A colored pencil on paper rendering, done in 1917 by Swiss self-taught artist Adolf Wolfli (1864-1930), titled Blatt Aus Heft #15, sold for $40,480 at a folk art auction held March 28 by Slotin Auction. The framed piece, inscribed throughout, measured 11.25 inches by 16.25 inches and was in excellent condition. It was the top lot of the sale.
“This was one of only a few Wolfli pieces we’ve ever offered at auction, and it made a very strong showing, probably stronger than a gallery sale,” said Amy Slotin who, along with her husband Steve, oversees what has become the premier folk art auction firm in the country. Twice a year, collectors mark their calendars and pour in from around the world to attend their sales.
The March 28 event was fairly typical, in that nearly 1,000 lots crossed the block. Not so typical, however, was the turnout. “Usually we start a sale with more staff than bidders,” Amy remarked, “but this time it was standing-room only from the start, with every one of the 200 chairs filled. The room was overflowing. I had to double up on my orders for lunch and dinner.”
Slotin Auction has been in business for about fifteen years. The firm conducts its sales in a 6,000-square-foot converted grocery store in downtown Buford, located just north of Atlanta. But don’t be fooled by the unassuming venue. Buyers and sellers include some of the folk art world’s most respected collectors, such as film directors Jonathan Demme and Penny Marshall.
Folk art is a rambling but rapidly burgeoning genre. For a long time it was dismissed by highbrow critics, mainly because it was created by untrained, often uneducated and sometimes eccentric artists. But today, folk art has found a place in some of the most well-respected art institutions in the world. The High Museum in Atlanta has acquired pieces through Slotin sales.
Slotin Auction’s next big event will be a November Masterpiece Sale (Nov. 7). Quality consignments are now being accepted. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, you may call them directly, at (770) 532-1115 or (404) 403-4244. Or, you can send them an e-mail, to [email protected].
To learn more about Slotin Auction, go to www.slotinfolkart.com.