Jack­son Hole Art Auc­tion

With strong wildlife and his­toric pieces, the Jack­son Hole Art Auc­tion soars to more than $8.4 mil­lion in sales.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Jack­son Hole, WY

Records are metic­u­lously kept for al­most ev­ery auc­tion that takes place in Amer­ica, ev­ery­thing from es­ti­mates to ham­mer prices to price per square inch and much more. One thing that is not tracked is sub­ject mat­ter, which means we can’t defini­tively say Nor­man Rock­well’s paint­ing of John Wayne holds the record for a work de­pict­ing the fa­mous movie star, but it is cer­tainly likely.

The paint­ing sold for $1,496,000, just a hair’s width be­low the $1.5 mil­lion high es­ti­mate, dur­ing the sec­ond ses­sion of the Jack­son Hole Art Auc­tion on Septem­ber 15 in Wy­oming. The auc­tion, which re­al­ized more than $8.4 mil­lion, closed out the pop­u­lar Jack­son Hole Fall Arts Fes­ti­val. Rock­well, whose own auc­tion record was set in 2013 at $46 mil­lion, was com­mis­sioned to paint Wayne in 1973. The ac­tor sat for him in his stu­dio in Stock­bridge, Massachusetts.

Other top lots were Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s sport­ing im­age A Slight Chance (est. $400/600,000) that sold for $456,300, John Cly­mer’s Ter­ri­to­rial Dis­pute (est. $150/250,000) that soared to $339,300, and Thomas Hart Ben­ton’s Study for the Pathfinder (est. $175/225,000) that fin­ished at $239,850. Thomas Mo­ran’s work on pa­per La­guna, New Mex­ico Look­ing from the East had in­tense bid­ding which drove the fi­nal price to $339,300, nearly triple the high es­ti­mate of $125,000.

“The en­ergy in the room this year was very pos­i­tive,” says auc­tion co­or­di­na­tor Madi­son Webb. “We had ac­tive bid­ding from the floor, phones, ab­sen­tee and two com­pet­ing on­line plat­forms—which led to a num­ber of ex­cit­ing bid­ding wars and ul­ti­mately record­break­ing prices.”

In ad­di­tion to the ma­jor his­toric works, wildlife also had a strong show­ing with im­por­tant pieces by Cly­mer, David Shep­herd,

Carl Rungius, Wil­helm Kuh­n­ert and Ken Carl­son all find­ing bid­ders. Kuhn’s Ba­sic Train­ing, a paint­ing of a moun­tain lion and cub, sold for $175,500, well over the $120,000 high es­ti­mate.

“Both ses­sions saw a num­ber of ex­cit­ing sleeper hits, with Jerry Jor­dan’s Spirit Wel­come bring­ing $55,575, over its es­ti­mate of $10,000 to $15,000, and Charles Wysocki’s Melo­dra­mas in the Mist ex­ceed­ing its $8,000 to $12,000 es­ti­mate with a sale price of $46,800 nearly four times the high es­ti­mate,” Webb says. “The 2018 sale set 15 new world auc­tion records, in­clud­ing over­all sales price records for both Jor­dan and Wysocki, as well as a price-per-square-inch record for Con­rad Sch­wier­ing with Touch of Spring, which sold for a record break­ing $26,325, sig­nif­i­cantly above its $5,000 to $7,000 es­ti­mate.”

Thomas Hart Ben­ton (1889-1975), Study for the Pathfinder, 1925, oil on board, 14 x 11” Es­ti­mate: $175/225,000 SOLD: $239,850

Nor­man Rock­well (1894-1978), John Wayne, oil on can­vas, 38 x 31” Es­ti­mate: $1/1.5 mil­lion SOLD: $1,496,000

John Cly­mer (1907-1989), Ter­ri­to­rial Dis­pute, oil on board, 24 x 40” Es­ti­mate: $150/250,000 SOLD: $339,300

Arthur F. Tait (1819-1905), A Slight Chance, 1883, oil on can­vas, 20 x 30” Es­ti­mate: $400/$600,000 SOLD: $456,300

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