Edgar Alwin Payne Painting, ca. 1925
This painting was purchased by my father as a celebration for the birth of my sister in 1952.
And you said he paid about how much for the painting?
He paid $350 for it.
Okay. Well, what you have is a work by Edgar Alwin Payne, who was a very important and influential California artist. He's particularly known for doing his landscapes of the High Sierras, desert canyons and even European harbors. Payne was mainly a self-taught artist. He only attended the Art Institute of Chicago for a short time, but he left home at age 14 and began painting signs and houses to earn money, and in 1918, he was commissioned by the Santa Fe Railroad to paint the Southwest. He spent about four months in Canyon De Chelly, and that was sort of his favorite subject matter for the '20s and '30s. What we see here is a really large, beautiful landscape, signed in the lower right, and it's unusual to see such a… a large group of Indians. By "large," I mean so far in the foreground. We can see Payne's broken brushwork in the sky, which is very typical of how he worked. He was a plein air artist, which means that he worked out-of-doors.
And he even wrote a book in 1941 called Composition of Outdoor Painting, which is... he was very influential as a teacher and an artist. The auction market right now for American paintings of the West is… is very strong, and this is such a good example of his work that I think it might bring between $80,000 and $120,000...
Maybe even as much as $150,000.
(whistles) Well, the old boy had good taste, I guess, didn't he?
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