cars.

This Jicarilla elaborately contoured and beaded buckskin cape was made for the ceremony of a girl’s passage to womanhood. The dangling shells are amulets. Late 19th early 20th century.

Photo Courtesy Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

There is no catalog for the show but many books on the subject of the Apache.  I asked Ms. Begay-Foss, if forced, could she pick a single book to cover the subject and she suggested “Apache” by Thomas E. Mails.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Kota Ezawa, The Crime of Art

Site Santa Fe, our renowned Kunsthalle has been recently enlarged and has had an overall renovation as well. Before you reach the main exhibition galleries there is a curated shop with design pieces opposite a pair of smaller galleries called the SITElab where the exhibition Koto Ezawa, The Crime of Art is installed.

As indicated by the title, this is a solo exhibition based on famous art thefts.  All the works are new or recently done. As I have at home a shelf of books on art crime, the title of this show caught my attention.

Ezawa pays tribute to the  stolen works of art with transparencies placed in light boxes.
His series devoted the 1990 theft of the Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas among others  from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum starts the exhibition. The case has not been solved in almost 30 years. Every once in a while we seen a blurb in the news that they have another clue but these lead nowhere!

The show is not limited to the Gardner theft.  Another series of images refers to the famous theft of the Edvard Munch’s, “The Scream” from Oslo’s National Museum.  This picture was recovered in Norway after a two- year search.  There was another painting stolen as well and tree men were eventually convicted of the crime.  In this lightbox transparency you can see two men carrying paintings and the third opening the back of the wagon to put them in.

Ezawa is a Japanese-German artist who was born in 1969 in Cologne, Germany.  He currently lives near San Francisco and is Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Film at the California College of the Arts.  His work has been shown in many major museums in this country as well as in Canada, London, Paris and Germany.

A press release from the Haine’s Gallery in San Francisco defined Ezawa’s work very clearly, “Kota Ezawa’s work explores the appropriation and mediation of current events and images.”

The artist himself  states that this series, “draws upon painting only to recognize that painters before 1850, like Rembrandt and Vermeer, were essentially the photographers of their time. In the absence of photographs, their paintings take on the task of recording reality with the scrutiny and minuteness that we now expect from cameras. ….I feel compelled to produce an exhibition dealing with ‘stolen art works’ because my own process could be regarded as a form of image theft. One could say I’m hoping to steal these images back and give them a new life.”

What wonderful self-awareness! I too had the reaction to the work that it was copying though it certainly was not identical replication .  It is the theft of thought and who owns art?  It is always open to interpretation and what we call appropriation.  This has become a serious contemporary legal issue involving copyright law.   The Tate Gallery in London defined artistic appropriation as, “the more or less direct taking over of a work of art, a real object or even an existing work of art.”  I doubt very much that Rembrandt or Manet are going to go after Ezawa, however!

But when you compare Ezawa’s transparency with an original painting you see that he has not copied but simplified in a way like Cézanne simplified form and started cubism and abstraction almost at the same time!  Here, for instance, is his version of Manet’s “Chez Tortoni" together with the original.

Again in Ezawa’s appropriation of Rembrandt’s “Storm in the Sea of Galilee” it’s starkness derives from very flat colors and stylized form.

The video that goes along with the exhibition is marvelous exposition.  It shows among other aspects of art crime the helicopter coming down on the roof  of the museum and guards scrambling in the famous Topkapi heist; as so often happens they are too late!  I have included a small portion of the artist’s video.  In Google you will find many others.

I apologize for having  “discovered” this show at such a late date so you only have a couple of days to see it in Santa Fe live but a beautifully produced book with the same title has images from this show and a lot more.  A version of the show will go on to the Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year’s Resolutions

We have all made New Year’s Resolutions at one time or another and this is a subject that hits the news every year at this time.  So what is a New Year’s Resolution?

Our tradition of resolving to change undesired behavior or accomplish a personal goal is probably directly attributable to ancient religions where people made promises to their gods. I remember a time in my life when every morning on my way to school I would resolve not to go to the nearby Cake Masters Bakery to buy a slice of chocolate layer cake.  I broke that resolution several times a week!  So much for my will power!

What started me thinking about this subject was an article in our local free paper, The Santa Fe Reporter, whose front cover banner said, “2018 Resolutions”.  After last week’s Missive titled “Charities” for Christmas, “Resolutions” seemed perfect for January 1. The Reporter article, however, was mainly asking known personages in Santa Fe and nationally for their predictions and aspirations. I cannot resist repeating the one that might be closest to my way of thinking after this most depressing year: Kenneth Baumann, a teacher in Santa Fe, said  “I’d like to see less fascism, more decentralized institutions.  Less authoritarian impulses, less violent persecution of minorities.”

I did, however, want to look up some of the most popular resolutions on line and found that every article had a different slant.  Being more careful with money or getting out of debt were, of course, near the top of any list. Also, there was losing weight, eating healthier, getting in better shape (ie going to the gym) and drinking  less alcohol, which could all be considered the same resolution. The one that amused me was spending less time on Social Media: it sounds so new how is it already a bad habit you want to get over!  Here is a cartoon you will relate to if you have ever thought, “I must listen to my mother more”.

If people have made resolutions for thousands and thousands of years, why have they found them so difficult to keep?  For one thing even if you continue to work on a resolution for a long period of time eventually you stop and go back to your old ways.  I know that half a century ago I lived in London for 9 months and walked everywhere often 9 miles in a day and lost 45 lbs.  I actually went to a Saville Row tailor to have my clothes taken in because it was cheaper than buying all new suits.  When I was back in New York and still walked and pedaled a lot it was never the same. After some time I gained much of the weight back.  If your patience and stamina don’t pay off sooner or later you say “What’s the use?"

I found this article from Psychology Today titled, “Why People Can’t Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions”. It looks at what researchers and the psychologists have to say.  Articles from various publications are quoted with links as references. It is an interesting method of internet footnoting! The article actually explains my weight problem as my having been discouraged after really trying  but also that resolutions require a “rewiring of the brain” which is not easy to do on your own.  I am attaching a link to the article where you will not only find many reasons why people give up on their resolutions but some suggestions for having a better chance of success.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Charity should be a good subject for Christmas.  If you are on any mailing lists you receive appeals at this time of year from all sorts of worthy causes and, if you happen to have given to any in the past, there will be twice as many at this time of year.

You might be able to classify some of these as, in alphabetical order, Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Hospitals, Protective Services such as Police and Firemen, Social Well Being and probably 20 more.  You may want to give to everyone who asks but you have to limit yourselves according to your means and inclination.  In New York I used to contemplate how much it would cost on a daily basis if I gave a dollar to every beggar I passed that day!

I never used to understand why the Billionaires hired people to help them decide what charities to give to until I semi-retired and had time and some disposable income.  In addition to the merit of the cause there is the issue of where will your gift do the most good. I am assuming for this piece that we are only speaking of legitimate charities and not analyzing individual ones.

Obviously the choice is personal. Everyone has had experience of illnesses and hospitals so health-related causes naturally get wide support. The arts get a much smaller percentage of charitable giving, and since the arts have been our field it is the focus of our giving.

When I moved from New York to New Mexico I found that there were cultural causes I never knew about or understood properly.  Though I certainly knew about the terrible things the Anglos did to the Native Americans over the centuries I did not understand all their needs still today, and also, the need to communicate their culture to the Anglo world.  Out west I have discovered the Native American museums.  The only one I knew before was the Museum of Natural History but without understanding it had little meaning to me. Beyond preserving and displaying their arts the cultural traditions of Native Americans need to be supported in their schools.

We took for granted the countless theaters and concert halls we had to choose from in New York, but in Santa Fe we have only a single performing arts center (the Lensic). Without that venue we would not have a location in which to enjoy visiting musical artists of national stature, or our own dance company or symphony or any live performance, so naturally we support it.

Here donated dollars go farther. I have to make a cost comparison from personal experience.  I have belonged to gyms in New York and Santa Fe and attended them in a number of other places.  To belong or bring a guest is 2 to 3 times more expensive in the big cities than in Santa Fe, which is considered quite expensive for New Mexico because a lot of the inhabitants are retired transplants or have a second home here. It is the same with museums: although individual memberships start around the same figure, higher levels can cost 10 times as much in a large art center .

Support is much more appreciated locally. The same amount of donation to an organization in a major center that would only be recognized by a formal letter of receipt from the development office, here is recognized not only with the formal letter but often a hand written note from a trustee, and, in one case, from the founder of the organization, or even a luncheon invitation!

As I was finishing this up I saw that my subject of Charity accounted for a section in the December 18th issue of the magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, The main thrust is  practical advice on giving to charities, but there is also a part about diving in and enjoying the process.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pockets of Representation

"The Strange Life of Objects” is the title of a book written by Maurice Rheims (1910-2003), a French novelist and auctioneer who administered the estate of Pablo Picasso. The book traces what happens to a work of art after its creation. The tastes of collectors, changes in fashion, and fluctuations of value have a great bearing on the fate of a work at any given moment.  The subject has been written about often and I was thinking of the collections that are in museums where you would not expect them.

We all know that you can find great collections and a wide variety of art in the large museums in this country such as Metropolitan in New York, The Cleveland Art Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum, but I am interested here in the more obscure treasure collections you can find around the United States.

One of the greatest gifts of art ever given in this country comprised over 3,000 works of European art with the emphasis on Italian Renaissance paintings given by the Kress Brothers through their foundation The largest single portion went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington but the rest was dispersed to locations where the Kress family had 5 and 10cent stores that were the source of their wealth. You can find the list of scores of regional and academic art museums throughout the United States that have received Kress donations HERE.

I remember getting a phone call from a client asking for me to intervene with the estate of another client of ours Eugenia Woodward Hitt.  She was the daughter of an important Birmingham family and she had left her wonderful collection of French 18th century decorative arts to the Birmingham Museum of Art.  The client wanted me to find out if Birmingham would give up the drapes in the apartment because the first mentioned client wanted to buy the apartment and thought the drapes were perfect.  I must tell you I saw the apartment several times and it was not the drapes that stood out in my memory!   The level of the collection was exemplified by a gilt bronze clock, which did not go to Birmingham but rather to the Chateau de Versailles.   Here is a commode (chest of drawers) in Birmingham by Jacques Dubois from the Hitt Collection.

Who would expect to find one of the finest collections of the German porcelain from the Royal Factory of Meissen in Jacksonville, Florida?  But there it is, in The Cummer Museum and Gardens, thanks to a gift from Constance I. and Ralph H. Wark to the museum in 1965.  Another important collection of German Porcelain can be found at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee given by Warda Stevens Stout.

In Cincinnati who would expect to find a world-renowned collection of Limoges Renaissance Enamels?  Well, one is housed in The Taft Museum of Art in the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House, a National Historic Landmark built around 1820.  They don’t tout it on the museum website, but take my word for it and, If you are in the neighborhood go see it.  When I asked they sent me three images: two by very famous artists Pierre Reymond and  Léonard Limosin  but I chose to illustrate the  complete tryptich with Calvary, Saint James, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, about 1484–97, by an anonymous master artist known as Monvaerni Master.

Remember, “Go West Young Man Go West” most often attributed to newspaper editor Horace Greeley (1811-1872)? Art too has gone West.   I have given examples on the east coast and the center of the States but one venerable West Coast example, the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Gardens in San Marino, near Los Angeles is an absolute gem. It was  founded in 1919 by railroad pioneer Henry E. Huntington  who combined an enthusiasm for paintings with a love of botany and  rare books and manuscripts.  It is worth it just to walk around the grounds but the collection of European and American paintings is superb as well.    To name a work of art you have surely heard of, Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727-1788), “Blue Boy” that caused such public outcry when it left Britain in 1922, can be found there.

By now everyone has heard of the Getty Center built by the architect Richard Meier to house the European art collected by J. Paul Getty.  His classical antiquities, however, remain in the Malibu location that was his original museum. The installation of ancient masterpieces in Getty’s recreation of a Roman villa is well worth the visit.

I remember when I was young the Los Angeles County Museum was considered a joke but today it is a fabulous museum thanks to its curators and a growing number of major donors.
LACMA has become such an active collecting institution on many fronts that you find new acquisitions on every visit to the galleries. European Art curator Patrice Marandel retired this year after 24 years that were marked by his purchases of outstanding paintings funded by the Ahmanson Foundation. One of those acquisitions is a “Musical Party by Valentine de Bologna.

You have heard the expression “coals to Newcastle”. It can be applied  to art as people love the art made in their part of the world.  So if you are looking for Northwest Coast Native American Art go to the art museums of Portland , Oregon or Seattle, Washington or cross the border and head for the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

Much of this treasure hunting can be done on you computer where you can seek out what is viewable where.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

When Modern was Contemporary

When the presence of their new-born son (me) made it impossible for my family to continue art business from the one bedroom apartment they had occupied since they arrived in this country they took a small gallery space at 32 East 57th Street. It grew to a full floor of the building and then a second floor as well.  A late- comer to the building was Arnold Glimcher’s Pace Gallery which eventually took over most of the building.  So it became known as the Pace building though I would regularly tease Arnie that it should really be known as the Rosenberg & Stiebel building. I must admit that is not as catchy sounding!

Pace often left crates in the downstairs hallway waiting to be picked up and I started to notice the name Roy Neuberger on a number of them and was always curious - with an inheritance from his parents who died when he was 12 Roy Neuberger (1903-2010) spent years leading a bohemian life in Paris.  He came back to the States, became a financier and co-founder of the investment firm of Neuberger Berman.

In Paris he became well acquainted with the Louvre and brought a love of art back to the States with him.  In 1939 he bought his first painting and became friendly with Nelson Rockefeller.  In 1967, as Governor of New York, Rockefeller  established the New York State University system. He convinced Neuberger to give what eventually numbered 500 works to a new museum designed by Philip Johnson on the on the NY State University campus in Purchase, NY. It was named the Neuberger Museum.

The travelling exhibition “When Modern was Contemporary”, currently at the Albuquerque Art Museum, presents selections from the Neuberger collection.  The title “When Modern was Contemporary” is brilliant because contemporary ceases to be contemporary quite quickly. Today we refer to much of the art of the 20th century as Modern,  though Neuberger bought what was contemporary.

In a vitrine at the center of the first section of the show is Roy Neuberger’s “Black Book” in which he recorded his acquisitions.   In my family gallery my father kept a black book almost identical to this with one inventory item per page but it was handwritten.  My father called the sheets “laufzettel”, which translates literally as walking or running slips, on which he put the inventory number, object title, information about the piece including those clients interested.  Unfortunately, when the computer came in and my father had died we went to digital information without paper records.

Neuberger was interested in documenting the artists of his time as well as supporting them.  It did not matter if the artist was of a racial minority as long as the art seemed important to him.  One of my favorite artists is Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000).   In the first section of the show is a guache by him, “In the Evening Evangelists Preach and Sing on Street Corners”, 1943.  Lawrence is best known for his “Migration” series (1940-41), which the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C and Museum of Modern Art in New York agreed to divide when it was on view at the Downtown Gallery in New York.  Lawrence was the first African American to be represented by a major gallery.  Other black artists are also represented in the Neuberger exhibition including Romare Bearden.

Tucked high in a corner of the Albuquerque installation is an Alexander Calder (1898-1976) mobile titled “The Red Ear”, 1957.  Calder also made large stabiles but is known as the inventor of the mobile.  This is the only one that Neuberger bought.  I wondered why such an important piece wasn’t front and center but then I noticed the lighting creating shadows on the wall which actually give the piece far more prominence than if it had just been hanging in the middle.

Will Barnet (1911-2012), lived to a ripe old age but his portraits always seem youthful.  Here is “Child Reading-Yellow”, of 1967.  The subject of family informed a great deal of this artist’s mature work.  Maybe the reason I identify so with this image of a girl reading in bed is because my daughter could always be found with a book in her hand be it in bed, in an armchair, or even in the bath.  As I have written before today she owns and runs a bookstore!

As evidence of Neuberger’s ecumenical approach to collecting is the painting by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) representing “A Woman Spinning”, 1943.  Tamayo was well travelled and learned from the Cubists, but also used pre-Columbian and Mexican forms. Yet his work is truly his own and recognizable without too much difficulty.  He became one of the most universally recognizable Mexican artists of the 20th century.

My final illustration out of the many I could have chosen is a late picture by another major figure of the 20th century Marsden Hartley (1877-1943).  “Fisherman’s Last Supper”, Nova Scotia, 1940.    Hartley traveled to Nova Scotia in 1935 and stayed with a family called Mason.  They took him in and made a very pleasant home for him.  He became particularly close to their two sons who tragically died in a boating accident the following year.  Overcome by grief, Hartley not only painted “Fisherman’s Last Supper” but wrote a poem with the same title.  Neuberger bought the painting shortly after Hartley’s death and in in his own words, “When I brought it home I felt that I now had an American masterpiece.”