Maynard Dixon Painting & Christmas Card

Value (2003) | $62,000 Insurance

GUEST:
My husband's family lived in Reno, and they had purchased a little house in Carson City, Nevada, that they later on planned to renovate. And I don't know how they got acquainted with Maynard Dixon, but he needed a place to stay because he was working in that area. So they said, "Okay, it's empty. You can stay there." And as a result of that, they became quite good friends, and we have the correspondence where he had written to my mother-in-law thanking her for their kindness to him. My husband has a story about barbecuing in the yard over there, and Maynard Dixon threw his steak right on the coals, without a frying pan or anything, and...

APPRAISER:
I guess that's cowboy style.

GUEST:
That's cowboy style. He was proud of his cowboy style.

APPRAISER:
He's an artist who has quite a strong connection to San Francisco. He studied early on with a famous San Francisco teacher and artist named Arthur Matthews. He had a studio in San Francisco, and in 1906, a lot of his work was destroyed in the earthquake. And this is a picture from Carson City, Nevada, where your in-laws lived. It's... it's marked here "July 1933." And you mentioned that this building has a... has a special memory for you.

GUEST:
Well, yes, I lived on a ranch west of Carson City as a child, and my father used to take my bicycle down there to this place to be repaired. It no longer exists. They tore it down and put something else in its place. But it has the granite sand street and the feeling in the painting of the heat. I can remember that vividly when I look at the painting.

APPRAISER:
And here you have a photograph showing the same painting hanging in your in-laws' cabin over the fireplace, and here's a terrific photograph of Maynard Dixon at work, showing him painting. Dixon was really known for doing desert landscapes and his depictions of cowboys and Indians, and he traveled all over the West doing paintings. And he spent a lot of time in Nevada, particularly in the '20s and '30s, and was very fond of that state. His highest price at auction is over a million dollars, and paintings, even in the recent past, have sold for $400,000 and $600,000. But often, when people get gifts from artists, they're not necessarily their top-notch works.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
But even so, I think this maybe should be insured for about $60,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
The other thing I really love is this Christmas card he sent your in-laws, showing, "Hope you have a better Christmas than this." And even this little doodly sketch should be insured for about $2,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my. Well, thank you. That's very interesting. ( both laughing )

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Nan Chisholm Fine Art, Ltd.
New York, NY
Appraised value (2003)
$62,000 Insurance
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting

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