Her­itage Auc­tions’ Amer­i­can Art Auc­tion

Her­itage Auc­tions’ Novem­ber sale of Amer­i­can art fea­tures a dy­namic ar­ray of paint­ings by lead­ing Western artists.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Dal­las, TX

At auc­tion, some of the most hotly sought-af­ter items are pieces ar­riv­ing to market for the first time or mak­ing an ap­pear­ance af­ter be­ing in pri­vate hands for years. Dur­ing Her­itage Auc­tions’ Novem­ber 8 sale of Amer­i­can art, its Western seg­ment— ac­count­ing for about a quar­ter of the to­tal lots—will fea­ture a se­lec­tion of ma­jor pieces that fit that de­scrip­tion. “A lot of the Western art is so fresh to the market to the point where the provenance is trac­ing back to the artist and they’ve stayed in the fam­ily,” elab­o­rates Alissa Ford, di­rec­tor of Western Art at Her­itage. Among the ex­am­ples in the sale, Ford names works by Wal­ter Ufer, Blanche Grant, Frank Ten­ney John­son, Edith Ham­lin and more.

One of the most an­tic­i­pated items in the sale is John­son’s noc­turne A Light in the Night, de­pict­ing a cow­boy on horse­back with his face lit up by an or­ange glow, com­ple­ment­ing the blue hues of the night sky that sur­round the scene. The paint­ing was in the col­lec­tion of Norm Anderson, founder of Anderson Chevro­let, San Jose, whose fam­ily pur­chased the piece around the time it was painted in 1936 be­fore it de­scended to him and then to its present owner.

It is es­ti­mated to sell be­tween $80,000 and $120,000.

Works by mem­bers of the Taos So­ci­ety of Artists tend to make a splash at auc­tion, with sev­eral ex­am­ples cross­ing the block. Ufer’s At Ease, from 1926, de­picts one of his most fre­quent mod­els, Jim Mirabel, and is a mak­ing its auc­tion de­but, while a work by Grant, ti­tled Co­chiti Bird

(est. $6/8,000), is also be­ing sold for the first time af­ter the col­lec­tor’s fam­ily pur­chased it from the artist in the 1930s.

“The Ufer has been in the fam­ily since 1926 when it was painted,” says Ford. “We sus­pect that it was ex­hib­ited at the Geor­gian Ho­tel in 1926 be­cause there are letters that ac­com­pany the lot about the ex­hi­bi­tion.” The two letters were hand­writ­ten by Wal­ter Louis Cohrs, who was the first owner of the paint­ing in 1926, where it then passed down through the fam­ily. In de­scrib­ing the work, which has an es­ti­mate of $60,000 to $80,000, Ford calls it a “clas­sic Ufer” that fea­tures vi­brant col­ors and brush­work col­lec­tors have come to ex­pect in his paint­ings.

An­other Taos artist with a stand­out piece in the sale is Joseph Henry Sharp, whose paint­ing The Bow and Ar­row Mak­ers (est. $80/120,000) is a clas­sic work of two Na­tive Amer­i­cans cre­at­ing their weaponry. The piece, as Ford ex­plains, fea­tures Jerry Mirabel—whose brother is in the Ufer paint­ing—and “is in­ter­est­ing be­cause it de­picts the mod­els in Sharp’s stu­dio. We can iden­tify the ex­act spot that Sharp painted this.”

A mas­ter­work in the auc­tion is Olaf Wieghorst’s mon­u­men­tal Beef Herd, which was ex­hib­ited in 1983 at the Gil­crease Mu­seum. “I think it’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause of the scale and how he’s placed the per­spec­tive of the viewer,” Ford shares of the piece, which has a pre­sale es­ti­mate of $60,000 to $80,000. “He’s put us where we are part of the cat­tle ride in­stead of an on­looker. We’re a part of it as he’s round­ing up the herd and tak­ing us down the moun­tain with all the dif­fer­ent at­mo­spheric clouds and light com­ing through. I re­ally do think it’s one of the bet­ter Wieghorsts that I’ve seen.”

Other no­table items in­clude a piece by Wi­nold Reiss ti­tled Steal­ing One Af­ter the Other, Achcóye­camosaki

(est. $12/18,000), which fea­tures the artist’s hall­mark pat­terns; Clark Hul­ings’ Te­suque Mayor’s Back­yard, 1974, which has an es­ti­mate of $25,000 to $35,000; and Glenna Goodacre’s 137-inch high bronze The Res­cue

(est. $150/200,000) that is lo­cated in Ver­mont and is be­ing sold in situ. Also ar­riv­ing at auc­tion is G. Har­vey’s 1993 paint­ing When Cow­boys Don’t Change, which was pur­chased by the col­lec­tor from the artist in 1994. It is ex­pected to sell be­tween $400,000 and $600,000.

Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953), The Bow and Ar­row Mak­ers, oil on can­vas, 20 x 24” Es­ti­mate: $80/120,000

Es­ti­mate: $12/18,000 Olaf Wieghorst (1899-1988), Beef Herd, oil on can­vas, 34 x 48” Es­ti­mate: $60/80,000

Wi­nold Reiss (1886-1953), Steal­ing One Af­ter the Other, Achcóye­camosaki, gouache and pas­tel on board, 30 x 21¾”

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