California and Western Paintings Sale Results

. May 1, 2010

Bonhams & Butterfields held its Spring auction of California and Western Paintings and Sculpture on April 20, 2010. The Los Angeles-based sale featured a wide variety of important California, Western, Society of Six, Hawaiian scenes and Plein Air works by established American artists including Joseph Kleitsch, Franz Bischoff, Edgar Payne, Granville Redmond and William Wendt as well as an early, rare to market work by Thomas Hill. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the $2.9-million sale was a selection of works from the Estate of Los Angeles philanthropist, Nancy M. Daly.

Highlights from the Estate of Nancy M. Daly included the marquee lot of the auction, an impressionistic painting by Joseph Kleitsch titled Woman in a garden sewing (est. $200,000-300,000, sold for $230,000). The work portrays a young woman seated in a lush pastoral scene where she is artfully arranged against a backdrop of colorful flowers and a cottage. Kleitsch captures a feeling of serenity by depicting the figure quietly off to the side, going about her sewing, as brilliant California light and foliage envelop her form.

“The marquee lot of the sale, Woman in a garden sewing, represented the pinnacle of Kleitsch’s oeuvre as well as Mrs. Daly’s refined California style. Bonhams & Butterfields was honored to feature the work, as well as other noted paintings from the Daly Estate,” said Scot Levitt, Vice President and Fine Arts Department Director.

Additional highlights from the Estate of Nancy M. Daly included a highly sought after mountain scene titled Houses in the mountains (resort), 1926 by William Wendt (est. $60,000-80,000, sold for $115,900); The concert by Donna N. Schuster (est. $30,000-50,000, sold for $30,500) and In the studio, a portrait of Mademoiselle ‘E’ by Joseph Kleitsch (est. $15,000-20,000, sold for $14,640) as well as a impressive work titled Roses in a blue vase on a table with a mirror by Franz A. Bischoff (est. $80,000-120,000, sold for $91,500). Bonhams & Butterfields sold a Bischoff painting with a similar subject matter, titled Roses, in August 2009 for $798,000 – the highest price ever paid for a Bischoff work at auction. Roses continues to hold the world record for the artist at auction.

Additional works of note from the auction included a picturesque landscape titled Hills at Altadena by Edgar Payne (est. $100,000-150,000, sold for $128,000); a colorful plein air work titled Hubbard’s grove by Maurice Braun (est. $60,000-80,000, sold for $91,500); an impressionistic oil on board titled Wood gatherers by Armin Hansen (est. $20,000-30,000, sold for $85,400); a rich landscape titled Cattle grazing by Granville Redmond (est. $40,000-60,000, sold for $85,400) and a petit, highly sought after patinated bronze sculpture of a wolf, titled To noses that read a smell that spells by Charles Marion Russell (est. $7,000-10,000, sold for $79,300).

Simulcast to the firm’s San Francisco gallery, the April sale also featured a strong selection of early California paintings. Rare to market, highlights included a majestic early California landscape by Thomas Hill dated 1870 (est. $80,000-120,000, sold for $109,800) as well as another work by Hill of the famous Tunnel Tree, 1903 (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $30,500).

Image: Joseph Kleitsch (1885-1931), “Woman in a Garden Sewing” (detail), signed ‘Joseph Kleitsch’ (lower right). Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. Est. $200,000 – 300,000, sold for $230,000

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