Andy Warhol’s Flowers to headline MBA Seattle Auction House online auction September 29

Original acrylic and silkscreen on canvas by pop art icon Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), titled Flowers (1965), 14 inches by 14 inches, artist signed and dated (est. $200,000 – $400,000) .
Seattle MBA Auction House

RENTON, Washington – An original acrylic by Andy Warhol and a silkscreen on canvas titled Flowers (1965), along with vibrant original artwork by Alden Mason, Morris Graves, Dale Chihuly, ZZ Wei, Kenjiro Nomura and other art world notables will be auctioned off in the part of an online-only Modernism: Art and Object auction scheduled for Thursday, September 29, by MBA Seattle Auction House.

“This is one of the finest groupings of modern art, artefacts and Northwest modernism we’ve had to date,” said MBA auctioneer Michael Mroczek. Seattle Auction House.

by Warhol Flowers is the undisputed headliner of the auction, with a robust but appropriate pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $400,000. The artwork, in excellent original condition, has a 14 inch by 14 inch canvas and is signed and dated on the superimposed reverse. It is also noted “Andy Warhol / 65 Billy” on the reverse (with “Billy” assumed to be Warhol’s boyfriend at the time, Billy Name).

“It’s a dream to find an original Andy Warhol on canvas locally, especially one that has been in a private collection since its original purchase,” Mr. Mroczek said. “Its market is stronger than it has ever been with the recent sale of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn Blue (1964), which set an all-time record by selling $195 million at auction.

Flowers was originally purchased from Gordon Locksley of the Locksley/Shea Gallery in Minneapolis for $250. The buyer was Dr. Herbert W. Johnson of St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Walker also purchased ten of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can serigraphs for $675 which he then donated to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1993. Flowershowever, remained in the family.

Abstract oil painting on museum-quality canvas by Alden Mason (Wash., 1919-2013), titled Orange Goofer, from the artist’s coveted Burpee Garden series, signed (est. $50,000-70,000 ).
Seattle MBA Auction House

The painting was kept at the home of Dr and Mrs Johnson until their death in 2008. It was then passed on to a daughter, who kept it until 2017 when it went to another member of the family who serves as the sender of the family for the auction. A 1970s color photograph of a family member seated at a piano with one of the soup can prints behind him is included for provenance.

A museum quality oil on canvas by Alden Mason (Wash., 1919-2013), titled orange goofer, from the artist’s coveted Burpee Garden Series (1972-1977), large format 90 inches by 75 inches (canvas, minus frame), is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $70,000. The signed and titled work (on the reverse) features a dazzling array of colors and is in excellent original condition.

“We are very pleased to manage one of the finest Alden Mason Burpee Garden Series paintings that has ever been offered,” Mr. Mroczek said. “The Burpee Garden Series is so coveted because Alden thinned its oils in paint thinner and turpentine. It became a poisonous mixture, a mixture that Alden inhaled for hours while painting on large canvases. He was forced out of the show, as the toxins were killing him, ending those beautiful colorful translucent abstractions.

Lots 30-32 are tondo (circular) tempera on paper compositions of mystical birds by Morris Graves (Wash., 1910-2001), all three dated 1979, signed, with a 13-inch image area on 13 inches (minus frames) and each with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The titles are Grenada Blue Jay Hen, Young blue jay with khaki and Cock Blue Jay destroying an apple.

A large and impressive blown glass creation in the shape of a deep blue sea by Dale Chihuly (Wash., b.1941), titled Ultramarine blue sea shape with orange red lip wrap (1995), should change hands for $6,000 to $9,000. The artwork, signed and dated at the bottom, measures 11 inches by 21 inches by 12 inches and comes with a copy of the original receipt from Chihuly Studio, dated 1995.

Lots 30-32 are tondo (circular) tempera on mystical paper bird compositions by Morris Graves (Wash., 1910-2001), including Hen Blue Jay with Pomegranate (1979) (est. $20,000-30 $000).
Seattle MBA Auction House

Lots 44 and 45 are original paintings by Kenjiro Nomura (Wash., 1896-1956). Both are rare and feature in a recently published book on the artist. One is a 1952 gouache on cardboard titled city ​​lights (est. $5,000 to $7,000). The 19-inch by 24-inch (image area, minus frame), museum-quality, Mark Tobey-style white writing abstraction is unsigned but verified by Nomura’s son.

The other is an oil on masonite, also from 1952, titled Fish market, a rare still life abstraction of Northwest seafood with price tags reminiscent of Pike Place Market (estimated $3,000-$5,000). The framed gallery (25 inches by 30 inches) is signed and dated lower right. Nomura entered the painting into the Tupperware Art Fund, an art competition sponsored by the Tupperware Company.

Kenjiro Nomora immigrated from Japan to the United States as a child and became a well-known artist in the Pacific Northwest in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1942, during the World War IINomura and his family were incarcerated in the Minidoka Relocation Center. The sketches and paintings he made there over the next three years continue to be displayed as an important record of the Japanese-American war experience. Nomura eventually moved on to abstract painting.

A classic dreamy oil on canvas landscape composition by ZZ Wei (Wash., b. 1957), titled favorite player, signed lower right and housed in the original frame measuring 37 ½ inches by 33 ½ inches, is estimated between $5,000 and $7,000. The paint is in excellent condition. Wei was born in Beijing, China, but has lived in Washington State since arriving in 1989.

Other artists in the sale include Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, George Tsutakawa, John Matsudaira, Fay Jones, Francis Celentano, Margaret Tomkins, Kathleen Gemberling, Roger Shimomura, William Morris, Dante Marioni, Ellsworth Kelly, Joan Miro, LeRoy Neiman, Peter Max and other notables from the art world – almost 200 lots to collect in all.

The auction will begin at 5 p.m. PT with online bidding available on the MBA Seattle Auction House website ( as well as and Telephone and correspondence offers will also be taken. Previews will take place Monday-Wednesday, September 26-28, 10am-5pm PST; and Thursday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; or by appointment.

MBA Seattle Auction House is always on the lookout for quality items for future sales, especially those related to Northwest modern art, including paintings and sculptures from 1930 to the present, as well as ceramics and American workshop glass. To inquire about consigning a single piece, estate, or collection, call 425-235-6345 or email them at [email protected]

To learn more about MBA Seattle Auction House and the Modernism: Art and Object online auction scheduled for Thursday, September 29, please visit

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