Scottsdale Art Auction Exhibition Gallery, April 10-11
This story was featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Always a premier source of western, wildlife, and sporting artworks from living and deceased artists, the Scottsdale Art Auction puts up for bid this month a special collection of works from Robert Parker of Tulsa, OK, comprising more than 100 of the 312 lots in this year’s auction.
The inclusion of the Parker collection brings these works full circle from Parker’s purchase of them over the years. Marilyn and Troy Murray, who founded and ran Troy’s Cowboy Art Gallery in Scottsdale, guided Parker in developing his collection. Their son-in-law, Brad Richardson of Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, Bozeman, MT, and Jackson, WY, is one of the three influential dealers—along with Michael Frost of J.N. Bartfield Galleries in New York City and Jack A. Morris Jr. of Morris & Whiteside Galleries in Hilton Head, SC—who founded the Scottsdale Art Auction in 2005.
The Parker collection includes, among other notable works, three paintings by Robert Abbett featured in the book A Season for Painting: The Outdoor Art of Robert K. Abbett; several exceptional oils and pen-and-ink works by Olaf Wieghorst, who painted in the vein of Charles Russell; and a fine ink wash from Russell himself, HAPPY COWBOY, valued at $60,000 to $90,000.
Other works in the auction include a Russell watercolor titled IN THE NICK OF TIME, portraying an Anglo cowboy firing a gun toward a bear, valued at $250,000 to $300,000. Works from legendary artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Gerard Delano, William R. Leigh, Frederic Remington, and Joseph Henry Sharp, and an unusual N.C. Wyeth painting titled THE DEPARTURE OF THE MAYFLOWER and valued at $350,000 to $550,000, are also among the highlights up for bid.
This year’s auction also includes an ample selection of pieces by modern masters and members of the Cowboy Artists of America, including two works by Howard Terpning, CLOSING ON THE HERD and RECOUNTING THE COUP, and SNAKE RIVER CULTURE by Martin Grelle, to name a few. Another notable offering is a complete set of John Coleman sculptures based on George Catlin’s paintings, valued at $250,000 to $300,000.
Although the auction has become known for its record-setting bids, “with an auction, you just never know what will happen until the bidding starts,” observes Morris. “The quality of the work is in keeping with the sales that we’ve had over the past 10 years. During that time, the auction has made more than $110 million in sales. We’re anticipating another energetic sale.”
All lots are on view two weeks prior to the auction, which is held in a 500-seat, state-of-the-art sales room in Old Town Scottsdale. An all-day preview and a cocktail reception precedes the bidding on Friday, April 10. The first bidding session starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 11; the second bidding session commences at 1 p.m. For collectors unable to attend in person, online, absentee, and phone bidding are available. —Ashley M. Biggers
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