The Woodstock Artists’ Association (WAAM) got its start in 1919, after several arts colony experiments begun by wealthy patrons or visionary hard workers had the effect of drawing a sizable crowd of striving young artists to the bucolic setting and friendly atmosphere that has ever since made the town both a creative hotbed and exemplary second-home community. It has added a museum element to its responsibilities within the last decade, and has watched its annual auction fundraiser – hitting its tenth anniversary this Sunday, September 2 – become a must-attend event not only for those interested in 20th-century art, but also for those with an eye for contemporary work, fine prints, antiques and other collectibles as well.
The WAAM auction, in fact, launched its current preview week (also available online) last Friday night with a special Andy Warhol-themed Pop party featuring a former Factory double for the Popmeister himself, a SUNY-New Paltz professor specializing in Warhol and his era, and even Andy-styled foods and drink.
What’s to offer this year via auction organizer and curator/gallerist/auctioneer/bon vivant extraordinaire James Cox? Think in terms of great names made affordable via intimate signed prints and drawings, plus some rare Warhol wallpaper prints (including one of a repeated self-portrait). Consider some great mid-century paintings by Woodstock notables, as well as a host of fine folk art pieces, collectibles from the lives of famous artists and a massive pile of literary finds, including a signed first edition of Jack Kerouac’s great Visions of Cody. There’s even an unsigned etching by Rembrandt Van Rijn – with provenance.
Apart from the art, the auction is great fun, lively and great for people-watching and excitement. At this point, a decade on, it has become a major cultural event of the Hudson Valley.
Works are visible in person at the WAAM galleries all week, including the morning before the auction itself kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 2. They can also be seen online.
The Woodstock Artists’ Association & Museum’s tenth annual Fine Art Auction, taking place at the WAAM galleries at 28 Tinker Street, across from the Woodstock Village Green, begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 2. Preview gallery hours this week are from 12 noon to 5 p.m. daily. For further information call (845) 679-2940, or visit either ulsterpub.staging.wpengineart.org or www.jamescoxgallery.com.