The Preeminent Gallery for American Art
For more than fifty years, Spanierman Gallery cultivated a reputation as one of the country’s preeminent galleries dedicated to American Art. Founded by Ira Spanierman in 1961, the gallery initially offered a wide selection of material, including silver, arms and armor, Old Master, European and American art. Over time, Spanierman chose to focus exclusively on American art, a move that would establish the gallery as a tour-de-force in the field. Well-known for his outstanding ‘eye’ and dedication to connoisseurship, Spanierman was trusted by institutions and private collectors alike. The gallery was known to have sold to hundreds of museums across the United States and abroad while fostering the development of some of the country’s most prestigious private collections.
In addition to its reputation as a dealer, Spanierman Gallery was esteemed in the industry for its dedication and support of art scholarship. As a young man starting off in the business, Ira Spanierman recalled researching and identifying paintings through tedious research at the Frick Art Reference Library. These hours of study left an indelible mark on Spanierman who would go on to publish catalogue raisonnés for artists such as Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, Willard Metcalf, and co-sponsor the catalogue on the work of Winslow Homer.
When Spanierman Gallery closed in 2014 an impressive inventory remained. We are pleased to offer a selection of these works from the estates acquired by the gallery including those of Dora Maar, Solomon Ethe, Vaclav Vytlacil, John F. Carlson, Joseph Amar, James and Myron Lechay, Martha Walter, Mercedes Matter, Lamar Briggs, Sumiye Okoshi and Robert Emmett Owen.
Abstract artist Bill Alpert was born in the Bronx to Russian-Polish parents in 1934. The son of a drug store owner, Alpert initially studied to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pharmacist but after completing his doctorate in the field, quickly realized that his calling in life was of a more artistic nature. In 1963, he made the decision to go back to school in order to study painting at UCLA, eventually receiving his Master’s in Fine Art under the tutelage of Modernists, Arthur Levine and John Paul Jones.
Alpert made his exhibition debut at the Czeka Co-op Gallery, Los Angeles in 1965 and only three years later, relocated to New York where he quickly began showing his works. His focus during the 1970s leaned towards the experimental, creating painted wood constructions and abstract paintings as well as developing alternative drying techniques for pigments. In 1977, Alpert took part in a group exhibition at the Wade Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the following year, was given a solo show at the same gallery. His works were also included as part of an exhibition of the Brutten-Herrick Collection at the Ben Shahn Gallery of William Patterson College in New Jersey.
By the 1980s, Alpert had become disillusioned with the commercialization of art galleries and though he did return for a few exhibitions in the 1990s and ultimately a group show in 2011, he largely declined invitations to show his works. Painting, though, remained a daily exercise while professionally, he turned his attention to teaching. For decades, he held a position at the Cooper Union School of Art while also offering instruction at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts, additionally offering classes to international groups based in China and Mongolia. Alpert passed away on 15 February 2015.
Auction Results Bill Alpert