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.

Sears Gallagher 1869–1955

Born in Boston in 1869, Sears Gallagher had impressive family lineage that extended back to the Pilgrims. He began his art education locally, later refining his skills at the Académie Julian in Paris working under Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens.

Gallagher began his career as an artist-reporter for a local Boston newspaper and illustrating textbooks for the publishing firm of Ginn & Company. However, by the early 1900s he had established himself as a professional artist specializing in etchings and watercolors. By 1920, he had produced 138 etchings of the historic streets and landmarks of Boston. He exhibited throughout United States and had several solo shows in Boston. His work also appeared at the Paris salons.

Gallagher's memberships included the Guild of Boston Artists, the Boston Society of Water Color Painters, the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and the Chicago Society of Etchers. He won several awards and prizes, among them the City of Boston Tercentenary medal in 1930. He taught at Boston University and spent his later years in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he continued to paint and etch until his retirement in the mid-1940s. Gallagher died in Boston in 1955.

Gallagher's work is represented in important public collections throughout the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Art Institute of Chicago; New York Public Library; Boston Public Library; the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Auction Results Sears Gallagher