Spring, 2021 Auction - Closes April 3, 2021
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/4/2021

The name of Graig Kreindler is one of the best-known and most widely-respected names in sports art.  Raised in Rockland County, New York, Kreindler is a graduate of New York City's School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration, and a Masters in Art Education from Lehman College in the Bronx.  His work has been featured in juried art shows and museums nationwide, with pieces displayed at numerous public art spaces and featured in nationally-distributed books, newspapers, magazines, and television.  His artwork has been featured on Topps baseball cards.  Most recently, more than 200 of Kreindler's works were commissioned and displayed as part of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's "Black Baseball in Living Color" art exhibit.  Kreindler's work has drawn raves, none more glowing than that of hip hop pioneer Chuck D of Public Enemy, who recently tweeted "Graig Kreindler is a time machine.  He places you in a pre 1950s ballpark where color is impossible.  Colorized photos 'When It Was A Game' style doesn't even come close to Kreindler.  He puts you right there with the Cracker Jack and beer."  One of today's most in-demand and top-selling sports artists, the majority of Kreindler's work is private, commissioned sale, and with a waiting list more than five years long and the majority of it tucked away in private collections or museums, obtaining his work is very, very difficult.

Perhaps the best illustrator of Kreindler's popularity is not the considerable publicity or adulation he receives, but the very small number of Kreindler works that have made their way into the hobby via resale: the majority of Kreindler's work is commissioned privately by his clients, and once the work is finished, the owner generally keeps it.  Indeed, we are aware of only a handful of other Kreindler pieces to have ever made it to public auction.  Since Kreindler does not make prints of his work available for sale, the only way to own one is to own an original piece.  Invariably, due to the intense demand for his work and its limited availability, there has been a remarkable appreciation in value for his original pieces.

Along with many others in the hobby, we have been longtime admirers of Kreindler's art, due not only to his stunning ability to capture the emotion and tension of the game in the expressions of his subjects, but due to his unflagging attention to detail.  The artist has been known to study weather accounts and stadium maps in order to best convey the way the sunlight fell on the ballfield at the precise time a photo he's re-creating was taken; his diligence has taken him far and wide to study historical accounts and photos to more perfectly convey uniform colors, the colors throughout the stadium, even the tones of the advertisements scattered throughout the ballpark.  Five years ago when we received a consignment of a Kreindler piece, the artist actually asked us to return the painting to him so that he couuld correct the color of the lettering and piping on a uniform, despite the fact that he had completed the painting six years prior!  

Presented here is a stunning full body painting of one of the most important figures in the history of baseball as well as the history of America: Branch Rickey.  Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1967, Rickey was a key figure in breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier.  As President and General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey received approval from the ballclub in 1943 to begin searching for the right man to become the first black player, signing Jackie Robinson in August of 1945.  Rickey's influence and importance is still recognized today, as he is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame.  Outside of Coors Field in Denver stands a monument to Rickey, created by the sculptor George Lundeen, that bears this inscription:

It is not the honor that you take with you but the heritage you leave behind.

This wonderful 12" x 16" oil on linen painting pictures Rickey during his brief playing career, specifically during the 1914 season, when he served as player/manager (though he only appeared as a player in two games).  The future Hall of Famer stands in his road grays, in front of a mostly-empty Griffith Stadium grandstand on what appears to be a gray day.  The piece is beautiful in its detail, the wrinkles on his jersey reflecting the light, the tension in his hands and facial expression almost foreshadowing the pressure of the decisions he would make thirty years later.  The piece has been professionally matted and framed to a finished size of 17" x 21 1/2", with a depth of 2 1/2".

A stunning painting of one of the most important figures in American history, much less in professional sports history, who helped pave the way for the integration of baseball through the signing of Jackie Robinson.  We are proud and honored to offer an original work from this great artist.

Strange Complexities - Original Branch Rickey Painting By Renowned Sports Artist Graig KreindlerStrange Complexities - Original Branch Rickey Painting By Renowned Sports Artist Graig Kreindler
"Strange Complexities" - Original Branch Rickey Painting By Renowned Sports Artist Graig Kreindler
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $4,613
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, April 4, 2021.
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