Local/Regional News
5:19 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Keeneland Art Auction Generates $3.11 Million

The inaugural Keeneland art auction included some of the most pricey works ever put up for sale in Lexington.

Julius Caeser by John E. Ferneley, Sr. was one of the works up for sale at the first-ever Keeneland Sporting Art Auction

Though the event didn’t produce any million-dollar sales, many pieces exceeded their stated values.

Despite failing to sell the two highest-priced works Wednesday, the auction did generate over $3M for the Keeneland Foundation. Andrew Wyeth’s Marsh Hawk and Mary Cassatt’s Children Playing with a Cat both earned bids of more than $4.5M, but did not meet the reserve of $5M.

Cross Gate Gallery owner Greg Ladd says the original idea for an art auction expanded over time.

"We went out trying to capture good thoroughbred paintings and paintings related to racing and then thought, 'Well, you've got a diverse crowd that comes through Keeneland for these horse sales' and so we said let's get some shooting, fishing..." Ladd says in  Keeneland Magazine report.

Two pieces by Lexington artist Andre Pater earned more than expected. Sandstorm, a painting of an Arabian horse and rider, sold for $80,000 while a work entitled The Gift of Scent took in $160,000. The auction’s top seller was LeRoy Nieman's Flat Racing, a 17-by-7 foot mural.

Keeneland director of sales Walt Robertson says he was happy with the evening and enjoyed the crowd’s enthusiasm.