Gustave Baumann Woodcuts, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $40,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:18)
Prints & Posters
Director, Works of Art on Paper
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: These are woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann, is the artist. They belonged to my grandparents who were from Albuquerque, and they purchased these from the artist many, many years ago. They knew the family; their daughter when to school with my mother, actually.
APPRAISER: Gustave Baumann is probably the most famous color woodcut artist of the Southwest during the first half of the 1900s.
APPRAISER: He is a German-born artist who grew up in Chicago and by the 1920s had made his way down to Santa Fe and became really one of the founding members of the Santa Fe artist colony, and he is best known these days for the color woodcuts he made that are, as you can see in these two prints, completely evocative of this region.
GUEST: Very much so.
APPRAISER: Both are signed in pencil on the lower right with Baumann's orange ink stamp. Both prints are numbered just above the signatures.
APPRAISER: As I can see, the condition on both prints is fairly good for prints that were made in the 1920s. Normally, the colors are susceptible to fading on these prints. That's not the case on yours; the colors are still pretty bright and you've cared for them well. There is, on the print closest to you, water staining that has seeped up from the bottom, but that's something that can be easily cleaned without affecting the print too much.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: Now, you were telling me that you've had two appraisals done on these at different times. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
GUEST: About 20 years ago, my mother had them appraised for insurance, and I think they were appraised at about $4,000 to $5,000 each. Then about ten years ago, they were appraised for the estate purposes, and at that time the appraiser said they were worth about $300 to $500.
APPRAISER: He is, without exaggeration, the most sought after Southwestern printmaker on the market.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: These are further enhanced by being in Baumann's original frames.
GUEST: Right, they are.
APPRAISER: Rarely do you find his prints like this anymore. So for each of the prints, even taking into consideration the very mild condition issues with that print, if I had to value them for insurance purposes, I would put each at $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness!
APPRAISER: So both your appraisals were off, in other words.
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