Robert Wood Painting, ca. 1930

Value (2007) | $15,000 Auction$25,000 Auction

APPRAISER:
So, John, you've been looking at this painting for a long time, you said.

GUEST:
All my life, yes, sir.

APPRAISER:
Where was it hanging?

GUEST:
It was hanging in my mom's living room. She got it from her aunt, and it was given to her aunt from Robert Wood. He was one of her tenants. The story I understand is that he couldn't make rent, and so he offered a painting as payment for that, and then from there my aunt offered it to my mom 'cause no one else in her family really liked it, and my mom loved it.

APPRAISER:
So the painting, as you mentioned, is Robert Wood, was the artist, right?

GUEST:
Yes, sir.

APPRAISER:
Did your mom tell you anything about him at all?

GUEST:
All she said was that he lived with my aunt for a brief period of time in the early 1900s, probably '20s or '30s, if I'm not mistaken.

APPRAISER:
That seems to fit, timewise. Robert Wood is an interesting artist. A long-lived artist. Born in 1889 and lived to 1979, about 90 years, and lived just about everywhere. He lived in Texas, he lived in California, he lived in Colorado, he lived in Woodstock, New York, but he was in San Antonio from 1923 to about 1941. He was divorced in '25, and it might have been the time that he was living at your aunt's.

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
And it's very common that a lot of artists pay in kind with paintings and things like that. Wood painted a lot of different scenes: he painted California, he painted the Tetons, he painted the Colorado Rockies, but he also painted Texas. And it wouldn't be a complete ROADSHOW from Texas without a bluebonnet painting.

GUEST:
Sure, the state flower.

APPRAISER:
The state flower. The Texans love their bluebonnets.

GUEST:
Yes, sir, definitely.

APPRAISER:
Now, did you have this painting reframed at all?

GUEST:
My mom did in the '70s.

APPRAISER:
She did, yeah. It has a very '70s look to it. Probably might want to think about putting a different frame on it sometime. Maybe more of a 1920s frame or '30s frame.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, one of the things about Wood is he's so prolific it really has depressed his market. He's done far too many paintings. They aren't rare enough. Another thing about him, he was so deft at doing it. He was very quick, and the sort of pejorative we would put on it, in my business we say he's a little "slick."

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
He's almost like a commercial artist, so his prices have never really gone up as much as you might hope for his works, and generally, for most average Woods, you're looking at $3,000 to $5,000 as an auction estimate. But when you get the bluebonnets, it's a different story entirely. It's only of interest here in Texas that they go crazy for these paintings. If this were to come up, I would have to put an auction estimate on this of $15,000 to $25,000, and probably expect to get more than that at auction.

GUEST:
Oh, wow. That's great.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2007)
$15,000 Auction$25,000 Auction
Event
San Antonio, TX (July 14, 2007)
Period
20th Century
Form
Landscape

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