We are privileged to include a fine collection of paintings, etchings and works on paper from the Estate of Joseph Plaskett in our April Fine Art sale.
Joseph Plaskett grew up in British Columbia and was ‘discovered’ by Group of Seven artists Lawren Harris and Jock Macdonald. They arranged for him to receive the Emily Carr scholarship, enabling studies in San Francisco and in New York under Hans Hoffman, further studies continued in London and Paris. In 1947 he was appointed Principal of the Winnipeg School of art, a short lived tenure but one which was considered a great success, he later taught at Banff School of Fine Art. From the 1950s Joseph was principally based in Paris although frequent painting tours took him back to Canada, to the U.K. and around the globe, he exhibited widely over the following decades, although never in Paris, instead he became one of the most highly regarded contemporary artists in Canada, with frequent sell-out exhibitions and long queues for the opportunity to purchase the best canvases. Joseph’s Paris apartments, which from 1957 he shared with surrealist and trompe l'oeil artist David Hill (1914-1977), became a hub for bohemian Paris, their frequent parties spilling over with socialites and celebrities. In the 1990s Joseph inherited The Cedars, a country retreat at Bromeswell in Suffolk. He ultimately settled there, building a lofty gallery space to the rear of the property and cultivating a magical garden which featured frequently in his later works. Joseph Plaskett worked well into his nineties and passed away in Suffolk in 2014 aged 96.
Joseph Plaskett enjoyed a long and fruitful career, his paintings have been collected extensively, particularly in his native Canada where his many exhibitions at galleries including Waddingtons, the Jerrold Morris, the Wallack and Klinkoff Galleries were often sell outs. His style changed over the decades, initially embracing abstraction, his early Parisenne paintings became more realistic and romantic, and in turn, later works abandoned perspective and depth. He worked principally in oils and pastels. His work is represented in important private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. In 2001 Joseph was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for excellence in the field of visual art. His autobiography A Speaking Likeness (Ronsdale Press) was published in 1999. The Plaskett Gallery, at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre, is named in his honour. In 2004 Joe established the Joseph Plaskett foundation, an annual award of a year of international study made to a promising young artist, bringing the Plaskett story full circle. This collection is direct from Joseph Paskett’s Suffolk studio and includes work spanning his prodigious and stellar career, representing a rare opportunity for collectors to purchase artist studio works of a calibre and significance infrequently seen at auction.
Our inaugural January 2024 specialist sale specifically for antique and vintage signage, including BBC Essex interview with our auctioneer Lewis Rabett.
In 2012, David Smith purchased School House in a remote Suffolk village and proceeded to convert the run-down Victorian red brick building into an airy modern living space.