Masters of the American West Show 2011-Autry Museum

Howard Terpning's "Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People"
The annual Masters of the American West Show at the Autry National Center in Glendale, CA, kicks off on February 5, 2011.  The Autry National Center's Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale is considered the country's most important Western art show.  Each year, more than 75 nationally recognized, contemporary Western artists challenge themselves to create and exhibit their very best work. Stylistically and thematically diverse, their works represent the extraordinary range of subject matter that contemporary, historic, and mythic Western experiences inspire.  A terrific fundraiser for the Autry National Center, it's also a golden opportunity to acquire some of the best works an artist has to offer.  John Geraghty, special advisor to the Masters of the American West Show, challenges today's contemporary artists to put their best foot forward, and the artists normally confront the challenge with extraordinary works.  Although most works are sold by draw, a few of the highly sought-after paintings are sold by silent bid.  Howard Terpning's major paintings have consistently sold for over $1 million the past few years.  Other artists like Morgan Weistling, Mian Situ, and Z.S. Liang also consistently bring in 6-figure sales prices for their masterpieces.  You can view the available works online, and if you can't make the show, but would like an opportunity to purchase a painting, don't hesitate to contact me for assistance.  I wouldn't be much of an art dealer if I wasn't helping you add quality works to your collection.

"Clash of Thunder" by Tim Shinabarger
 I'm not going to breakdown all the available works, but I have to point out a few I think are absolute gems.  First, Tim Shinabarger's "Clash of Thunder" is amazing!  It won the James Earle Fraser Award for Best Sculpture at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame's Prix de West Show in June of 2010.  Tim Shinabarger has won the coveted award for best sculpture 4 of the last 7 years!  Tim is cementing himself as one of the country's premier wildlife sculptors, and if you want to build a quality collection, then a bronze by Tim Shinabarger is a must-have.

It's amazing what 3 cups of coffee, a double-shot vanilla latte, and ginger shrimp soup with yakisoba noodles will do for neuron firing.  I've coined a term called "Collection Factors" that I will cover in depth in my next post, but it can be simply defined as components that contribute to the overall value of a collection.  As your Western Art Dealer, I don't want to just help you buy art, I want to help you build a collection that can potentially grow in value.  If you're going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your artwork, why wouldn't you want the confidence of an asset hanging on your wall rather than a decorative piece of canvas?  "Collection Factors" help give you that piece of mind.  Participation in major museum shows and winning awards at these shows are positive Collection Factors.  There are tons of very talented artists in the country, so to narrow it down to just 75 can be a huge honor for an artist.  Then, if you win an award when exhibiting with those 75 artists, that just cements the fact that the artist is producing quality works.  Quality works will always sell, and what's a more objective way to say a painting is good than an award that says it's good?

Let me give you a couple examples of how museum shows and their awards can affect the value of an artist's work.  Martin Grelle is one of six artists to ever win the coveted Prix de West Purchase award twice and after he won it the first time in 2002, his prices went through the roof.  Andy Thomas won the Best of Show award at the C.M. Russell Show in Great Falls, MT and suddenly his paintings are not only flying off the walls, but they're selling for big prices.  Both Martin Grelle and Andy Thomas are incredible artists, and were incredible artists before they won their awards, but the exposure they gained from winning those awards have created a demand that outweighs their supply which helps drive their prices up.  When an artist wins a major award, it's positive exposure for an artist that you can't put a price on, and will ultimately contribute to the artist's legacy.  If you want to stay up to date on who's winning awards and current auction sales, then follow me on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  Also, feel free to comment if you agree or disagree or if there's a topic you would like me to cover.


  1. I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.


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