Auction Preview | Jackson Hole Art Auction

Jackson, WY
Center for the Arts, September 13-15

Bob Kuhn, A Last Running Look, acrylic, 16 x 24. Estimate: $55,000-$75,000.

Bob Kuhn, A Last Running Look, acrylic, 16 x 24. Estimate: $55,000-$75,000.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Since its debut in 2007 as one of the marquee events of the city’s Fall Arts Festival, the Jackson Hole Art Auction has grown to become a must-attend annual destination for those seeking to buy great wildlife and western art, along with works by iconic 20th-century American illustrators. It’s easy to understand why.

The first draw is autumn in Jackson. “It’s cool and crisp and really beautiful here,” says Roxanne Hofmann, a partner in Trailside Galleries of Jackson and Scottsdale, which presents the auction in collaboration with Gerald Peters Gallery of Santa Fe. In addition, visitors to the arts festival are rewarded with a full and satisfying schedule, running this year September 5-16, including special shows at the town’s many art galleries, exhibits of western crafts and furniture, tours of ranches and homes, outstanding food and drink from local restaurants, and a major show and sale at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

But the main reason serious collectors “mark the auction on their calendars,” notes Hofmann, is the high quality of the art entrusted for sale. Consider some of the highlights from this year’s offerings.

Among the wildlife works is A LAST RUNNING LOOK, the late Bob Kuhn’s evocative scene of a bear at sunset, estimated at $50,000 to $75,000, and Robert Bateman’s EVENING LIGHT, depicting a pair of elk in a dusky snowscape ($30,000 to $50,000). Western pieces include BRANDING A MAVERICK, painted in 1913 by Frank Tenney Johnson and estimated at $175,000 to $275,000, and a “pristine” scene called LAGUNA, NEW MEXICO FROM THE EAST, executed in watercolor, gouache, and pencil and dated “June 4th, 1892” by American master Thomas Moran ($75,000 to $125,000). Illustrations on sale range from W.H.D. Koerner’s OLD MONTEREY, a 1933 oil offered at $50,000 to $75,000, to FIXING A FLAT, a charming pencil-on-tissue-paper study by Norman Rockwell ($15,000 to $25,000).

All of these works, numbering upwards of 225 pieces and making up Session II of the auction, are available to preview at Jackson’s Center for the Arts from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, September 14, and the next morning from 9 a.m. to noon, immediately after which the live auction begins. But art lovers who are just now embarking on the collecting trail and possibly daunted by high five- or six-figure prices may want to shift their focus to Session I. It begins a day earlier, with previews at Trailside Galleries on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a live auction at the Center starting at noon. It features more than 120 pieces under $20,000, the majority of which are for sale with no minimum reserve price. “It’s an opportunity for an emerging collector to purchase really fine, carefully vetted, but perhaps smaller works,” says Hofmann, adding that “many are by the same artists we sell in Session II.”

Regardless of budget, or even an intention to buy, all collectors are welcome to attend, with no admission fee for either sale. “But we do ask that you register for both sales to attend them,” Hofmann adds, noting that those interested can sign up online and that absentee and telephone bidding are also welcome. It’s yet another, modern example of the old-fashioned western hospitality for which Jackson is renowned. —Norman Kolpas

contact information
www.jacksonholeartauction.com

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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