DENVER — On May 6, Hindman achieved outstanding prices and set new auction records in its $1.6 million Western Paintings and Sculpture including contemporary Native American Art auction. The sale showcased celebrated Western artists from the 18th to 20th centuries alongside modern and contemporary Native American artists, and saw strong interest in works by Fritz Scholder, Eve Van Ek Drewelowe, Louis McElwain, and Ed Mell. Featured in the auction was a selection of 22 works sold to benefit The Couse Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, and the construction of The Lunder Research Center. The offering raised over $114,000.
Records were set by three female artists including Eve Van Ek Drewelowe’s Reflected Range, which climbed well past its presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000 to sell for $46,875, and Louisa McElwain’s Anvil IV, which achieved $43,750 against a presale estimate of $20,000-$30,000. McElwain is a plein-air artist and is known for her exquisite ability to capture the Western sky. Dorothy Eugenie Brett’s Practice of the Relay Race also set a record, realizing $22,500 against a presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
The contemporary offerings were led by Fritz Scholder’s Indians on Horseback, which soared past its presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000 to sell for $100,000. Ed Mell’s Red Rock commanded $37,500, more than double its presale estimate. Strong prices were also achieved for Dave McGary’s bronze sculpture titled Walks Among the Stars and John Nieto’s Plains Warrior, with both selling for $28,125.
Additional highlights include Eanger Irving Couse’s An Indian Boy, which sold for $28,125; Joseph Henry Sharp’s Eagle Star, which achieved $21,250; and Frederick Arthur Verner’s Mid-Day Buffalo, which realized $23,750 against an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
The Western Art sale concluded with a selection of 114 lots of contemporary Native American art that realized more than $471,000 and achieved a 95% sell through rate. Modern and contemporary Native American art is an actively growing market, and the combination of the categories proved to be an exciting and diverse sale composition. Luis Tapia’s Chama Altar IV sculpture/wall hanging realized $15,000 against a presale estimate of $4,000-$6,000, and Ramona Saskiestewa’s Blue Corn 10 tapestry from 1994 sold for $17,500 against a presale estimate of $3,000-$5,000. Ramona Saskiestewa’s work was new to the auction market until 2020, when Cowan’s sold a tapestry by her for a record $6,250. Blue Corn 10 surpassed that original record.
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