Rolph Scarlett 1889–1984

Rolph Scarlett was one of the founding artists of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1939 (originally called The Museum of Non-Objective Painting) and, despite falling into obscurity in the 1950s after the museum broadened its scope and he re-located to Woodstock, NY, he continued to paint and design jewelry until his death in 1984. Over the course of his seventy-five-year career Scarlett explored many art movements, but was always interested in the energy and rhythm of pure aesthetic and the expressionist urges behind them.

Scarlett was born in Guelph, Canada in 1889 and was apprenticed to his uncle’s jewelry firm when he was just fourteen. He also began painting, drawing and designing theatrical sets at a young age. While on a business trip to Switzerland in 1923, he met artist Paul Klee, who greatly informed his transition into abstract and non-objective modes. In the early 1930s, Scarlett settled in New York City and became involved in the founding of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with many of his works forming the basis of the collections, as well as serving as a lecturer and curator. When Guggenheim died in 1949, the museum shifted its focus, leaving Scarlett out of its new vision. Living and working in Woodstock, NY for the rest of his life, Scarlett's work has gone through a recent re-appraisal of its importance in early and mid-century abstract movements. His work is held in collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the de Young Museum, San Francisco and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Auction Results Rolph Scarlett

ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $13,200
ROLPH SCARLETT, Tension (Left and Right) | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Tension (Left and Right)

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $8,400
ROLPH SCARLETT, Abstraction (Orange and Green) | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Abstraction (Orange and Green)

estimate: $8,000–12,000
result: $6,875
ROLPH SCARLETT, necklace | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

necklace

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $5,000
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $3,422
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $800–1,200
result: $3,304
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $900–1,200
result: $2,478
ROLPH SCARLETT, Untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Untitled

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $1,380
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $900–1,200
result: $944
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $500–700
result: $478
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $500–700
result: $469
ROLPH SCARLETT, Untitled (four works) | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Untitled (four works)

estimate: $700–900
result: $448
ROLPH SCARLETT, Arrow necklace | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Arrow necklace

estimate: $5,000–7,000
ROLPH SCARLETT, untitled | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

untitled

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ROLPH SCARLETT, Untitled (two works) | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Untitled (two works)

estimate: $1,000–1,500
ROLPH SCARLETT, Red and Black Abstraction | wright20.com

Rolph Scarlett

Red and Black Abstraction

estimate: $1,000–1,500