"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Auction 2014

Each July the Coeur d'Alene Auction of Western Art comes to Reno and I always wait for it with great anticipation as it is a wonderful opportunity to view some really excellent and exciting art. The best part is that I don't have to travel to see it - it comes to me!My catalog and  event tickets arrived in the mail about a week ago with the catalog cover featuring a dynamic painting from 1943 called "Dodging the Lead" by William R. Leigh. Even though I was not familiar with his work, the beautiful brushwork evident in this photo really appealed to me as well as this moment of great action. I could not wait to see it in person!




Friday was the preview day and potential buyers from all over the US came to Reno to participate in and experience the excitement of the auction.


So much art to see - nicely displayed all across the room on long tables with overhead lighting.


  In this photo you can see the magnificent bronze sculpture by James Fraser called "The End of the Trail". It is perhaps the most famous sculpture of the American West and had a pre-auction estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. But when the bidding began there were two very determined bidders and when the dust had settled after about a minute of furious competition, the final sale price was over $900,000!



This is Frederic Remington's "The Story of Where the Sun Goes" which auctioned off at a cool 1.5 million and, on the right, the William Leigh painting sold for $850,000. It was magnificent in person with vibrant color and unrestrained energy and it did not disappoint! I am always amazed at the very high prices these paintings are demanding - amazed but happy as I continue on my own art journey.

  This photo shows the auctioneer with his arms spread wide welcoming the incoming bids and the man in the isle is the Yipper - he yips to alert the auctioneer of a new bid on the piece. The pace is fast and furious!


 And all the while, bids are also coming in over  computers and phones - here, over the heads of the people in the crowd,  you see the auction employees taking internet bids and manning the phone bank.


This large painting by Richard Schmid (36 x 48) titled Still Life with Oranges and Flowers sold for $37,500 and a smaller piece called The Last Roses sold for $17,000. It was a treat to see his brilliant brush work and be able to scrutinize it closely.

I love that the auction has not only old masters of western painting such as Charles Russel and Remington but new masters like Schmid and Robert Kuhn. Bob Kuhn's work hit a new world record here when his acrylic painting of grizzly bears fishing in a stream called "The Spawning Run"  went for well over $300,000.

Already I find myself wondering what delights next years auction will bring to Reno!

10 comments:

  1. That really does look like an exciting event. Thank you for taking the photos, and allowing us to visit vicariously. The bronze, "End of the Trail" is one of favorite pieces of art - interesting to see it there.
    Kathryn

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    1. I just love going every year and experiencing all the excitement. I love The End of the Trail as Well - it is a very emotional piece. In fact, this year, I think I loved the bronzes more than the oils!

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  2. Thank you to share, susan.
    The painting by Richard Smid is gorgeous. Lucky you to have seen it for real !

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    1. It was so wonderful to see his work and be able to scrutinize it carefully. That alone was worth the price of admission!

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  3. thank you for sharing Susan! I love these photos...it really looked like an amazing event! Richard Schmid's painting is absolutely gorgeous!!!

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    1. I actually find it quite comforting in these troubled times to realize that there are so many people out there who value art for its beauty, its uniqueness, its civilized attempt to convey an artistic truth. It gives me hope for the future of mankind.

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  4. I am thrilled with the news about Bob Kuhn's high price. He is a real gentleman. I sat next to him once quite a few years ago at the Prix de West, and I am sure he was horrified to find himself next to a 'nobody" but he talked and shared and it was really memorable. I enjoyed reading all about this show and like the way the paintings were lighted. What a thrill for you.
    Thanks for taking the time to do this post.

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    1. There were several of Bob Kuhn's pieces in the auction and the public bid quite energetically on all of them. His work is so special and the paint appears as a finely woven tapestry. He does stunning work! How lucky you are to have met and talked to him!

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  5. Great pieces, it must be wonderful to see them in real life! I love the still life!

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Your comments are welcome and brighten my day!