Show Preview | Santa Fe Art Auction

Santa Fe, NM
Gerald Peters Gallery, December 6

Oscar E. Berninghaus, Untitled, oil, 16 x 20. Estimate: $80,000-$100,000.

Oscar E. Berninghaus, Untitled, oil, 16 x 20. Estimate: $80,000-$100,000.

This story was featured in the December 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

For more than two decades, western art collectors have looked forward to the annual Santa Fe Art Auction with much anticipation, knowing they’ll see an eclectic mix of high-quality artworks on the block year after year. While the auction has always been held in mid-November in the past, this year it moves to early December. A preview takes place at Gerald Peters Gallery from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5, and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 6. The auction then begins at 1:30 p.m., with in-person, absentee, phone, and online bidding available.

Of course, other than the date change, collectors can rest assured that everything they’ve come to expect from the auction remains the same—this year’s 250-plus lots are as impressive and diverse as ever. “We have a broad range of works in a variety of mediums, subjects, and styles,” says Peter Riess, the auction’s vice president and executive director. “A majority of the Taos Society of Artists are represented, along with the Santa Fe Art Colony, classic western and Native American artists, and some contemporary western artists as well,” he adds.

Carl Rungius, Pack Horses on a Trail, oil, 30 x 40. Estimate: $300,000-$400,000.

Carl Rungius, Pack Horses on a Trail, oil, 30 x 40. Estimate: $300,000-$400,000.

One of the most highly anticipated offerings this year is a piece by Carl Rungius [1869-1959], the German-born wildlife painter who fell in love with the American West during a trip to Wyoming in 1895. Rungius’ 30-by-40-inch painting PACK HORSES ON A TRAIL, circa 1920, is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $400,000. Another notable piece from the same era is a 20-inch-tall bronze sculpture by Frederic Remington [1861-1909] titled THE CHEYENNE, which is estimated to sell for $150,000 to $250,000.

Among the many lots by members of the Taos Society of Artists is a piece by Eanger Irving Couse, one of the founding members of the society, who became well known for his landscape and figurative scenes featuring Taos Pueblo Indians. Couse’s 20-by-30-inch painting titled SPEARING THE FISH is another highly anticipated offering this year, with an estimated value of $150,000 to $250,000. Other major works by the Taos Founders that are up for bid include a 20-by-16-inch painting by Ernest L. Blumenschein titled PORTRAIT OF SHELDON PARSONS, which is expected to bring in $100,000 to $200,000; as well as an untitled 16-by-20-inch painting by Oscar E. Berninghaus, circa 1930, which is estimated to sell for between $80,000 and $100,000.

Some of the more contemporary offerings include works by Martin Grelle, Tom Palmore, and Kevin Red Star, just to name a few. “We also have a ton of paintings by Ramon Kelley, and three really nice sculptures by Harry Jackson,” says Riess, explaining that all these diverse offerings contribute to the auction’s continued success each year. “The variety [of lots] is always fun,” he says, adding, “I especially enjoy being able to present a sale with such a wide range of prices, so there’s truly something for everyone—whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting started.” —Lindsay Mitchell

contact information

Featured in the December 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art December 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook