28E Jobs Lane Southampton, NY 11968 , United States Call Seller 631.204.0383



$ 2,875
  • Description
    Original 1965 oil on masonite painting of a king on his throne with embellishments of gold and silver leaf by the well known American artist, Harry Sternberg. Signed lower right. Circa 1965. Condition is excellent. Original frame made of wormy chestnut. Overall framed measurements are 25.5 by 14.5 inches. Provenance: A Long Island, New York estate.

    HARRY STERNBERG (1904-2001)
    Harry Sternberg was born on July 19, 1904 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His father, Simon Sternberg, was a dealer in fur garments who immigrated to New York from Russia. Sternberg’s mother, Rosalia, was an immigrant from Hungary. In 1910, Simon and Rosalia moved to Brooklyn, with Harry and his eight older siblings. When Harry was 9, he began to take free art classes at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

    Though Sternberg credits his Jewish upbringing and lively home life to have been full of excitement, he often found the noise distracting and disrupting. The young artist had other priorities, stating “All I wanted to do was draw and read.” As a result he sought out the public library in Brooklyn and relished in the peace and learning that went on inside. Sternberg compared the institution to “…a temple, like a synagogue.”

    Sternberg’s interest in music and art was nourished by his friendship with teacher, Harry Wickey. Sternberg once stated, “I had never heard classical music at home-any music-and my first teacher, Harry Wickey, decided to educate me, and he’d come every Friday …”. Wickey was a printmaker and ignited Sternberg’s interest in the art form. With Wickey’s encouragement, he began printmaking as well as making presses and selling them. Sternberg credits Wickey as his “first teacher” and someone who was “trying very seriously to educate me.” Hungry to learn, Sternberg devoured the knowledge.

    In 1922, Sternberg began his studies at the Art Students League in New York. He paid for tuition by working part time at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. At his first job, Sternberg earned funds to pay for his education and obtained valuable life lessons from members of the church about philosophy, history, literature and religion.

    Fresh out of art school, Sternberg moved into a studio in New York City in 1926. The artist spent a couple of years making prints and learning techniques of the trade. Once his portfolio was developed, he took it to Fredrick R. Keppel and Company, one of the finest print dealers in the city. The gallery gave him a show in 1928, Sternberg’s first big breakthrough. Through Keppel’s he met Carl Zigrosser, an important gallery owner who showed enthusiasm and interest in Sternberg’s work. Carl gave him a show and acted as a major influence in the cementing of Sternberg’s career as a printmaker.

    In 1933, Sternberg was appointed to the staff of the Art Students League of New York. He would continue his position there as an instructor, two days a week, for the next 35 years. His strength as a teacher lay in a remarkable ability to get his students to trust their personal instincts. While maintaining his position as a fine printmaker, Sternberg began to paint murals commissioned by the United States Department of the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. Multiple examples of these murals currently exist in United States Postal Offices. In 1939, Sternberg married Mary Gosney with whom he would later have one daughter, Leslie Louise Sternberg.

    Later in his career, the artist began to show paintings. Sternberg first showed his paintings in 1943 in a one-man exhibition at the ACA Gallery. The politically left-oriented gallery allowed him to focus on statements in his work and aided in Sternberg’s smooth transition of incorporating paintings into his range of compositions. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York also contributed to Sternberg’s success as a painter. The Whitney picked one of his paintings for their first show at the museum’s new location on 8th Street, a proud accomplishment for the artist.

    In 1966, Sternberg retired from the Art Students League and moved to Escondido, California. For thirty-five years, he continued to work as an artist creating prints, paintings and woodcuts. He was given a major retrospective exhibition in 2001 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California. Later that same year, Sternberg passed away on November 27th; he was 97 years old.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: United States, New York
    Period: 1950-1979
    Materials: Oil paint with embellishments of gold and silver leaf on masonite
    Condition: Excellent
    Creation Date: Circa 1965
    Styles / Movements: Modernism
    Incollect Reference #: 550059
  • Dimensions
    W. 7 in; H. 18 in; D. 3 in;
    W. 17.78 cm; H. 45.72 cm; D. 7.62 cm;
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