News | June 2005

Buffalo Hunt #7 by Charles M. RussellFirst Scottsdale Art Auction Tops $7 Million

Total sales exceeded $7 million at the Scottsdale Art Auction, held for the first time in April at Legacy Gallery. The top lot was Charles M. Russell’s buffalo hunt #7, which fetched $728,000. The price tags of five Russell works, including the top-selling piece, added up to $1,271,200. Western landscapes were popular with the Maynard Dixon oil canyon del muerto—coronado rock earning $616,000, and works by nine of the 10 Taos Society artists fared well—two oils by Oscar Berninghaus sold for more than $200,000 each. Collectors also bid eagerly on wildlife pieces such as bighorn territory by Carl Rungius, which brought in $268,800.

In Memoriam

Native American artist Fritz Scholder passed away in Arizona in February after a long illness. He was 67 years old. Scholder, known for paintings of Indians mixed with Pop art imagery, taught painting and history at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, from 1964 to 1969. His work appears in many major museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum in Arizona.

When Water Speaks by Martin GrelleOut & About

Martin Grelle’s painting when water speaks brought a record price for its size at a silent auction at Overland Gallery in March—the artist’s 17th annual one-man show. The 48-by-36-inch piece fetched $61,000…. Danela/May Gallery’s second location at the Borgata in Scottsdale, AZ, recently opened and features a larger gallery space as well as a sculpture garden…. Best of Show honors at the Western Spirit Art Show in Cheyenne, WY, went to Jeanie Schlump. Other top award winners were Dan Glanz, Diane Perry, Roger Ambrosier, Sam Lawlor, Curt Theobald, Crystal Lenhart, and Joan Fullerton.

Altermann Sale Exceeds Expectations

At its inaugural February auction in Scottsdale, Santa Fe-based Altermann Galleries earned $936,045—an impressive figure considering the gallery anticipated sales of between $500,000 and $700,000. “Nothing much happens in Santa Fe in winter,” says co-owner Tony Altermann. “So we assembled a smaller-than-usual selection of works and went to where it was warm and where a lot of our clients reside.” The top lot of the auction, which focused on artists from the second half of the 20th century, was Kenneth Riley’s plains motif at $112,500. Other highlights included Martin Grelle’s gathering storm, which sold for $74,000; kiowa medicine by Roy Andersen at $23,000; and Clark Hulings’ 9-by-12-inch time out for a coke at $32,200.

Auction Results

Charles M. Russell’s antelope hunt #1 was the top lot at the C.M. Russell Auction of Original Western Art in Great Falls, MT, in March. The painting sold for $170,000, and three other Russell works followed at $90,000, $57,500, and $42,500. Olaf Wieghorst’s warchief was next on the list at $35,000. Another impressive sale was $22,500 for Terry Mimnaugh’s dugout canoe, which received the Best of Show Award. Joe Abbrescia, Michael Ome Untiedt, Jerry McKellar, Greg Beecham, and Brent Cotton also won major awards. Total sales rang up to $1,944,000.

New Owners

Trailside Galleries, based in Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY, is under new ownership. Managing partner Maryvonne Leshe, who joined the gallery in 1978, has teamed up with western art collector Eddie Basha and private art dealer Roxanne Hofmann to acquire the gallery from Texas entrepreneur Randy Best. “Each brings a depth of knowledge and love of western representational art,” Leshe says of her new partners. Another change occurred in Jackson recently for Meyer Gallery, which is now Meyer-Milagros Gallery. Mariam Alaskari, who had been director for almost three years, purchased the gallery and will add more than 15 artists to her fold, including Jim Budish, Jason Wheatley, Ann Krasner, and Robert Bissell.

Festival Honors

Photographer John Gavrilis won the Best of Show award at the La Quinta Arts Festival in March. Gavrilis, who lives in Aptos, CA, took top honors for his body of landscape works. Other major awards went to John Weidenhamer, Michael Stipek, Seung Lee, Patrick McCauley, Valerie Coulson, John Lehr, Djibril N’Doye, and Jennifer Charles.

Featured in June 2005