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‘Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1’ by Georgia O’Keeffe – $39.5m (£26.3m) at Sotheby’s American art sale.

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The sale hit the headlines since the price was not just a six-times record for the artist but was also a new auction high for any female painter, overtaking the $10.5m seen for Joan Mitchell's Untitled which sold at Christie's New York in May 2014.

Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 was owned originally by the artist's sister Anita O'Keeffe Young, whose estate was sold at Sotheby's in December 1987. It was subsequently included in two private collections before being donated to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico by The Burnett Foundation in 1996.

The work hung in the White House for 6 years at the request of First Lady Laura Bush, and has been featured in nearly every major retrospective on the artist, including those at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

It was being sold to benefit the O'Keeffe Museum's acquisitions fund.

At the sale it drew multiple bidders but came down to a two-way telephone competition and was knocked down to an anonymous buyer.