HAPPY EARTH DAY!
The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Curator of Art, Adam Harris, is the guest curator for an exhibition opening May 18th, 2013 at the museum. This remarkable exhibition, assembled in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, continues a new theme direction for the museum: exploration and examination of the American West. As a region, we’re shifting towards emphasizing the American West timeline, and along that timeline the overlapping, interconnected movements of art, conservation and exploration are continuous.
George Catlin’s American Buffalo is “entirely drawn from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection,” and will remain on display through August 18th, 2013. The show looks at Catlin’s work and feelings about the West via his representation of buffalo and their “integration into the lives of Native Americans.” Forty works are featured.
“Catlin’s paintings illuminate in great detail the close ties between Native American tribes and bison in the 1830s, and his writings about the land and its native inhabitants have informed generations of conservationists as they wrestle with sustainable ways to manage America’s Great Plains,” says Harris, who also contributed an essay for the show’s illustrated catalogue, to be published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Having the chance to work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to interpret Catlin’s words and images was a great honor,” Harris says. “The resulting exhibit and catalog will help contemporary audiences see Catlin in a new light.”
Catlin’s works always strike me as ahead of their time. Their primitive, almost naive quality is so appealing and pure. In any artistic venue they stand apart. As the museum points out, Catlin was a pioneering wilderness conservationist, and wrote that “without some greater measure of restraint on the part of advancing settlers, the buffalo would soon be eradicated from the plains.” Catlin, who began life as a lawyer—and thus absorbed a talent and bent for writing at great length—made that observation in the 1830’s.
“He called for the establishment of a “nation’s Park” set aside from development as a refuge for buffalo and native tribes,” says the museum. “A vision that partially came true with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.” www.wildlifeart.org
In Scottsdale, the April 6th Scottsdale Art Auction reports phenomenal success at this year’s auction event. Auction officials confirm sales totaled over $11 million. And there were a lot of Terpnings–two new records set for his works. Janell Grady, Auction representative, reports that the top selling lot for the day was Frederic Remington’s black and white oil, Pack Horse Men Repelling an Attack by Indians, estimated at $500,000 to $700,000, that sold for $1,035,000.
Contemporary art setting new records include Martin Grelle’s Prayers of the Pipe Carrier, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000, selling for $488,750; John Coleman’s Rainmaker, a 10 feet 6 inches high bronze, (estimated at $40,000 to $60,000) that set a new record for a single work by that artist at $97,750. Michael Dudash’s The Last Hand, (estimated at $15,000 to $20,000) sold for $40,250, while G. Harvey’s (who never seems to fall short of sales expectations) New York, New York, (estimated at $120,000 – $180,000) fetched $281,750. http://www.scottsdaleartauction.com
Among the West’s most prestigious art auctions, the Jackson Hole Art Auction continues to assemble 2013’s auction event, taking place at Jackson’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Produced by Trailside Galleries and Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery, the Jackson Hole Art Auction has set impressive records of its own in a very few years; 2013 is the Seventh Annual Jackson Hole Art Auction.
In a previous post, we listed many of the great deceased and contemporary American masters represented at the auction each year. I can tell you from personal experience that it is a thrilling event! Added to this year’s list of incoming consignments are significant works by William de la Montagne Cary, Maynard Dixon, E. Martin Hennings, Bob Kuhn, Wilhelm Kuhnert, Frank McCarthy, Kenneth Riley, Carl Rungius, Richard Schmid, Charles Schreyvogel, Olaf Wieghorst, Henriette Wyeth, Eustace Paul Ziegler, and more.