Modernist Middleton Manigault Bowl Found at Morristown Armory Antique Show
SOLD to the Art Institute of Chicago
painted Lenox Belleek bowl, 8" diameter, 4" deep
During the final two hours of the Morristown Armory Antique Show last fall, I found two treasures, this wonderful rare modernist bowl by E. Middleton Manigault (1887-1922)within the last hour. Although the dealer ascertained the artist's identity, he did not realize the rarity or value of this piece. As an expert in early 20th-century American modernist art with a memory for obscure names and signatures, I pounced on the bowl, clearly signed and dated. The dealer gave me a nice discount as he was ready to pack up and leave. After confirming that I had the exhibition catalogue on Manigault, I found the chapter on his decorative objects where two closely similar pieces were reproduced, one in a museum and the other in a private collection. Luckily Beth Venn, expert on the artist, completed her graduate degree in art history at the University of Delaware, as did I, and we had the same advisor. I contacted Beth and we arranged to meet so I could show her the bowl. We met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I showed her the bowl, hidden in the back of my car, parked in the museum garage. She affirmed that it was indeed a Manigault, and exceedingly rare. With the assistance of Debra Force, a long-time top dealer in American art, the bowl sold to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world's great museums.