Wild in the West
Paintings of the American West dominate the September 14 and 15 Jackson Hole Art Auction in Wyoming
Paintings of the American West dominate the September 14 and 15 Jackson
Hole Art Auction in Wyoming
The roughness and remoteness of the American West will once again play a prominent role in the Jackson Hole Art Auction, now in its 11th year as it once again closes out the annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. The auction, set for September 14 and 15, will feature more than 200 Western lots that includes genres and subjects such as landscapes, wildlife, Native Americans, cowboys, illustration and hunting scenes. Notable lots in the sale include Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s 1883 oil A Slight Chance, estimated at $400,000 to $600,000, and Albert Bierstadt’s oil Source of the Snake, estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.
“Tait was one of our earliest sporting artists and this painting really shows his developed technique and knowledge of wildlife of the area. It’s rare to find a Tait with both hunters and wildlife subjects. He knew so much about hunting that you can sense it in this work as the hunters are anticipating the birds that might emerge from the grass on the other side of the river. It’s an exciting piece that should do very well,” says auction partner Roxanne Hofmann-mowery. “the Bierstadt is also a fabulous painting. He traveled West and was renowned for his paintings of the American West. He would often create oil painting on site and then go back to his studio to create larger works where he could show his artistic ability. In this one he shows us the immensity of the river, even as he only gives us a glimmer of it.” A number of major works from Taos, New Mexico, will also be available to bidders, including three Gerald Cassidy paintings of Native Americans, two of which are estimated both at $75,000
to $125,000; Eanger Irving Couse’s Autumn Flute Song, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000; E. Martin Hennings’ Evening on Taos Mountain, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000; and three works from Oscar E. Berninghaus, one of which is Taos Field of Workers, estimated at $400,000 to $500,000.
A 1911 Edward Potthast work, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon (est. $200/400,000), will be sold somewhat near Thomas Moran’s 1892 Laguna, New Mexico Looking from the East (est. $75/125,000), which is fitting since the two artists traveled together. “Potthast was extremely well known for his scenes of the East Coast, but in 1910 he joined fellow artist Thomas Moran and they were commissioned and sponsored by the Santa Fe Railroad to go to the Grand Canyon. Potthast painted this work right after his trip, and it evokes the immensity of the canyon and the profound effect it has on us,” says Hofmannmowery. “the light and colors are shifting and his
impressionistic style proves to be perfect. You can see the small figures on the trail, but he conveys the enormity of the landscape so the people are just minor footnotes.”
Additional lots include Otto Sommer’s Beef for the Troops (est. $50/100,000), Frank Tenney Johnson’s Branding a Maverick (est. $175/275,000) and two works by William R. Leigh, the standout being the landscape Jackson Lake (est. $50/75,000). Fifty drawings from German wildlife artist Wilhelm Kuhnert are in the sale being offered as one lot, estimated at $50,000 to $75,000.Thomas Hart Benton’s Study for Pathfinder (est. $175/225,000) will also be offered, and should generate some fireworks due to the prominence of the final work within the Benton legacy. “Pathfinder was part of a self commissioned mural series titled American Historical Epic. He created the first 10 panels and placed them on display in Newyork in hopes of finding a formal commission. this is the study for the mural, which is on display at the Nelson---
Atkins Museum of Art. He wanted the series to document the progress of American civilization,” Hofmannmowery says.“this particular subject is a mountain man, John C. Frémont. He was a pathfinder who led expeditions into the American frontier and acted as a guide to people like Kit Carson and others. Frémont was married to the daughter of Benton’s great uncle. In the work he’s showing the figure watching a group of Native American hunters.”
American illustrators will be represented strongly with highlights that include N.c.wyeth’s 1908 portrait of a cowboy, for Hamlin Garland’s serialized short story The Outlaw and the Girl published in Ladies’ Home Journal, estimated at $80,000 to $120,000; Dean Cornwell’s 1924 oil Illustration for “The Enchanted Hill” (est. $50/75,000); and two pieces by W.H.D. Koerner: Their Meeting Ground, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000, and Old Monterey, estimated at $50,000 to $75,000.
The auction will also feature works by prominent contemporary artists.
Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Study for the Pathfinder, 1925. Oil on board, 14 x 11 in. Estimate: $175/225,000
Edward Potthast (1857-1927), Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, 1911. Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. Estimate: $200/400,000
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902),Source of the Snake. Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 14 x 19 in. Estimate: $300/$500,000
N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945),Untitled (Portrait of a Cowboy), 1908. Oil on canvas on board,10½ x 10½ in. Estimate: $80/$120,000
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905), A Slight Chance, 1883. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. Estimate: $400/$600,000
Thomas Moran (1837-1926), Laguna, New Mexico Looking from the East, 1892. Watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper, 93/8 x 123/8 in. Estimate: $75/125,000
Dean Cornwell (1892-1960), Illustration for “The Enchanted Hill”, 1924. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. Estimate: $50/75,000