Western Art Collector

Know When to Hold’em

- Michael Clawson Executive Editor mclawson@westernart­collector.com

One of the last images we received for this issue was Morgan Weistling’s High Stakes, a painting he is sending to the Briscoe Western Art Museum for its Night of Artists exhibition this month. The painting shows a table surrounded by four gamblers, their faces illuminate­d in warm light from an oil lamp amid the cards and coins. A set of hands at the bottom of the painting reveals that we, the viewers, are the fifth gambler at the table. It’s hard to tell, but the cards he’s holding look mighty good.

This painting reminds me a lot of making every issue of Western Art Collector. We send out artwork requests for all the shows we want to cover, and then we wait for images to get dealt into play. Over a three-week period, we start building our winning hand. We see a lot of aces, some full houses, sometimes a royal flush. By the end of the month, we’re this fifth character in the painting—holding an incredible hand and waiting for the right time to throw them down and claim the pot.

What is sometimes so agonizing for us is that waiting period. For this issue, we started wrapping it up as the February issue was rolling out to readers and newsstands. I’m talking to readers about February, and there on my desk is a stacked deck all ready to go for March. Sometimes it’s unbearably difficult to keep it a secret until the issue is ready.

I mention all this to make a promise to you, our readers: Our goal is to show you the best artwork on the market in each and every issue. We wait for winning hands with every feature, every preview and every section. It takes time, and we send an obscene amount of emails and make a ridiculous number of phone calls to collect these images, but you are worth it. You deserve to see the highest quality art on the market, and we are determined to show it you.

P.S. In last month’s letter, I thanked Tom Petrie for his column on Charles M. Russell. I also thanked “his pal, Russell scholar B. Byron Price.” This was an error on my part, though, no one probably noticed because Byron really is one of the great Russell scholars. Who I meant to mention was Brian W. Dippie, who has worked with Petrie on several recent projects. I regret the error. Let me give them both a plug here: if you see Byron or Brian’s name on a book, that is a book that should be part of your library. They are both phenomenal writers and they are authoritat­ive and important voices who speak on behalf of Western art.

 ?? ?? Morgan Weistling, High Stakes, oil, 18 x 30” Available at Night of Artists, Briscoe Western Art Museum
Morgan Weistling, High Stakes, oil, 18 x 30” Available at Night of Artists, Briscoe Western Art Museum
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