MONROVIA, Calif. — With nearly 500 lots of historic and contemporary American West and Native American artworks and objects, John Moran Auctioneers‘ Art of the American West event on Tuesday, Sept. 12 encompasses all the major collecting disciplines within the genre.
The Chemehuevi are members of the Southern Paiute tribe, and are largely found in southeastern California. John Moran has nine Chemehuevi woven baskets, headed up by this fine example estimated at $800-$1,200.
Alson Skinner Smith (1876-1949) was a noted Impressionist painter who today is largely associated with Pasadena, California, though he spent much time in France after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. His California Pioneers oil on canvas is a star lot in the sale, and is estimated at $7,000-$9,000.
Marjorie Lee Eaton (1901-86) was a multi-disciplinary artist, spanning the worlds of painting and acting. Eaton grew up in art colonies, including the famed Taos location of the 1920s and ’30s, working with Diego Rivera. Though she had hundreds of roles in motion pictures and television series, she is best remembered for having portrayed Emperor Palpatine (though masked and with Clive Revill’s voice dubbed over hers) in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back.
The sale includes two Eaton paintings. Seated girl with books is an oil on canvas measuring 26 by 22in and comes from the private collection of the Saks Fifth Avenue founder’s grandson. It is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Also featured is Eaton’s Woman with headscarf and fish. This oil on canvas is the same size as Seated Girl with Books and carries an identical estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
Native American textiles are well represented in the Moran sale. This early to mid-20th-century Navajo Yei pictorial textile, woven from colored wool and featuring 11 Yei dancers, is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.