MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers will conduct their third Art of the American West auction of 2021 on November 30 at 10 pm Pacific time, followed Art of The American West Online sale at 2 pm Pacific time. The sale brings fresh-to-market Western art and sculpture in both historical and contemporary genres, as well as healthy selections of Native American jewelry, textiles, baskets, and pottery. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Pride of place in the rich and varied Fine Art selection goes to a large painting by John Sloan, entitled Cowboys Rustling Cattle Herd in Rain. Inspired by summer trips to Santa Fe during 1916-1917, John Sloan returned fully invigorated to paint the southwest during the summer of 1919. This oil on canvas projects the experience Sloane and many of his fellow colleagues were looking for in New Mexico: Cowboys and charros whooping on horseback with dogs, all herding hundreds of stampeding cattle in a driving rainstorm. The work carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.
A different western activity is featured in a high mountain scene by renowned artist Eanger Irving Couse, The Turkey Hunter, which has an estimate of $60,000-$80,000. Couse was one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists and its first president. Born in Michigan in 1866, he came to Taos after extensive formal and practical study of art via Chicago, New York, and ultimately Paris in 1886. He was enamored with the Pueblo people and their way of life, and although some of his depictions can seem romanticized, he was close friends with some of his subjects, having favorite models for his compositions.
Another determined hunter is featured in a delicately rendered watercolor by Olaf Carl Seltzer, Grizzly Tracks. A mounted Native American hunter is shown studying tracks of a grizzly, with spear, bow, and quiver at the ready. In a simple color palette of browns, the fine details of the figure and his dress are emphasized with bolder colors of red, green, grey, and white. Standing on the short grass and dirt of the prairie, his horse is ready to move off with hind leg poised and tail swishing with impatience. This Seltzer work is offered with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.
From small to large, oil paintings by Ray Swanson is the perfect size to capture the grandeur of the vast Southwest desert landscape. The one on offer in the November 30 auction, Going Visitin’, pictures a Navajo family in the foreground, traveling by horseback and wagon through sagebrush. The figures are small yet sharp and highly detailed and give contrast to the big sky and far-reaching views of buttes and mesas in the distance. Raised in a rural environment, Swanson came to love the desert of Arizona. As a result, he felt compelled to accurately depict traditional lifestyles, including methods of transport and native dress that he felt were quickly fading away. The respect seemed mutual, as it was reported that at his funeral, a Navajo family that he painted attended his memorial service and placed a traditional chief’s blanket on his casket. Going Visitin’ is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Traditional dress is celebrated in the sizeable figurative oil painting Native American Women Standing with Umbrellas by Anthony Chee Emerson. A vibrant sky-blue background sets off the colorful profiles of five proud women. The work is typical of Emerson, a contemporary painter of Navajo ancestry known for his stylized figurative paintings of people, animals, and landscapes. This particular work carries an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.
In Mysteries of Migration, contemporary artist George Carlson depicts a seated figure of a Native American man turning to one side with raised arms and crossed hands. The sculpted figure seems elemental and strong, and the textured modeling gives a strong sense of movement and immediacy. The patinated limited-edition bronze is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
The November 30 auction also features more than 150 lots of jewelry. In addition to a number of striking John Winston bolos, contemporary jewelry designs are also featured, with works by Cleve Honyaktewa, Alvin and Lula Begay, and Wes Willie, who is represented by a Navajo mosaic inlay coral cuff bracelet estimated at $1,200-$1,800.
Leading the selection of Native American textiles is an early 20th Century Navajo Germantown double saddle blanket, estimated at $1,500-$2,000. Pottery choices include a monumental Debbie Garcia Brown Acoma olla, which carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.
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