Fritz Scholder claims seven of 10 top-lot slots at $3.9M Hindman sale
DENVER – Fritz Scholder’s painting Hollywood Indian and Horse #2 set a new auction record for the artist in Hindman Auctions’ May 19 Western & Contemporary Native American Art auction. The 68 by 80in acrylic on canvas sold for an astonishing $500,000, skyrocketing past its presale estimate of $50,000-$70,000. The work led an incredibly strong offering of contemporary Native American art, with an especially outstanding selection of Scholders selling for top prices.
The auction significantly surpassed its estimate, achieving $3,916,844 overall, and set multiple new auction records. The sale achieved a 94 percent sell-through rate, with nearly all lots selling above their estimates.
The aforementioned selection of Fritz Scholder paintings stole the show, with seven of the artist’s works earning places in the top 10 lots of the auction. In addition to the record-setting work, highlights also included Scholder’s 1979 acrylic on canvas titled Portrait, 1896, which sold for more than 10 times its presale estimate, realizing $275,000. It was followed by Scholder’s 1972 work Drunk Indian #1 and a second creation from 1972, Indian with Bird Head Dress, both of which also climbed far above their $20,000-$30,000 presale estimates to realize $250,000 and $156,250, respectively. Additional highlights included Scholder’s Lady R, which achieved $93,750 against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000, and Indian With White Ribbon, which sold for $87,500 compared to an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
Additional contemporary Native American art highlights saw outstanding prices and set new auction records. David Bradley’s 2008 Sleeping Indian, Shiprock / Santa Fe earned $50,000, setting a new auction record for the artist. John Nieto’s Oklahoma Feather Dancer sold for $37,500; Alan Houser’s bronze sculpture titled Chiricahua Love Song sold for $34,375; and Earl Biss’s Mountain Camp realized $46,875.
A trio of works by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith commanded top prices. Her Firewood painting sold for $350,000 against an estimate of $10,000-$20,000, emerging as the second top lot of the sale and setting a new auction record. Entries from Quick-to-See Smith’s 1980 Kalispill Series were also highlights, selling for $34,375 and $31,240, respectively.
Contemporary Western and Native American artworks from the collection of Barbara and Robert (Bob) P. Hunter, Jr., of Alpharetta, Georgia were also among sale standouts. Leading the collection was C. Michael Dudash’s The Return to Summer’s Camp, which realized $34,375 against an estimate of $25,000-$35,000. Kevin Red Star’s Buffalo Medicine Shield attained $21,250 against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
Additional highlights include Ed Mell’s Untitled, which sold for $50,000 against an estimate of $12,000-$18,000. Hindman’s ongoing success with Western artist Louisa McElwain continued in the sale of her El Rio Below El Rito, which rose to $13,750, and her La Joya del Pedregal, which went out for $18,750.
Classic Western art top performers included Frederic Remington’s The “Hold-Up,” which achieved $250,000; Joseph Henry Sharp’s Fiesta Day (Squaw Winter, Crow Reservation – Montana), which sold for $150,000; and Ernest Martin Hennings’ Indian Riders, which earned $46,875.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/