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Marro Collection Auction 3 - Art Work. The Plains, Virginia VA

Status: Closed

Internet-only (timed) auction


Ashby Auction Company


3318 Bust Head Road, The Plains, Virginia, 20198. USA. tel: 571-639-9785

7th Apr, 2018
Ended: 18th Apr, 2018
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About the Collection The Middleburg, Virginia, area is known for its rolling hills and beautiful estate homes. As you pass by these homes, you may wonder what secrets they keep, on their owners, their histories and especially their contents. But shortly, in November, one of these homes, on a stretch of road straight out of the 19th century, will relinquish its secrets. Here is a peek into the contents and the owners who gathered these contents worldwide over the last 30 plus years. Donald Marro has his roots in the New York metropolitan area and Lillian Diane Svec Clancy Marro was from Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago best known by some as the place where Al Capone lay low for a while in the '20s. Don met Lillian when he moved to California; he courted her, and they were together from 1983, marrying in 1991. Both Don and Lillian had business interests which took them regularly to Europe. Art and furnishings purchasing began soon after Lillian and Don were together in San Francisco. By 2006, their collection numbered nearly 1,000 pieces, ranging from the whimsical to the breathtaking, including a great many artists with memorable style, talent for color and visual daring. Some are now deceased, John Ash and Aaron Birnbaum, for instance, but many more are still active, like Barbara Sparhawk, Valentin Popov and Dona Dalton. Great local artists are likewise represented, like Alan Rubin, Mark Miller and Elsa Rosenthal, Rosemary Gallick, Jennifer Duncan and Paul Zdepski. One of the artists whose work is well represented is Barbara Sparhawk. Barbara began painting at age 15 and she went on to portrait work, including that of William F. Buckley, worked in the Ashcan School style, and did bold and colorful pieces like the Carmel, California, scenes and the Pope of Greenwich Village homage in the collection. Valentin Popov is a Russian-born artist whose St. Batman series found particular favor in this collection. Popovs work from this period blended iconography with a comic book panache. John Ash was also a favorite and quintessentially English, a roamer who painted snowy scenes in Brighton as well as he painted boules in Paris. Ash was commissioned by the owners to capture Edward Hopper-like scenes but in an English setting. The results are quite clever. Aaron Birnbaum was a Ukrainian-born artist whose art reflects Eastern European origins and harmonizes perfectly with Lillians forebears from Lithuania and Bohemia. The farm and early 20th century urban representations by Birnbaum will strike a responsive chord with anyone whose families came here around that time. Alan Rubin is a magnificent local artist whose imagination is equaled by his technical skill. Rubins works in the collection include commissioned portraits of the Marro/Clancy dogs and of Marros parents. His other works are pure Rubin and are unmistakable as a consequence. Rosemary Gallick is a Professor of Art and Art History at Northern Virginia Community College with a B.A. from the SUNY Stony Brook in Art, an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in New York, and a Masters in Communication from Cornell University. She has published numerous articles and given various presentations on art and popular culture. Her art has been in numerous exhibitions in the United States and in this collection her pieces depict show business celebrities. Jennifer Duncan works primarily in acrylic on canvas, paper and board, mixing media to include collage, oil pastel and graphite. Using a bright color palette, her work is representational and whimsical, reflective of how she views the world around her. Paul Zdepski has nearly 30 years of corporate design, teaching and freelance experience, utilizing traditional and cutting edge creative tools. He is an award-winning Illustrator and sought after Designer and Instructor. Above all, his art is both creative and skillful. Several in the manner of pieces from Caravaggio and Rembrandt will catch your fancy as will Toots Shor-style caricatures of Nixon, Sinatra, Hope and FDR by Howard Allen. As if this wasnt enough, there are whirligigs, penguins, a Dona Dalton sphinx and other sculptures to satisfy the appetite for things Americana and things whimsical. Altogether a museum. Altogether a feast for the eyes. The art is displayed throughout the house. The art covers the walls in every available space, even on cabinets, doors and greeting visitors on the drive leading to the house itself. The effect is visual exuberance with an eclectic blend of artistic expression that deftly balances the fine art, local and hunt country art, outsider and primitive art and the unique furnishings.The lower level features floral and barnyard art, some whimsical works and handcrafted furniture and spirits racks. The fireplace on this level looks much like you find in northern Europe with tiled surrounds and fire pit. A long bench with pillars punctuates the hallway which is itself a shrine to the European roots of both families, with late 19th and early 20th century memorabilia. The kitchen area on this level contains more handcrafted furniture and primitive art with a Polynesian flair. Other handcrafted furniture is in the dining area and features a table and canopy set where two dimensional pig sculptures are set underneath a glass table surface. On the main level, the kitchen has both a clock collection and food preparation themes. The commercial grade kitchen equipment has its commercial grade hood handcrafted in copper and stainless steel and decorated with pieces showing food and food preparation. Moving down the hall takes you past handcrafted doors featuring whimsical doll and bird collections. A closet door is marked by a tiny shirt sculpture, and the main entrance doors are flanked by copper statues of a warrior and a maiden with decidedly Mayan countenances. The rooms on this level and on the upper level are themed. An Emerson Square Grand piano is in the Big Room with art featuring musicians and instruments completing the setting. Elsewhere is a profusion of arks, mostly English, some American, ceramic dogs, elephants, pigs, a watercolor done by the chimp named Washoe and a wire sculpture of Washoe, both English. The "Red Room is hunt country. Horse art is everywhere from a tiny netsuke horse to a glass unicorn to Haitian and Russian representations of Czar Nicholas. Alan Rubin and Barbara Sparhawk have somehow snuck in as well. The staircase to the upper level tilts toward the grand but the eclectic artwork on the walls steals the show. At bottom is a ceramic showing presentation of Lucille by B.B. King to Pope John Paul. Other ceramics of medieval troubadours and maidens are nearby, as are whimsical pieces of birds and flowers. Climbing the stairs is a transition in styles from country scenes in the in-between space to cityscapes at the top.An upper level bedroom has nude studies by local artists, Valentin Popov and Barbara Sparhawk. Another bedroom features birds, cats and works by Elsa Rosenthal and Rosemary Gallick. A front bedroom has wall-sized pieces with nautical and tropical island themes, which carry over into a bath area which features a Titanic-styled chandelier. A significant number of pieces by Mark Miller are present, as is primitive art by Richmond-area outsider artists. Lillian was a founder of Virginians for Animal Welfare and Virginia Voters for Animal Welfare, organizations devoted to eliminating 19th century animal laws and practices from 21st century Virginia. So not surprisingly, Lillian collected a significant amount of animal art of all types: dogs, cats, pigs, chimps and barnyard animals of various shapes and sizes are all included. Lillian died December 9, 2014, and the time has come for Don to part with what made their life together. There will be a private sale by invitation and later to the public with some proceeds benefiting the Middleburg Humane Foundation and other charitable organizations.Comments Paul Zdepski, Artist Paul Zdepski has nearly 30 years of corporate design, teaching and freelance experience, utilizing traditional and cutting edge creative tools. He is an award-winning Illustrator and sought after Designer and Jennifer Duncan, Artist As a young woman, I spent weekends and summers on a farm outside of Warrenton, where my horses lived. I often find that the plants, animals and landscapes of my native Virginia home childhood work their way onto my canvases. My paintings begin as abstract work, guided by line, shape and composition. I allow myself to play, and find the paintings revealing themselves to me as I build and take away layers of color to reveal a rustic and painterly surface. I love to incorporate found objects, and Im always on the hunt for antique postcards or letters that will add intrigue to my paintings story. I work primarily in acrylic on canvas, paper and board, mixing my media to include collage, oil pastel and graphite. Using a bright color palette, my work is representational and whimsical, reflective of how I view the world around Rosemary Gallick, Artist Rosemary Gallick is a Professor of Art and Art History at the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College. She holds a B.A. from the State University of Stony Brook in Art, an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and a Masters degree in Communication from Cornell University. She has published numerous articles and given various presentations on art and popular culture. In addition, she has been in numerous art exhibitions in the United States. Creating art since childhood has been an enduring passion. An avid devotee of pop...

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