Amid the return of summers' humid haze and oppressive drought, a wind as sharp as an arrowhead punctures through with a familiar, howling signal - turning every Western art lovers attention toward the same place. On July 28th, The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction will hold their 33rd annual Fine Western & American Art auction from the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. The catalog will include 315 selections of unparalleled quality that represent the most revered names the genre has to offer. Online bidding will only be available exclusively through Bidsquare.
Panoramic depictions of canyons, golden prairies and majestic mountainsides are met with an assortment of characters that navigate the classic American landscape through a variety of candid narratives. Masterfully painted night scenes, depicting moonlit ancestral teachings, are saturated in the same enchanting reality as the rugged bronzes that capture the fury of a bucking horse or a Trapper's dangerous downward descent.
Long known leaders at Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, such as Howard Terpning, Alfred Jacob Miller, Frederic Remington, Eanger Irving Couse, Edgar Payne and William R. Leigh, amongst many others, will be accounted for. Blue-chip contemporary artists that make up a large portion of the sale will be headlined by Howard Terpning's, Dust of Many Pony Soldiers, a Gold Medal award winner in the 1981 Cowboy Artists of America Show. The oil embodies the technical skill and spirit that collectors of Fine Western & American Art look for. The most important element to be noted is the artist’s ability to capture a "moment to moment" feeling where the viewer and the subjects' seem to be experiencing the immediate action together.
Describing this painting the artist wrote, “When I began this painting I considered a background in shadow ... all pine trees ... a dark area above the grass. I had done a careful drawing, but not in value. When I brushed on the paint, obviously that was not going to work at all. So after fiddling with it, I realized that the picture needed a feeling of vast space back there, so in light value I carried those hills off into the distance. This party of Sioux Warriors is rather pitifully armed, flintlocks and such. One of the warriors has a telescope and he is peering at a tower of dust rising far away. He sees that the dust is raised by a large body of cavalrymen, or in Indian thinking, pony soldiers.”*
If there's one name in particular that remains synonymous with the Old American West, it's undoubtedly Frederic Remington. Known for his detailed illustrations, writings, paintings and sculptures, Remington essentially kept a record of frontier life during his travels across Montana Territory, the Southwest and the extent of the American West. His ability to recount and draft western scenes based on his experiences and observations of Native Americans, cavalrymen, scouts and cowboys provided him with a lifetime's worth of fine art commissions as well as editorial features in a slew of prominent magazines. Above all else, Frederic Remington is seen as the most quintessential chronicler in Western Art.
One of his most iconic bronzes, The Mountain Man will be up for auction at Coeur d'Alene Art Auction this year carrying an estimate of $150,000 - $250,000.
Taos artists have also been a staple of the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction and 2018 will showcase the strongest examples of work by Joseph Henry Sharp and Eanger Irving Couse that the sale has seen in years. A captivating and critically acclaimed painting by Couse, painted in 1923, titled Night Birds portrays an idealistic picture of Indian life. Pieced together with hues of blue-green, a calming blanket of moonlight is cast upon the natural world as a hunter and his son quietly stalk game on the rivers edge. Captioned beneth this illustration, after being sold by Grand Central Art Galleries in New York to a Dallas, Texas collector states, "...It is most charming in color, and its appeal to the imagination, together with its poetic quality, makes it a most desirable acquisition for (the buyer’s) growing collection."*
The artist wrote, “One of the greatest privations to be combated on the prairies is the want of water. The trapper leaves his camp in the morning, and after traveling all day under a hot and oppressive sun, his tongue parched and swollen, and almost cleaving to the roof of his mouth;–you may fancy, under such circumstances with what delight he hails at a distance, the life-giving stream.
“The subject of the sketch is an Indian girl supplying an exhausted Trapper with a draught of water, which she has brought in a Buffalo horn.
“To fully appreciate the boon, one must absolutely go through the ordeal, by being subjected to the privation,–it is impossible otherwise.”*
Estimated to generate a substantial amount of interest on an institutional and private level, this work captures a folkloric nostalgia that deeply resonates with Western art collectors.
Bidsquare, the exclusive online bidding platform for the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction for the fourth consecutive year, is prepared to get back in the saddle on auction day. After generating over $6 million in bids placed during the live sale in 2017, and totaling over $1 million in online sales, Bidsquare has become a reliable spur in boot heel of the most important event for collectors of Western art. Conveniently, the online buyers premium remains the same as the floor bidders premium, an aspect that loosens the reigns and allows online buyers to bid without a moments hesitation.
Additional highlights from the sale include William R. Leigh's masterwork, Embarrassed (Range Pony in Town) $1,000,000 - $1,500,000 which may set a new world record for the artist, as well as his oil West Virginia Woodchopper $300,000 - $500,000.
Click here to browse the full catalog for Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's, Fine Western & American Art sale, coming up on July 28th. Online bidding provided exclusively only on Bidsquare.
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Jessica Helen Weinberg | Senior Content Editor at Bidsquare
*Quotes used from Coeur d'Alene Art Auction at www.cdaartauction.com