Peter Hurd "Checking the Fences" Watercolor, ca. 1969
I brought a painting by Peter Hurd that my father-in-law commissioned Peter Hurd, who was a friend of his, to paint as an anniversary present for my mother-in-law. My father-in-law was in the Border Patrol, and he and Peter Hurd struck up a close friendship. And I am sure that Peter Hurd charged him a very nominal fee for doing that. But Peter Hurd was married to Henriette Wyeth, and she supervised-- she picked out the framing and the matting. In October of 1969, my father-in-law gave this painting to my mother-in-law. And when my mother-in-law died, my father-in-law gave the painting to my husband and me.
Do you know the title of this work?
It's called Checking the Fence.
Checking the Fence. And was your father-in-law in the Border Patrol in New Mexico?
He was stationed some in New Mexico, some in El Paso.
In El Paso. So Peter Hurd is a New Mexico artist. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1904, and he is well known for doing watercolors just like this. After he grew up in New Mexico, he eventually went into military school for a little while, and then to college, and eventually went to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. After that, he traveled to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, searching out N.C. Wyeth, the great American illustrator, and father of Andrew Wyeth and Henriette Wyeth, who Hurd eventually married.When they married, they went back to New Mexico, and Hurd began his career painting the landscape and the cowboy culture. So this is a really wonderful example, a really prime subject, by Peter Hurd, of his New Mexico subject matter, showing a cowboy in the field checking the fence, walking off into the distance. There's a beautiful windmill in the background, and it really gives you a sense of how lush and wonderful and beautiful the New Mexico landscape is. We have a horse, the cowboy, beautiful vista. It's in lovely condition. The blues are still so fresh. It's so clear that you and your family have taken wonderful care of this. The condition is just so lovely. To give you an insurance value, I would look to the Santa Fe marketplace. And this, I believe an asking price in there for the insurance value would probably be somewhere in the range of $25,000 at the current time.
Does that surprise you?
Are you happily surprised?
Very happily surprised.
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