Is This The Fall of the Cat?

Sotheby’s New York 19th Century European Paintings 3 November 2015   Lot 40 Carl Kahler My Wife's Lovers oil on canvas 70 by 101 3/4 in. 177.8 by 258.4 cm Est. $200/300,000 Sold for:  $ 826,000.
Sotheby’s New York
19th Century European Paintings
3 November 2015
Lot 40
Carl Kahler
My Wife’s Lovers
oil on canvas
70 by 101 3/4 in.
177.8 by 258.4 cm
Est. $200/300,000
Sold for: $ 826,000.

New World Record for Carl Kahler’s “My Wife’s Lovers” + David Teie’s Kickstarter Campaign

This morning’s news of yesterday’s enormous auction record for Carl Kahler’s “My Wife’s Lovers'” a late 19th century painting of 42 of millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson’s 350 cats, comes after yesterday’s revelation that the Kickstarter campaign for “Music for Cats” a project spearheaded by cellist David Teie, “smashed” its fundraising goal in mere days.

Is the fall, as in the season, of cat worship?

My kitten Otis, currently purring like a drum machine, thinks so.

Kahler’s painting has a unique story, worth sharing. According to Sotheby’s, when Kate Birdsall Johnson commissioned him for the large scale painting, he had never painted a cat before. So he spent the next three years of his life sketching and getting to know the myriad of cats depicted in the painting. The 42 cats comprise what Cat Magazine deemed in 1949, “the world’s greatest painting of cats.”

Teie’s “Music for Cats” continues his work on music appreciation by different species. He believes that “every species has an intuitive biological response to sounds present in their early development.” For cats, it might be the familiar song of their mother’s purr or bird’s chirping outside. With this thought, Teie has created an entire album utilizing feline-centric sounds, natural vocalizations and “matching it to a cat’s frequency range.”  Take a listen to one of the tracks below. (It got my kitten to run out from its hiding place and purr next to my desk. That’s the cat equivalent of a Pitchfork 10)

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