Auction Preview | Santa Fe Art Auction

Santa Fe, NM
Gerald Peters Gallery, November 13-14

Albert Bierstadt, Mountain Scene, oil, 22 x 31.

Albert Bierstadt, Mountain Scene, oil, 22 x 31.

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

Collectors of western art should consider a trip to Santa Fe this month for the annual Santa Fe Art Auction at Gerald Peters Gallery. Billed as the Southwest’s largest auction of classic western art, the event offers a stellar mix of works by top contemporary and historic painters and sculptors. The auction commences at the gallery on Saturday, November 14, at 1:30 p.m. with in-person, phone, and online bidding all available. Auction previews take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 13, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the auction.

Adam H. Veil, the auction’s executive director, is enthusiastic about the 200 lots that are on the block this year. “True to fashion, the 22nd annual Santa Fe Art Auction features a rich and varied selection of classic and contemporary western art—fresh works from the Taos Society of Artists and the Santa Fe Art Colony, historic prints, works on paper, and sculpture,” Veil says. “Carefully curated to pique the interest and suit the budget of new and seasoned collectors alike, this year’s sale commingles high quality with affordability and should prove a fun, high-energy afternoon for all.”

One of the most highly anticipated offerings is a piece by Albert Bierstadt [1830-1902], famous for sweeping landscapes that capture the power and glory of the West. Bierstadt’s MOUNTAIN SCENE is expected to sell for between $700,000 and $1.2 million when it goes on the block. Bierstadt sketched and painted various scenes throughout the West, both real and imagined, according to Melissa Webster Speidel, director of the Albert Bierstadt Catalogue Raisonné Project. Speidel notes that the location depicted in MOUNTAIN SCENE has not been identified and may fall into the “imagined” category. As she explains in an essay on the painting, Bierstadt rearranged geographic elements, left objects out to simplify a scene, and embellished aspects to create his own interpretation of majestic mountain scenes. “The composition—land in one corner, water in the other extending into the distance, with mountains in the background—was a favorite construction of the artist,” Speidel says. “MOUNTAIN SCENE, solidly constructed and deftly painted, is a superb example of the artist’s vision of a pristine mountain landscape.”

Charles M. Russell, Buffalo Hunt, watercolor, 9 x 17.

Charles M. Russell, Buffalo Hunt, watercolor, 9 x 17.

This year’s auction also casts a major spotlight on BUFFALO HUNT, a 1901 watercolor by legendary western artist Charles M. Russell [1864-1926]. The painting is expected to bring between $500,000 and $700,000. Other auction highlights include early 20th-century works by Bert Geer Phillips, Joseph Henry Sharp, Ernest Blumenschein, and Eanger Irving Couse, all associated with the Taos Society of Artists. Some of the more contemporary auction offerings are paintings by Gary Ernest Smith, Paul Pletka, William Sharer, and G. Harvey.

Finally, Veil points out that there are several rare artworks up for bid, including an intact set of 16 Yeibichai figures by Navajo wood carver Clitso Dedman [1879-1953] and two views of the Oraibi pueblo in Arizona by Donald Barton [1903-1990]. —Bonnie Gangelhoff   

contact information

Featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November2015 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