Sotheby’s American art sale
Paintings by some of the most revered names in Western art help push Sotheby’s November 19 auction to more than $20 million in sales.
New York, NY
Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Frank Tenney Johnson are three of the most exciting names in the Western art world. Their pieces frequently garner six figures at auction, and their work is soughtafter by collectors for its classic, romanticized imagery of the American West. During Sotheby’s November 19 American Art auction paintings by all three artists—and many other notables associated with the genre—helped push the day’s total to more than $20 million.
Leading the Western art segment was Remington’s The Round-up, a bucking bronco painting that first became known to scholars of the artist in 1997 when it arrived to auction. This being only the second time the work has become available, it sold just shy of its $800,000 high presale estimate at $740,000.
Two grisaille oils by Russell, both painted in 1897 at the height of the artist’s career, were of particular note in the sale. These monochromatic images not only highlighted Russell’s skill at painting, but some of the iconic imagery for which he became recognized. Lewis
and Clark Meeting the Mandans (Lewis and Clark Expedition) sold for $500,000, while Before the White Man Came (Indian Game Hunt) brought $375,000. Both pieces had presale estimates of $400,000 to $600,000. A third work by Russell, The Stage Ahead of Us Had Been Attacked by Indians and Burned (Indian Attack) sold for $225,000, coming in a hair below its estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
Johnson is widely celebrated for his nocturnal scenes, with his painting in the sale, Girl and Cowboy (est. $70/100,000), being no different. In this nighttime image, with a blue glow, a woman stands alongside a cowboy on his horse at a train yard looking at him longingly. The painting achieved $106,250.
Charles M. Russell (1864-1926), Lewis and Clark Meeting the Mandans (Lewis and Clark Expedition), 1897, oil en grisaille on board, 18⅛ x 24¼” Estimate: $400/600,000 SOLD $500,000
Charles M. Russell (18641926), Before the White Man Came (Indian Game Hunt), 1897, oil en grisaille on board, 18 x 24⅜” Estimate: $400/600,00 SOLD $375,000
Frederic Remington (1861-1909), The Round-up, ca. 1888, oil on canvas, 25⅞ x 20½” Estimate: $600/800,000 SOLD $740,000
Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939), Girl and Cowboy, oil on canvas, 36 x 24¼” Estimate: $70/100,000 SOLD $106,250