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Work by Zoltan Sepeshy, Artist and Former Cranbrook President, Comes to Market

DuMouchelles November Auction Features Important Tempera Painting

DETROIT (Nov. 10, 2020) – DuMouchelles Friday, November 20 auction includes an important
tempera painting by Zoltan Sepeshy (Hungary/American, 1898-1974), the former President of
Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Sepeshy’s work “Suntan” (14.5” X
19.5”) was exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1941, and has been in a private collection,
out of the public view ever since. Suntan depicts a first-person perspective of the artist painting
sunbathers by a lake – likely Sepeshy’s Frankfurt summer home on Lake Michigan. This work
and its preliminary sketches are illustrated in Sepeshy’s book “Tempera Painting,” published in

  1. Sepeshy became an instructor at Cranbrook in 1930 and was a resident-artist in 1933. After the
    death of Eliel Saarinen in 1946, he became Director of Cranbrook, and in 1959, he was
    appointed President until his retirement in 1966.
    The painting was likely sold, traded or gifted in 1948 to Sepeshy’s colleague and friend Laurence
    Schmeckebier (1906-1984) who was a sculptor, Professor of Art History and Director of The
    Cleveland Institute of Art (1946-1954). In 1954, Schmeckebier, also a noted art historian and
    author, became the Dean of the School of Art at Syracuse University where he curated the first
    retrospective of Sepeshy’s work and wrote the accompanying catalogue: “Zoltan Sepeshy, Forty
    Years of His Work.” In 1975, Schmeckebier curated “Memorial Exhibition: Adolph Gottlieb, Leon
    Kroll, Zoltan Sepeshy, Moses Soyer ,” and his papers are housed in the Smithsonian’s Archives
    of American Art. Suntan remained in his collection until his death in 1984 and has been in a
    private collection of a descendent of Schmeckebier who has commissioned DuMouchelles to
    make it available at public auction on November 20, 2020.
    DuMouchelles November auctions also feature more than 800 fine and decorative arts from
    collectors and estates, including George P. Palmer of Detroit, and other prominent estates in
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Palm Beach, Florida.
    We invite the public to preview DuMouchelles Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November
    20 auctions at our Detroit gallery. Please bring a mask and practice social distancing.
    • Thursday, November 12, 11am – 5pm
    • Friday, November 13, 11am – 5pm
    • Saturday, November 14, 11am – 5pm
    • Tuesday, November 17, 11am – 5pm
    • Wednesday, November 18, 11am – 5pm
    For alternate times or a virtual preview, call us Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30am – 5pm to make an
    appointment. The public may contact us to request additional information on any auction
    We encourage bidders to register to bid live or absentee at where the
    buyer’s premium is the same as when you bid directly with DuMouchelles (24%). You may also
    bid at or (27%). View and download our full catalogue


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About DuMouchelle Art Galleries
Dumouchelle Art Galleries is a fine art auction house, founded in 1927 and located in
downtown Detroit, across from the landmark Renaissance Center. DuMouchelles attracts
notable consignments and commands top prices in the international auction marketplace.
Drawing on our nearly 100 years in business, our experts provide personalized service to
individuals, families and estate settlement professionals to buy and sell fine objects from
around the country. Our auctions reach international audiences and showcase beautiful and
rare items across many categories, including paintings, fine art glass, sculptures, porcelain,
oriental rugs, other valuables and antiques.

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