Fremont Ellis Painting
This painting was painted in 1931. My dad was a friend of Fremont's and was a patron of his. I grew up with the painting, and I knew Fremont, but I was just a youngster at that time. Growing up in Santa Fe, I took it all for granted and didn't realize what a wonderful place it was and who all these fantastic people around me were.
Georgia O'Keeffe and others.
Fremont Ellis was a Santa Fe artist. He sort of lived and breathed Santa Fe. I understand he loved the landscape. He came there I think in 1919 and was really self-taught. Had studied briefly at the Art Students League, but used the outdoors and the landscape as his teacher, as he put it. And this painting is really quite marvelous. It's of great scale, it has wonderful, vibrant, broad brushwork, which he was known for. It has a beautiful light, as you can see, the light and shadows that he observed outside. It's also in terrific condition, which for a painting of this size is unusual. It's the original frame. And then we have the iron-clad provenance and the personal history that come with it. It really has all the attributes that you want in the artist. It's also site-specific. It's called "Houses in Chimayo," and that was an area that's very close to Santa Fe. Unlike a lot of the rest of the American art market, the New Mexico artist market is really still quite strong, particularly for the more major works. And his work has actually escalated quite a bit in value in the last few years, particularly for the work from this period. This was done in 1931. If you were to walk into a gallery in Santa Fe or even in New York, I believe that the gallery would sell this piece for $75,000.
Really, $75,000? That's very nice to hear.
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