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Arthur Smith Original Baseball Artwork Collection (5) - Formerly on Exhibit at the Babe Ruth Museum
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,896
Collection of five oil-on-board (masonite) baseball paintings, each signed "A. Smith" along the base. We have identified the artist as Arthur Smith in the title, but there appears to be growing doubt among art collectors that the offered paintings (as well as the many other artworks signed by "A. Smith" that have come to market in the past twenty years) are the work of known WPA artist and illustrator Arthur Smith. The website AskART (www.askart.com) documents many examples of artworks by "A. Smith's" sold at auction over the years, but it offers the following caveat:
Myths about the artist who painted the many boxing, circus, baseball and protest scenes that have come on the market over the last 20 years are now being questioned. It seems probable that these paintings, clearly by the same hand, were attributed in error to illustrator Arthur Smith but are, in fact by someone else, signing A. Smith. For an extensive discussion, please see the AskART discussion board in this listing.
Here is the link to that discussion page:
While we have no opinion either way in the matter, we feel it is necessary to present all of the information. Despite the enigma surrounding the identification of the artist (there appears to be more than one "Arthur Smith"), as well as their precise date of origin, paintings by this artist have a long history of being collected and auction results have been recorded for many years by art auction sites such as AskART. Of special note, the offered paintings were even publicly displayed at the Babe Ruth Museum a number of years ago for one of its special exhibits. One of the paintings (16 x 20 inches) clearly depicts Joe DiMaggio (the name "Joe" is painted in white in the lower right corner) in a batting pose. The other four are generic in nature and picture a fielder diving for a ball (24 x 12 inches), an outfielder leaping for a ball at the fence (12 x 16 inches), a batter at the plate hitting a ball (24 x 23 inches), and a pitcher throwing the ball (15.5 x 20 inches). All of the works are in Excellent to Mint condition. Total: 5 paintings. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $1,896
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