News | January 2006

Caught in the Open by John Moyers

Moyers Wins Top Honors at CA Show

New Mexico artist John Moyers received the Western Art Associates’ Kieckhefer Award for Best of Show for his oil painting caught in the open at the Cowboy Artists of America show in October at the Phoenix Art Museum. The Artists’ Choice Award for best body of work went to Bill Owen, and Jim C. Norton took home the inaugural Ray Swanson Memorial Award for his washing on salt creek. Gold medals were awarded to Moyers for oils; Herb Mignery, sculpture; Moyers, water solubles; and R.S. Riddick, drawings and other media. Silver medals went to Norton, John Coleman, Riddick, and Loren Entz.

Another highlight of the 40th annual sale, which earned more than $2.3 million, was the announcement of a new president and a new member. Moyers will lead the group in the coming year, and Arizona artist Harley Brown joins the organization as its 23rd active member.

In Memoriam

Navajo artist R.C. Gorman, whose stylized paintings, drawings, and sculptures depict Indian women and other Native motifs, died in November at age 74. Gorman was an indelible presence on the Taos, NM, art scene, opening his Navajo Gallery there in 1968. Five years later, he was the only living artist to be included in the Masterworks of the American Indian exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and in 1986, Harvard University recognized the artist for his “notable contributions to American art and Native American culture.” The New York Times has called Gorman the “Picasso of American Indian art.” [Watch for a special feature on Gorman’s life and legacy in an upcoming issue of Southwest Art.]

Rogue Simpson, an Arizona-based wildlife painter, was killed in a car accident in Scottsdale in October. She was 62 years old. A founding member of the American Women Artists organization, Simpson painted a wide range of animals—many observed during yearly trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks—as well as cowboys and rodeo scenes. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including the Coors Western Art Show in Denver, CO, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY.

Chant to the Rain Gods by Joseph Henry SharpAltermann Auction Exceeds $3 Million

Total sales at Santa-Fe based Altermann Galleries’ October auction in Scottsdale, AZ, added up to $3.6 million. The top lot was Joseph Henry Sharp’s chant to the rain gods, which sold for $219,500. Other high sellers included G. Harvey’s twilight in the city at $214,000 and flower market at aix en provence by Clark Hulings at $192,000. The highlight of the auction, according to gallery co-owner Richard Altermann, was the sale of Bob Kuhn’s moose in downed timber, a 24-by-32-inch acrylic painting, at $60,375.

Out & About

Arizona artist Sherry Blanchard Stuart won the Best of Show award at the American Plains Artists’ annual juried show in Amarillo, TX, in October…. Corrigan Gallery, which represents Kevin Parent, Karin Ohla, Sue Simons Wallace, and others, opened its doors in Charleston, SC, in September…. A 12-foot-high sculpture of a chief and his horse by Colorado-based Denny Haskew (Potawatomi) was recently installed at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, MN.

Lost & Found

A prize-winning 1889 painting by American artist William Robinson Leigh [1866-1955] that was considered to be a missing masterpiece for many years recently was “found” by a family who had cared for the piece for more than a century. After Leigh’s death in 1955, his biographers were unable to locate the artist’s first major work, a genre painting called grandfather’s story, and concluded that it had been destroyed. As it turns out, Leigh had sold the work to an American woman for $1,000 in 1892, and her family discovered that the heirloom was an important piece after investigating it three years ago. The painting, which won the top award at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, when Leigh was 17 years old, now hangs at West Virginia University and is part of the university’s art collection.

Featured in January 2006