In mid-May, two paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe sold at auction, one in each of the world’s top sales rooms. Green Oak Leaves fetched $1.15 million at Sotheby’s, while Autumn Leaf with White Flower brought nearly $5 million at Christie’s. This month on our Curious Objects podcast, we bring you Reagan Upshaw—critic, dealer, appraiser, and all-around bon vivant—to expound on the lovely filaments, sepals, and stamens of O’Keeffe’s oeuvre. For good measure, he tosses in a couple of choice anecdotes from his time in the trade (and just a wee bit of market talk).
Reagan Upshaw spent over thirty years working in art galleries in New York, specializing in American art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During that time, he placed major works in private and museum collections across the country. Upshaw has also had an active career as an art critic. His articles, essays, and reviews about art have been published in such magazines as Art in America, The Magazine ANTIQUES, Art and Auction, the Kresge Art Museum Bulletin, the National Arts Guide, and others. He has an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago, has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and is certified as an appraiser of American art by the Appraisers Association of America.
Image: Reagan Upshaw.