Fremont Ellis Painting, "Red River Canyon, El Rancho De San Sebastian"
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:14)
Paintings & Drawings
Vice President Director of Fine Arts
GUEST: I used to live in New Mexico for about five years, but I'm a Californian, and so I went home for Christmas. And my mom loves to go thrift store hopping with me.
GUEST: And she said, "Well, why don't we go "to the local Salvation Army? I hear they've got 50% off today."
GUEST: So I went with her, and, uh, this painting was just kind of tucked away in the corner. It had a three-dollar price sticker on it and since everything in the store was 50% off, I got it for $1.50.
GUEST: When I had looked at it, I saw that it was Fremont Ellis and I go, "That name rings a bell." And sure enough, we've ran into some information on Fremont Ellis. I guess a school that he started, a group of about five painters that called themselves "Los Cinco Pintores," and that's about it.
APPRAISER: Right. Fremont Ellis was a native from New Mexico. He did go off to study school in New York, study painting at the Art Student's League but came back and did paint in New Mexico. The great use of light in the sky and in the trees, this wonderful autumn foliage is very typical of his work. The great water here, all these elements, this wonderful plein-air painting, this Western Impressionist style. The other thing is, on the back of this, it says exactly where it is, "Red River Canyon, El Rancho De San Sebastian." He's known to paint there often. It's very important in American painting to have exactly where it is, so that will add to the value of the painting. You can see it has some age to it. Ellis was born in 1897. He died in 1985 and his paintings have come up recently. Now, you said you paid $1.50 for this one.
APPRAISER: Would you be surprised if I told you that if this painting were to go to auction today, you would probably get about $10,000 to $15,000 for it?
GUEST: Oh, my Lord, you're kidding me.
APPRAISER: That's exactly it.
GUEST: My brother told me it's ugly. I never thought it'd be worth that.
APPRAISER: I think it's a great return on your money. That's a lot better than Internet stocks, I think, right?
GUEST: I think so.
APPRAISER: I think if you ever do sell it, you might want to send a nice check to the Salvation Army or something.
GUEST: Yeah, I think so. They definitely will hear from me again.
APPRAISER: That's a great painting and really, thanks for bringing it in today.
GUEST: And thank you so much. Appreciate it.
GUEST: I think my mom will want to go shopping with me again.
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