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    A masterpiece from the King of Sports Art!

    1967 New York Jets Original Painting by LeRoy Neiman Used for Jets Program Covers. One need only refer to the Permanent Auction Archives of our website to witness the soaring trajectory of Neiman sales in recent years. While there's no question that the ninety-one year old artist's passing in June 2012 has fermented interest in Neiman's distinctive style, the trend owes far more to the greater shift in the American art market that has seen enormous gains in the commercial art of painters from Joseph Leyendecker to Gil Elvgren to Norman Rockwell. A new generation of art collectors has come to realize that the upturned noses of their predecessors toward such artists had been an error in need of correction, and that a commission for The Saturday Evening Post or the cover of a boxing program did not preclude a work's assignment under the heading of "Fine Art."

    Neiman's ebullient impressionistic style has enjoyed decades of popularity among the general male population since his buddy Hugh Hefner gave him his start at Playboy, and he quickly became synonymous with sports art, creating program covers for Heavyweight Championship fights, the Indy 500 and the World Series. But we still find ourselves near the very beginning of his wider acceptance in the rarefied air of galleries from Soho to Beverly Hills, suggesting the real pricing boom is still around the corner.

    Those believing that Neiman's path will mirror those of Rockwell and Elvgren will see tremendous opportunity here, in this chaotic scrimmage scene that captures every Neiman hallmark from his thick paint application to his daring color palette that amplifies the kinetic energy of the work. We believe the scene captured is a September 25, 1966 battle between the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos. Though none of the jersey numbers are definitively identifiable, we suspect that the subjects include Matt Snell (41) and Bill Mathis (31) of the Jets and Jerry Hopkins (5) and Ronald Sbranti (54) of the Broncos.

    The artwork was commissioned by the Jets for use on Shea Stadium program covers, including visits from the Miami Dolphins (October 1) and the Kansas City Chiefs (December 10), adding further appeal to the oil on board masterpiece. The work's dimensions are 30x27", and Neiman signs and dates the painting at lower right. Condition is marvelous, with no damage to report. Verso bears a label from a Manhattan art supplies store and a stamp from Hammer Galleries in New York City, a well-known Neiman purveyor. Frame exhibits some wear and measures 37 x 34-1/2."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2021
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 31
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 829

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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