1935 Birger Sandzén “Bear Lake, Logan, Utah”

Value (2011) | $40,000 Auction$60,000 Auction

It was my grandfather's. He purchased it from the artist, Birger Sandzén, in 1935.

Do you have it hanging on your walls?

We do, in kind of a dusty place, but we really love it. I know that Sandzén was originally from Sweden, and he is an American impressionist.

You're right, he is from Sweden, born there. Then he also studied in Europe, but he's associated most often with Kansas and spent a lot of time teaching there. But he also is known as a painter of the West. He painted in Colorado and also Utah. One of the things he's noted for is his great sense of color, and the contrasting colors, and you see that in the paintings, but also you see his brushwork as well. He has this very thick impasto. If you look at it you see these contrasting colors, and you see these almost sort of chartreuse against the lavender, and then these little points of fuchsia coming through here. And all those liven the piece up. As well, once you get in close, you see these points, they're almost like cresting waves. And that's important as well, is the great condition of it. Even though it's dusty, we got all this dust on here, we can blow some of that off... It hasn't really been touched. Right. There's an inscription back here, it says, "Bear Lake, Logan, Utah, Lindsborg, Kansas, 1935," and so it tells us all we need to know. He went to Utah to teach in 1928, so it's something that he probably did in Kansas, but was from sketches or remembrances of what he had seen over in Utah. Now, you have the original receipt, is that the case?

Well, it 's a corner from my grandfather's checkbook. And he paid $200 for this painting in 1935, October 23.

It's a medium-sized one for him, it's a good size, not too large, not too small. This is its original frame, not the most attractive frame, but it's the right frame for it. It's what he would have had in there. I think at auction today we could get a little bit more than $200. Right now I'd put an estimate at $40,000 to $60,000.

Great, wonderful.

And, in fact, you never know, the fact that it's Utah, a known place, location always helps, it could do a little bit better.

Right, wonderful. Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2011)
$40,000 Auction$60,000 Auction
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
20th Century

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