Featured Event | Jackson Hole Art Auction

Jackson, WY
Various locations, September 18-19

Z.S. Liang, The Holy Rattle (Elkwater Lake Battle, 1864), oil on linen, 40 x 60. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000.

Z.S. Liang, The Holy Rattle (Elkwater Lake Battle, 1864), oil on linen, 40 x 60. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000.

This story was featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Albert Bierstadt’s magnificent WIND RIVER COUNTRY, WYOMING, painted circa 1860, has remained in the collection of the same Wyoming family for more than 50 years—a family that has lived in Sublette County outside of Jackson for just as long. With an auction value estimated at $1 to $2 million, the painting is on the block for the first time during the ninth annual Jackson Hole Art Auction on September 18 and 19. It joins several other masterpieces that have found their way to the auction market for the first time. Among these: Bob Kuhn’s CHEETAHS ON A TERMITE HILL. The painting is considered one of the finest examples of African wildlife art, notes Roxanne Hofmann, a partner in Trailside Galleries of Jackson and Scottsdale, AZ.

Trailside, along with Gerald Peters Gallery of Santa Fe and New York, presents the annual auction, one of the most highly regarded in the country. “We’ve curated very carefully, and we’re really proud of our offerings this year,” Hofmann says. “We’re excited about the major works that we’ve been able to bring in by the key artists our collectors are looking for.” About a third of this year’s artworks are historical, by artists including Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Also up for bid is important wildlife art by Carl Rungius, Robert Bateman, Ken Carlson, and Tucker Smith, and significant works by contemporary artists including G. Harvey, Howard Terpning, Richard Schmid, and Morgan Weistling. As he does each year, Martin Grelle has produced a new painting exclusively for the Jackson Hole Art Auction.

Morgan Weistling, Peppers, oil on canvas, 40 x 30. Estimate: $50,000-$75,000,.

Morgan Weistling, Peppers, oil on canvas, 40 x 30. Estimate: $50,000-$75,000,.

The event’s larger sale, Session II, features over 200 lots and takes place on Saturday, September 19, at Jackson’s Center for the Arts, an event that always draws an enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd. Session II previews take place Friday, September 18, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.—with a cocktail reception from 5 to 7 p.m.—and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. For the first time this year, a smaller auction of some 60 lots, Session I, is set for Friday at Trailside Galleries, with a preview on Thursday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Session I highlights works at lower price points and helps keep both events at a comfortable length, Hofmann says. “It’s a wonderful addition to the main session.”

Also this year, the second annual Top Tier Juried Competition returns with artworks created specifically for the event by invited artists. Z.S. Liang’s entry, THE HOLY RATTLE (ELKWATER LAKE BATTLE, 1864), holds an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. Another invited artist, William Acheff, tips a hat to Jackson Hole’s strong tradition of wildlife art with an exquisite still-life painting whose objects include a Zuni pot and a Rungius painting. This year’s Top Tier judges include curators of private and corporate collections. All Top Tier entries are available during Session II.

While online bidding is becoming increasingly popular, the Jackson Hole Art Auction remains a choice destination event, coinciding with an array of major gallery and museum shows during the city’s annual Fall Arts Festival [see page 30]. “It’s a beautiful time of year to have all these events at once,” Hofmann says. —Gussie Fauntleroy

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Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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