1927 Birger Sandzen Painting
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $65,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (-1:13:18)
Paintings & Drawings
Owner and President
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
GUEST: Well, it was painted by Birger Sandzén, and he was a guest artist at Utah State University in 1927. My auntie, who was going to school there at that time, bought it from him. And it has an inscription on the back…
APPRAISER: Yes. To that effect, doesn't it?
GUEST: And, uh, I think she put it in her trousseau for--
APPRAISER: Can we look at that?
GUEST: --for her home. So, she put it in her trousseau.
GUEST: She planned that way.
APPRAISER: So, it says here, "Aspens, Logan Canyon, Utah." Dated 1927. Signed by the artist, Birger Sandzén. "Lindsborg, Kansas." The painting is aspens in Logan Canyon, Utah. But when he wrote this, he actually was in Lindsborg, Kansas.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: And then this would be the inscription by your aunt?
APPRAISER: Is that correct?
GUEST: She made a note on there.
APPRAISER: And it says, "Guest professor at Utah State University. Purchased Logan, Utah, 1927."
APPRAISER: Birger Sandzén was a little more affiliated with Kansas...
APPRAISER: ...at this time than he was with Utah, although he came and taught in Utah in the summers. So, we have both the Utah association and the Kansas association here.
GUEST: I believe he was German, wasn't he?
APPRAISER: He was actually Swedish.
APPRAISER: He was trained in Sweden, and he was quite successful in Sweden. But he came to America to paint in the West and ended up settling here and spending the rest of his life here. He started out painting in Sweden, in a very subtle, tonalist style.
APPRAISER: Tonalist paintings are soft and kind of dreamy in their feeling. And he studied in Paris, where he was exposed to Impressionism and Post- Impressionism.
GUEST: Oh. And then when he came to the American West, he really found his inspiration in the brilliant colors and the sunlight and so on. So, he has a very strong association with Utah.
GUEST: I think he has a style like, um, Van Gogh. He's often been compared to Van Gogh.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh. Yes. You're absolutely right. He's referred to as sort of an American Post-Impressionist. And you see these, these very thick impasto. Heavy paint. The paint he uses is very thick and textural. Birger Sandzén is one of those Western artists who has enjoyed a tremendous surge in value in the last few years, as interest in Western paintings and American regionalism has grown and grown. If you were to sell this picture at auction, I think you could expect it to sell in the range of... between $30,000 and $50,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: If you're going to insure it, I would say somewhere in the area of $60,000 or $65,000 would be appropriate.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness. I better find a good insurance man.
APPRAISER: Yeah, yes, I think you better.
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