Coeur d'Alene Art Auction 2013

Norman Rockwell's A Scout is Loyal
Expectations are running high for the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction (CDAA) this year, and with good reason.  The gentlemen at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction have assembled what looks like a very strong sale with the potential to post their highest total in half a decade.  Total sales for CDAA have steadily climbed year after year since their drop due to the 2008 credit crisis.  The auction house didn't reinvent itself, they stuck with what made them so successful to begin with.  They focused on quality, historical works by coveted American Western artists like Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, Taos Founders, and landscape artists Albert Bierstadt and Maynard Dixon.  They always include premium works by wildlife artists Carl Rungius and Bob Kuhn.  CDAA has always had a focus on quality sporting art, which in my opinion is extremely under-valued, but rare works by Philip Goodwin, Ogden Pleissner, Frank Stick and Frank Hoffman are readily available.  Another under-valued area of the Western market are the Montana favorites of O.C. Seltzer, John Fery, and Edgar Paxson.  It wouldn't be the same if I didn't mention the Alaskan aritsts like Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler, Ted Lambert, Fred Machetanz, and Belmore and George Browne.  Finally, there are the contemporary giants like Howard Terpning, Martin Grelle, and Z.S. Liang.  I personally enjoy the select few living artists that get invited to participate like Andy Thomas, Luke Frazier, Bonnie Marris, Scott Tallman Powers, and one of my personal favorites, Brent Cotton.  I don't know why any living artist would turn down an opportunity to participate in this auction, because all they do is achieve record prices.  Most importantly, the Coeur d'Alene's formula of promoting attendance, setting conservative estimates, and offering premium works are what have helped them rebound in the past five years.  The sale is on Saturday, July 27 and begins at noon pacific time.  This will be the first year the auction is held at the Peppermill Casino in Reno, after the Peppermill just completed a $400 million renovation.

Frederic Remington's Cutting Out Pony Herds (A Stampede)
Now that I've probably put you to sleep naming artists in the sale, let's get down to the good stuff: the artwork.  I guess I have to begin with the cover piece: Norman Rockwell's "A Scout is Loyal".  39 x 27 inches, oil on canvas, the estimate is $4,000,000-$6,000,000.  The significance of this painting can not be understated.  When this image was used by Brown & Bigelow for its scout calendars, it became the best-selling calendars in the nation and introduced Norman Rockwell and Boy Scouting to millions of Americans.  It's just one of a handful of Rockwell Scout paintings in private hands.  Another major piece in the sale is Frederic Remington's Cutting Out Pony Herds (A Stampede) painted in 1908.  Considered to be one of Remington's most important works still in private hands, the estimate is $5,000,000-$7,000,000.  I can't forget to mention the 16 works by Charles M. Russell and the 10 works by Olaf C. Seltzer.  If you ever wanted to add a Russell or Seltzer to your collection, this may be your year.  There are a couple significant Russell watercolors available, which I'm going to guess will do well with Rick Stewart's upcoming book Charles M. Russell:  Watercolors, 1887-1926 set to be released in the Fall of 2014 by the Amon Carter Museum.  Keep an eye on Buffalo Hunt #27 one of Russell's favorite subject matters and Indian Party a splendid watercolor/gouache.  The Scouting Party a 24 x 36 inch, oil, with a pre-sale estimate of $2,000,000-$3,000,000 is a significant work that dates back to a turning point in Russell's life when he made the decision to take up art full time.

Charles Russel's A Scouting Party
It's no surprise with the success CDAA has had with Maynard Dixon's work that consignors would be attracted to the annual July sale.  With 11 works available, it's another opportunity to add a quality Dixon to your collection.  As the 3 of you who read my blog know, I really love sporting art, and there are two terrific paintings by Philip Goodwin in this year's sale.  The first, The Call of the Wild is a complimentary piece to Unexpected Guests sold in 2012, and measuring 24 x 33 inches, I would guess it will sell for close to or above the high estimate as Goodwin's works have been trending sharply upward.  As they should.  The second is an ode to Goodwin's good friend C.M. Russell titled Blackfeet Indians on the War Path.  Congrats to Brent Cotton in his first year participating in the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction. His painting The Refuge at Dawn is 36 x 60 inches and typifies Cotton's tonalist style.  Andy Thomas' action packed, historical figure pieces continue to grow in popularity and his painting Billy the Kid and the Regulators is sure to catch the eye of a few notable collectors.  Finally, one of the gems of the sale is Henry Balink's Chief Trout, Pueblo Indian measuring 30x25 inches.  I just can't get over how much I love the blanket, and how it directs your eye to the expression on Chief Trout's face.

With the energy over the weekend promising to be high, make your way to Reno and enjoy a few lamb chops, shoot some craps, and pick up a few premium Western, Wildife and Sporting works.  Some people I've spoke to compare the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction to going to a museum because of the quality works on display, but you can enjoy a few cocktails AND if you like something you can actually purchase it.
Henry Balink

Brent Cotton

Maynard Dixon

Charles Russell

Charles Russell

Andy Thomas

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