‘Locked away for several generations’: Art auction preview in Winnipeg features rare works

If you’re looking to add something special to your art collection – you’re in luck.

Mayberry Fine Art and its Toronto partner, Cowley Abbot, are hosting a four-day fine arts auction preview featuring 40 Canadian and international pieces – which have an estimated value of $7,000,000 to $10,000,000.

“We decided that it would be important for Winnipeg audiences to have an opportunity to preview the live sale, and the pieces the Winnipeg Art Gallery would be offering up, giving them an opportunity to potentially participate in the sale at the end of the month,” said Shaun Mayberry, Co-owner or Mayberry Fine Art.

Fourteen of the works are from the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq’s permanent collection and are expected to go for $500,000 to $700,000 of that total.

“Some of these works are worth a few thousand dollars, some are worth in the hundreds of thousands,” said Stephen Borys, Director and CEO of WAG-Qaumajuq.

The WAG block includes an early Group of Seven painting, post-war pieces, and works by Prairie Modernists, such as Ivan Eyra and Tony Tascona.

“The painting by David Milne, I believe, is one of the higher estimated paintings that the Winnipeg Art Gallery is showcasing, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $250,000,” said Mayberry.

Also hitting the auction block are works from several artists with Manitoba connections, including Walter J. Phillips, L.L. Fitzgerald, Charles Comfort, Bertram Brooker, Ken Lochhead, David Milne and William Kurelek.

According to Borys, the pieces that were selected for sale by the gallery are all from artists who are well represented at the gallery.

Money raised from the auction will also help support the future of the institution.

“The funds that are raised from this sale, go towards two new acquisition funds, ones just for contemporary art, and the one we’ve already started for contemporary indigenous art,” said Borys.

According to Mayberry, the preview is set to provide Winnipeggers a memorable experience.

“To have this opportunity to see pieces from the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s collection, many of which have been locked away for several generations, is a pretty unique opportunity for Canadian collectors,” said Mayberry.

The preview auction begins on May 1. at Mayberry Fine Art (212 McDermot Ave) and runs through May 4.

The live auction will take place in Toronto on May 30, and will also include remote bidding.

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