The Master, Judd Tully, reminds us of his tenure in the art market with this post on his personal website recalling the sale of James Rosenquist’s F-111 during the second Scull sale in 1986. There he spoke with Rosenquist’s dealer, Leo Castelli who gave some of the details of the original sale:
“I didn’t expect it to get that much. It is a very cumbersome painting.” Recalling his showing of the work in 1965, he said, “It went all around the gallery. Sixty thousand was the asking price, but Scull paid $ 45,000 [with a discount]. It was a very brave thing for Scull to do. He almost deserved to have it for nothing.”
If you’re wondering why Scull got a discount, Tully has some answers:
According to the auction catalogue, Scull bought the picture on the last day of its show at Castelli in 1965. It was about to be dismantled and distributed to individual buyers.