1953 James Kenneth Ralston Painting
Appraised Value: $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
In this segment, appraiser Alan Fausel mistakenly said that the first initial in artist J.K.Ralston's name stood for John. In fact, the "J.K." stands for James Kenneth.
Appraisal Video: (2:17)
Paintings & Drawings
Vice President Director of Fine Arts
GUEST: The man on the horse is my grandfather. He was a neighbor of J.K. Ralston on the Missouri Breaks. Culbertson is across the river from there. And he was also a neighbor of Charlie Russell. When my grandfather died at a fairly early age, my grandmother requested that Kenny, as they called him, would paint a picture of my grandfather, which he did. And that was in 1953. My grandfather died in 1924.
APPRAISER: The artist we're dealing with is John Kenneth Ralston. And your grandfather must have known him when he was a much younger man. Ralston was born in 1896.
GUEST: Oh, yes.
APPRAISER: But lived a long time, until 1987. So he's recalling some of his youth. It's a Western painting, and it's a painting that has a lot of associations here in Billings.
APPRAISER: You mentioned he's a neighbor of Charles Russell, who was a very famous Western artist.
APPRAISER: And he has a lot of things in common, I think, with Russell. He's a younger generation. But one of the things is the closeness to the land. Ralston's family were ranchers. His first love, his first vocation, was cattle ranching…
APPRAISER: …before he became a painter.
APPRAISER: We see your grandfather here on horseback.
APPRAISER: I guess he had a distinctive handlebar mustache.
APPRAISER: And is this the brand for the family?
APPRAISER: Now, it looks like he has horses. Did they have horses or cattle?
GUEST: He had horses.
APPRAISER: Horses. Billings is important because Ralston has his studio here in Billings.
GUEST: Right. There's a log cabin studio.
APPRAISER: That's a very common thing to have out here, out west. You had the studio of Charles Russell here in Montana, Remington down in Wyoming. The frame is a Western frame. It's fairly plain, but I don't think I would change it or anything. It's a family painting. It's not something I think you would ever part with.
APPRAISER: He's a lesser light in the firmament, but he's still a good, competent painter. And I would think if you were to insure this I'd probably insure it for about $15,000 these days.
GUEST: Great, yeah. That's wonderful.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.