Unprecedented Knopf Auction Set For End of the Month

By Benjamin Cox on September 15, 2020 at 10:42am

The works of Nellie Knopf from MacMurray College’s art collection are set to hit the auction block in a little more than 2 weeks. Hindman Auctions in Chicago will be handling the process for the college, as the now-closed college looks to use the money to pay for the closure of the college’s accounts and outstanding debt.

Joe Stanfield, Hindman’s Director of Fine Art says that those wishing to get in on the 2 collections being auctioned on September 30th and October 1st will find the prices accessible: “I think the price point for some of these – especially those that are going to be available on October 1st – start at $200 to $400. The major paintings are going to be available on September 30th are all going to be estimated under $10,000. I think $4,000-$6,000 is the highest auction estimate that we have, which a few of these paintings share. Of course, it is just an estimate and just an idea of where we think things are going to go. All it takes is 2 people to drive the price higher than that. I think some certainly will go higher than that, but I also think that there will be prices achieved for the new collector or the emerging collector price point, as well.”

Stanfield says this is likely the largest amount of Knopf’s work ever to hit auction, with 16 larger paintings for auction on September 30th and an additional 44 works up for bid on October 1st in a separate auction. Stanfield says there’s not been many sales of this kind for her work: “There isn’t really a huge track record for her work at auction previously. When I started this project, I believe there were about 50-100 auction records for Nellie’s work ever that I could find, at least in a database that goes back to the late 80s early 90s – maybe not ever, but in the last 30-40 years. This will definitely be the biggest amount that has come to market in a long time. It will probably about double the amount that has ever came to market. We have had a great deal of interest in these works from alumni and people that are affiliated with the Jacksonville area. I think that the market for her work will go up, at least based on the reaction that we’ve had thus far. We are about 2 1/2 weeks from the sales, which in the auction world seems like an eternity.”

Stanfield says that Hindman will not have an in-person auction for the work on September 30th or October 1st due to COVID-19 restrictions: “Unfortunately, due to COVID, we will not be having our typical in-person availability for people to bid with paddles, and we haven’t been doing that since the shutdown in March. We still do have the ability for people to bid over the telephone. You can leave absentee bids directly with Hindman. We also have numerous third-party platforms that bidders can use on the computer. You can probably bid with the most confidence over the telephone. That is the easiest way to set up to bid and to alleviate any potential technical difficulty online, not that we have those often. Bidding over the phone is certainly the next best thing than bidding in person. You can find all the information on our website. Anyone certainly interested can give me a call directly.”

Stanfield recommends calling 312-280-1212 ahead of the auctions’ dates for more information or to place bids on the date of the auction. More information can also be found at hindmanauctions.com.