1907 William Herbert "Buck" Dunton Oil Painting

Value (2014) | $15,000 Retail$25,000 Retail

The piece that you've brought here is an oil en grisaille on board by one of the most important and well-known painter/illustrators from the Taos artist colony: William Herbert Dunton. The term "en grisaille" means "in shades of gray, black and white." While Dunton is thought of as a tremendous Western illustrator, he was in fact born in Maine in the late 19th century and studied with Ernest Blumenschein at the Art Students' League in New York City, and it was at Blumenschein's suggestion that he moved to Taos, where he stayed permanently in the '20s. Is it something that you bought or inherited?

I inherited it. My aunt gave it to me. She inherited it from her mother, my grandmother, and my grandmother was given it by a friend in the middle 1920s.

What's interesting about this painting is that unlike his contemporaries, Dunton was really interested in the notion of the vanishing cowboy, so this is sort of the "Where have all the cowboys gone?" A really terrific example of a West that was passing and changing and going to be very different from what he was to know. Because he is so popular, oil paintings by him, large examples of his work have sold for as much as $250,000. This piece, in being en grisaille, the black and white, was probably an illustration for a magazine, for Scribner's or for Collier's or for Century Magazine. And given that, I would give it an estimate of between $5,000 and $7,000.


So that's where all the cowboys go.

(laughing) That's great, thank you.

Appraisal Details

Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Update (2014)
$15,000 Retail$25,000 Retail
Appraised value (1999)
$5,000 Retail$7,000 Retail
Tampa, FL (June 05, 1999)

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