American landscapes top Moran’s Studio Fine Art auction

Sam Hyde Harris (1889-1971, Alhambra, Calif.) ‘Verdugo Hills,’ oil on canvas board. Price realized: $3437.50. Moran’s image

MONROVIA, Calif. – Moran’s Studio Fine Art auction on Jan. 13 realized strong prices for both American and European artists. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Works from Southern California realized solid prices throughout the day. The auction got off to a strong start with Verdugo Hills from Alhambra artist Sam Hyde Harris (above). The peaceful scene sold above its $1,500-$2,500 estimate for $3,437.50 (all prices realized include Moran’s 25 percent buyer’s premium).

Harbor scenes were popular at the auction. A John Christen Johansen painting of boats moored in mist was one of the more atmospheric works at the sale. The painting sold above its $800-$1,200 estimate for $2,000. In the Harbor (below) from San Diego artist Alfred R. Mitchell was one of the most highly anticipated lots in the sale. The painting brought $3,750, just above its $2,000-$3,000 estimate. A Carl William Peters painting of a quintessentially East Coast wharf with figures sold for $2,500 at the auction (estimate: $1,200-$1,800).

Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972, San Diego, Calif.) ‘In the Harbor,’ oil on board. Pprice realized: $3,750. Moran’s image

The desert has long been a source of inspiration for local artists and this auction included many examples from Southern California’s most beloved painters. An Anna A. Hills oil on canvas board of a tree in a desert landscape (below) created a bidding war when it came to the block, selling above its $2,000-$3,000 for $5,312.50. A stunning Paul Grimm titled Moon Kisses Palms is one of the finest works by the artist Moran’s has handled in recent years. A phone bidder battled the floor to take the canvas home for $5,000 (estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Anna A. Hills (1882-1930 Laguna Beach, Calif.) ‘The Pale [sic] Verde Tree,’ 1915, oil on canvas board. Price realized: $5,312.50. Moran’s image

Colorful works from New York-based artists were a highlight of the auction catalog. A whimsical watercolor by Madeline illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans showed the titular heroine with her beloved pup Genevieve and brought $4,375 after a protracted bidding war (estimate: $3,000-$5,000).

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962 New York, N.Y.), ‘Madeline,’ watercolor. Price realized: $4,375. Moran’s image

A serigraph lion from Leroy Neiman done in his signature colorful palette was one of the top-selling lots of the day, selling to a determined online bidder for $5,000, well above its $400-$600 estimate.

Leroy Neiman (1921-2012 New York, N.Y.) ‘Portrait of the Lion,’ color serigraph. Price realized: $5,000. Moran’s image

European artworks also realized strong prices at the auction. A colorful city park scene alive with long shadows and greenery from Hungarian artist Hugó Scheiber was among the top lots of the sale, selling for $5,312 above its $800-$1,200 estimate.

Hugó Scheiber (1873-1950, Hungarian) ‘City Park,’ oil on board. Price realized: $5,312.50. Moran’s image

For more information contact John Moran Auctioneers at info@johnmoran.com or 626-793-1833.