JOHN MORAN AUCTIONEERS ANNOUNCES October 16, 2012 FINE ART SALE Early consignments to John Moran Auctioneers’ October 16, 2012 sale promise an exciting second installment of the house’s new two-session format for their semi-annual Fine Art Auctions. Beginning with
view by William Trost Richards (1833 – 1905, Newport, RI), offered for $10,000 – 15,000, and two portraits by Russian / American painter Nicolai Fechin (1881 – 1955), offered at $20,000 – 30,000 and $40,000 – 60,000.
Top California Impressionist are, as always at Moran’s, well represented. Hanson Puthuff’s ‘’Spring’s Tenderness’’ is estimated to realize $60,000 – 80,000, while John Frost’s ‘’Sweeping Autumn Landscape’’ of 1934 is expected to fetch $20,000 – 30,000. The session’s top lot by value is a magnificent, very large mountain landscape by Jack Wilkinson Smith (1873 – 1949 Alhambra, CA), his ‘’Riders at Kearsarge Pass, High Sierra’’. The 46 x 50-inch canvas features horsemen clambering up a sweeping, dramatically shadowed mountain slope. Bidding on this masterful work, a pinnacle of the artist’s prolific career, is estimated to rise to $175,000 – 225,000. A 1918 seascape by Granville Redmond (1871 – 1935) is a lovely example of his poetic nocturnes, offered for $12,000 – 18,000. A scene of a train crossing a bridge over a bay by Society of Six painter Maurice Logan (1886 – 1977), though undated, appears to have been created before 1930, when Logan was still using a brightly colored palette for his Fauve-inspired scenes. With its dramatic angles and blocky brushstrokes, the painting is a bold statement from Logan’s best period (estimate: $6000 – 8000).
Frank Tenney Johnson’s charming 1938 horse portrait in oil, ‘’Peaches, Mrs. Johnson’s Horse’’ (estimate: $6000 – 8000), and Laverne Nelson Black’s loosely painted oil of an Indian on horseback displaying the artist’s blending of Modernism and Impressionism (estimate: $6000 – 9000), are part of a large collection of works consigned from the estate of a resident of ‘’Artists Alley’’, one of the smallest of the numerous artists’ colonies that formed in Southern California in the early 20th century. The rustic lane of Champion Place in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra was a summer home of the illustrator Norman Rockwell, and year-round residence of Johnson, Smith and Marjorie Reed, and sculptors Tex Wheeler and Eli Harvey. The collection at Moran’s comprises works acquired prior to the 1960’s, many of them directly from the artists themselves or from the estates of the artists, and includes other paintings by Johnson and Smith and one by Thomas Hill.
Moran’s is also delighted to showcase works on paper, offering a number of California School watercolors by top artists such as Millard Sheets, Ben Messick, Milford Zornes, Phil Dike and George Post. A tableau by Art Landy (1904 – 1977 Burbank, CA) captures intriguingly posed, disparate groups of people in mid-action, the evocative lighting imbuing the prosaic setting on a street corner in Los Angeles with a certain mystery and poetry (estimate: $5000 – 7000).
The European & Modern Session spans a wide range of eras and styles, from a 1642 oil by Dutch master Jan van Goyen (1596 – 1656) to an untitled lithograph by contemporary artist Vija Celmins (b. 1939 Los Angeles, CA), whose work is held in several major