LAMA BLOG

The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

September 23, 2013

In the upcoming October 13, 2013 Modern Art & Design Auction, LAMA is proud to offer 60 lots from the Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield. From the late 1920s until the early 1980s, the Hatfields introduced Los Angeles to some of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century.

Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Estate of Ruth of Dalzell Hatfield

Dalzell Hatfield Galleries

Their list of artists who were exhibited for the first time in Los Angeles is astounding: Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Georges Rouault, Pierre-August Renoir, and Wassily Kandinsky, among others. The Hatfields also represented American and Mexican artists such as Gertrud & Otto Natzler, Millard Sheets, Russell Cowles, Pedro Coronel, and Alfredo Ramos Martínez. From the late 1920s to the early 70s, the Hatfields dedicated their lives to exhibiting and selling modern art, in the process educating Angelinos about cutting edge works of genius coming from Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

A Life of Art

Dalzell Hatfield’s fascination with art began at an early age. When he was 13, Dalzell earned his allowance by taking books back to Carnegie Library in his hometown of Pittsburgh. On his way, he would browse through the art gallery, captivated with what he saw. A few years later, he helped galleries organize traveling art exhibits for such artists as Winslow Homer and George Bellows. During his travels, he stopped in Los Angeles and realized that the rapidly expanding city would serve as the best place to sell art outside of New York.

Dalzell Hatfield, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Dalzell initially opened up a small gallery in Chicago; however, the emerging gallerist was forced to put everything on hold when he provided service to the Navy during World War I. He went into business with Earl Stendahl in 1925, joining together as the short-lived Stendahl-Hatfield Galleries located in the Ambassador Hotel. Later that year, he opened his gallery in Los Angeles on Seventh Avenue near MacArthur Park, and one year later he married Ruth, who became an integral part of their growing business. After nine successful years, the gallery closed in 1934, but Dalzell, an expert on modern art and design, traveled the country as a guest curator and lecturer for major galleries and museums, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the National Academy of Design in New York. The couple also took numerous extended trips to Europe to acquire the latest works in European art. They reopened the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in 1939 at the Ambassador Hotel, establishing itself as one of the most prosperous galleries in Los Angeles. In the 1950s, Dalzell also operated the Barbizon-Plaza Galleries at the Barbizon-Plaza Hotel at 101 W. 58th Street in New York.

Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Dalzell was active in the art world for nearly 40 years. Not only was he instrumental in setting up the first major American exhibitions of Renoir, Gauguin, and other post-Impressionist European artists, but he also exposed and encouraged regional California artists, his most noted discovery being Millard Sheets. Over the course of 24 years at the Ambassador, the gallery held more than 250 exhibitions. Dalzell passed away in 1963, yet the gallery maintained a steady output of modern exhibitions for another twenty years until Ruth’s death in 1984. Ruth and Dalzell left behind a vast collection of art, in addition to a legacy of helping to establish Los Angeles as a modern art sanctuary.

Ruth & Dalzell’s Personal Collection

A diverse variety of paintings, prints, and ceramics, Ruth and Dalzell’s personal collection represents the pioneering work the Hatfields accomplished throughout the mid-century. Their collection, offered in the October 13, 2013 auction, includes incredible pieces from Europe, the United States, and Mexico such as 16 prints from Picasso’s La Suite Vollard; a rare oil on canvas by Emil Nolde, entitled Amaryllis; the early painting by Millard Sheets, The King’s Tent (1928); Russell Cowles’ Nova Scotia Morning (1939); a large ceramic bowl by Myrton Purkiss (c. 1950); and the tempera on newsprint by Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Flores Tropicales (c. 1930). Other works represented in this collection include paintings by Dan Lutz, Bernard Lamotte, and Grigory Gluckmann, silver by Philip Paval, as well as ceramics by Glen Lukens and Gertrud & Otto Natzler.

The King’s Tent (1928), Millard Sheets, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Sculpteur et Deux Têtes sculptées (from La Suite Vollard), Pablo Picasso, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Sculpteur et Deux Têtes sculptées (from La Suite Vollard), Pablo Picasso, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Flores Tropicales (c. 1930), Alredo Ramos Martinez, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Amaryllis, Emil Nolde, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Ceramic bowl (c. 1950), Myrton Purkiss, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Dalzell Hatfield Galleries Logo, Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield

Lot Information:

Lot 310
Millard Sheets
The King’s Tent
1928
Oil on canvas
Signed “Millard Owen Sheets” lower right; bears the inscription in pencil “The King’s Tent” with Dalzell Hatfield Galleries label on upper canvas stretcher verso
Canvas: 32″ x 36″; Frame: 38.5″ x 42.5″
Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the artist); Thence by descent
Estimate: $30,000 – 50,000

Lot 363
Pablo Picasso
Sculpteur et Deux Têtes sculptées (from La Suite Vollard)
1933; published 1939
Published by A. Vollard, Paris
Etching on Montval paper with Vollard watermark
From the edition of 260
Bears the inscription in pencil “311 48/311”; lower left sheet; printed in plate in reverse “Paris 26 Mars XXXIII” center right image
Image: 10.5″ x 7.625″; Sheet: 17.375″ x 13.375″
Provenance: Ambroise Vollard Estate, Paris, France; Baron Henri Petiet, Paris, France (acquired directly from the above); The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, September 19, 1973); Thence by descent
Literature: Bloch, Georges. Picasso: Catalogue of the Printed Graphic Work, 1904-1967. Berne: Editions Kornfeld & Klipstein, 1968. #157.
Estimate: $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 344
Alfredo Ramos Martínez
Flores Tropicales
c. 1930
Tempera on newsprint
Signed lower right “Ramos Martinez”; retains Van Gallery and Dalzell Hatfield Galleries labels verso
Together with serigraph print “Los Amigos” and exhibition catalogue
LAMA would like to thank Louis Stern for kindly confirming the authenticity of this work
Image (vis.): 20.5″ x 15.5″; Frame: 31.625″ x 25.625″
Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the estate of the artist, 1964); Thence by descent
Estimate: $7,000 – 9,000

Lot 317
Emil Nolde
Amaryllis
Watercolor and gouache on paper
Signed lower right “E. Nolde”; retains Dalzell Hatfield Galleries label verso
Image (vis.): 11.25″ x 9″; Frame: 18.125″ x 16.125″
Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California; Thence by descent
Estimate: $60,000 – 90,000

Lot 329
Myrton Purkiss
Ceramic bowl
designed c. 1950
Studio
Glazed stoneware
Model no. 6
Signed “M. Purkiss”, numbered “6” and paper label “Designed & Made by M. Purkiss No Duplicates U.S.A. 2790″
Together with a photograph of Myrton Purkiss hand-decorating this bowl, and various other photographs and ephemera relating to Purkiss
3.75″ x 16” diameter
Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California; Thence by descent
Estimate: $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 321
Russell Cowles
Nova Scotia Morning
1939
Oil on canvas
Signed “Russell Cowles” lower left; retains Kraushaar Gallery label verso; inscribed in pencil on upper canvas stretcher verso “Nova Scotia Morning/Russell Cowles/c/o Kraushaar 32 E. 57th NYC”
Canvas: 40″ x 50″; Frame: 51″ x 61″
Provenance: The Estate of Ruth and Dalzell Hatfield, Los Angeles, California; Thence by descent
Exhibited: “Golden Gate International Exhibition: Contemporary Art,” San Francisco Bay Exposition, February 18-October 29, 1939; “Russell Cowles,” Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, Los Angeles, 1946
Illustrated: “Russell Cowles.” LIFE Magazine Feb. 9, 1948: p 77
Literature: Golden Gate International Exposition: Contemporary Art Official Catalog. San Francisco: San Francisco Bay Exposition Company, 1939. p 36, #87; Bear, Donald. Russell Cowles. Los Angeles: Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, 1946. np.
Estimate: $18,000 – 25,000

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