Legendary Auctions is Proud to Present “The Yankees Dream Scene” 4-1/2 Foot x 5-1/2 Foot Original Oil Painting by Jamie Cooper, Featuring the Mythical Meeting of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter. This monumental work is one of the major highlights of our 5th Annual Summer Sports Memorabilia LIVE Auction, August 2 in Chicago.
The story behind Jamie Cooper’s “Yankees Dream Scene” dates back to 2008. At that time, after more than a decade’s success painting acclaimed locker-room portraits for Australian rugby and football teams, the 49-year-old Melbourne native had firmly established himself as his country’s top sports artist, with record sales of $95,000 USD at auction and $125,000 USD on commission. Yet Cooper strove to enter the U.S. market and so he took a giant leap of faith by applying his deft touch and ambitious vision to a “Phillies Dream Scene.” Tempting fate, Cooper independently spent 9 months researching and crafting the monumental, mural-sized, 14-foot-by-4-foot tribute to over 25 key figures from Phillies franchise history. Then, in 2009, he personally transported the finished canvas halfway across the globe and delivered it to the doorstep of a surprised Phillies President David Montgomery—who promptly fell in love with it. To Cooper’s delight, the Phillies purchased the masterpiece and proudly gave it a prominent place in the prestigious Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park, where the Dream Scene immediately became a major feature of public stadium tours. Right off the bat, the response among Phillies fans was overwhelming, as Cooper’s email inbox was soon flooded by hundreds of thank-you messages describing emotional first encounters with his unique, time-transcending, soul-stirring creation.
Now fast forward to the summer of 2012. Despite having triumphantly made his mark in the U.S., Jamie Cooper intuitively senses there is more work to be done in his quest for the American dream. Destiny beckons him to a higher calling. Echoing Ray Kinsella’s journey, Cooper almost hears a voice of his own whispering through the summer cornfields: If you dream it, they will come. And he immediately knows who “they” are—The New York Yankees. Soon another message arrives: Go the distance. So Cooper reaches out to the sports-art department at faraway Legendary Auctions. Thus begins a 6-month, cross-hemisphere brainstorm session between artist and auction house on the overarching concept for a Yankees Dream Scene, with invaluable additional input from Professional Sports Authenticator Henry Yee. Throughout the winter, Jamie exhaustively trawls through photographic archives and research materials to curate the period nuances and find inspiration for the facial images and overall atmosphere. In early February, his initial sketches take shape. A few weeks later, he hires a local baseball team to model all the player poses. In March, Jamie excitedly makes his initial brushstrokes on a 54″ x 66″ blank canvas. By mid-April, the spot-on likenesses of Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and Jeter are complete. In May, he polishes off the intricate details of the foreground and background. So now here we are, just a few short weeks away from Jamie Cooper’s promotional appearance with us at the National Sports Collectors Convention, culminating in his Yankees Dream Scene’s world-premiere public offering at our 5th Annual LIVE Auction. Thus, it is with great pride and pleasure that we can officially announce at long last: The dream has become reality.
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