2013 C.M Russell's "The Russell" Results

After participating in the 2013 Western Masters Art Show and Sale and the C.M. Russell Museum's "The Russell" sale, I definitely think the Western art market has rebounded.  Demand for quality and rare works continues to be high, and collector's are definitely buying premium works, but are not settling for anything less than a 7.  Coeur d'Alene Galleries exhibited in room #292 at the Heritage Inn and sold 15 paintings for a very successful show.  Coeur d'Alene Galleries also stood out in their offerings of historical works by deceased artists.  I thought the traffic was strong, and the demand for works by deceased artists was particularly high.  Demand for William Standing, John Fery, Philip Goodwin, Nick Eggenhofer, O.C. Seltzer, Edgar Paxson and Hank Lawshe were especially notable.  As far as contemporary artists, Terry Mimnaugh, Chad Poppleton, Brett Smith, Greg Kelsey and Logan Maxwell Hagege continue to be crowd favorites.  The appreciation for original Western art in Montana never ceases to amaze me.

Congratulations to the C.M. Russell Museum for a smashing successful show.  After all their events, they totaled $3.6 million. If you want to see the Museum's party pics, click here. Below I will post the C.M. Russell Museum's press release, but a few thoughts of my own first.  The museum posted a terrific number, but I think it's important to point out that the total is carried by the big prices the high end works realized. While Tom Gilleon's painting might have been the biggest surprise, there were a lot of paintings that didn't do as well as they could have.  One thing that makes the Russell auction a little different than other auctions, is the fact that bidders want to be seen bidding, where in other auctions, there's a lot more subtlety.  I think the biggest winners are the collectors, because there are so many paintings to choose from and there is so much competition, that the collectors have almost too much to choose from.  One this is for sure though, if you're looking for premium, rare works by deceased artists, room #292 is the place to look now. Here's the press release from the C.M. Russell Museum:


The Russell: The Sale to Benefit the CM. Russell Museum Raises Record Amount
of $3.6 Million


March 22, 2013, Great Falls, MT - Contemporary and deceased artists both raked in high prices during the evening live auction for The Russell: The Sale to Benefit the CM. Russell Museum on Saturday, March 16, for a total of over $3.1 million in gross sales. New attendance records were set during the entire Russell weekend annual fundraiser, which included a silent auction and quick-finish event in addition to the live auction. The CM. Russell Museum raised an approximate gross total of $3.6 million through The Russell, its primary fundraiser.
 
The Russell live auction featured eight original Charles M. Russell artworks, including several watercolors, sculptures, and an illustrated letter, which sold for a total of $1,476,500. Russell's 1919 watercolor High, Wide, and Handsome set the new record at $550,000 for the highest-priced piece sold at The Russell live auction. Another world record was set when R. Tom Gilleon's Hair Apparent sold for $225,000, the highest price ever gathered for a Gilleon piece. Andy Thomas' Russell Paints a Masterpiece sold for $200,000 in an exciting bidding war that resulted in the crowd erupting in cheers with the final bid.
 
Other Russell weekend highlights include the Thursday evening silent auction of fine selling pieces in the silent auction included Andy Thomas's The Challenger that went for $37,500, Gary Lynn Roberts's The Card Cheats that brought in $21,000, and Jenness Cortez's Remington's Legendary West that sold for $50,000. Total gross sales for the silent auction equaled approximately $227,000. The mission of the C.M. Russell Museum is to collect, preserve, research, interpret, and educate on the art and life of Charles M. Russell; the art and life of his contemporaries; and the art of preceding and ensuing generations that depicts and focuses on the culture, life, and country of Russell's West.

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