Sale 504 Lot 168
Portrait of the Princess of Orange
oil on canvas
signed (lower right)
34 1/4 x 26 1/2 inches.
Estimate $ 3,000-5,000
Property of the Minnesota Historical Society from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection
About Mary Griggs Burke:
In the exhibition and collection catalogue Bridge of Dreams, published in conjunction with the 2000 Metropolitan Museum of Art's Masterpieces of Japanese Art from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Burke credits her mother, Mary Livingston Griggs, for developing her astute eye and passion for collecting. Livingston Griggs raised the family in her St. Paul, Minnesota childhood home and filled it with old master paintings and European furniture collected from her travels.
The Burbank-Livingston-Griggs house, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in Saint Paul in 1862-1865. Of her childhood home, Mary Griggs Burke wrote, "Throughout mother's life she found much pleasure in collecting antiques, which on a large scale included complete eighteenth-century paneled European rooms, which were - cleverly and amazingly - installed in the Victorian house."
In 1968, Mary Griggs Burke bequeathed the home to the Minnesota Historical Society for use as a museum. The Society operated the museum until 1996 when it deaccessioned and sold the house; the contents were deaccessioned in 2016.
Regarding the house's influence on her collecting, she said, "By the time Mother had finished redoing it, the mid-nineteenth century house contained such a variety of styles and objects from different cultures, including a few Chinese ceramics, that it was like a museum. Living in such an environment undoubtedly helped me to develop a respect for rare, carefully crafted objects, and being surrounded by so many interesting things probably gave me an eclectic taste. Collecting was in my blood." Mary Griggs Burke's donation of objects to the Met provided the museum with one of the most impressive collections of Japanese art in the world, and she befittingly came to be known as "the Mother of Japanese Art in America." Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is honored to work with the Minnesota Historical Society on the Mary Griggs Burke Collection.
Frame: 47 1/2 x 39 inches. In overall decent, stable, attractive condition. Surface dirt and some discoloration to varnish. Scattered flaking and losses to paint. Area or white residue to left of subject's face. Examination under UV light exposes overpainting throughout, particularly to border.