J. F. Carlson Painting, ca. 1930

Value (2004) | $30,000 Auction$60,000 Insurance

I know it back as far as my grandmother, and I had always admired it. And when she passed away in the early '90s, it was the one thing that I'd wanted from the estate, and so it went to me.

Well, it's clearly signed "John F. Carlson," a fellow by the name of John Fabian Carlson. Have you looked him up at all?

I've done a little bit of Internet research on the gentleman. I saw he was from the Woodstock school of artists and fairly prolific, and so I thought I'd better find out. I wanted to have it appraised for insurance purposes.

Sure. Carlson was an artist from Sweden. He came to the United States when he was about nine years old and painted primarily around the Woodstock area. You're correct with that. He was associated with the Woodstock Art Colony, which later became the Woodstock Artists' Association. It's a very important association today for the promotion of Woodstock artists.

They're still there? They still exist?

They're up north of New York City, which is probably where this was painted. And sometimes you see some things in Virginia. He painted some pieces there, which get a lot of interest as well. He did a lot of snow scenes. Artists such as Ochtman and Birge Harrison and other Woodstock artists would also paint some of these snow scenes. It was a very popular sort of theme. Sargent actually came to be one of the first teachers up there in Woodstock's art colony in 1904, and also George Bellows was one of the most famous residents of Woodstock. Now, this painting was probably painted, um... I would say 1925 to 1935, sort of late in his life. He was born in 1875 and lived till 1947. What's nice about this painting is that it's in pretty good condition. It's in original condition, it's not lined, it's original canvas. And it also could be cleaned; this is pretty yellow. That could come out much more blue.

My grandmother was a smoker and I understand that's probably...

All this snow down here would come out much whiter. Now, as far as value is concerned, insurance value is generally a little bit more than what an auction value is. An auction value is sort of fair-market value. I can tell you as an auctioneer, I sold almost this exact same painting-- unlined, 25 x 30-- about three or four months ago.

By this artist as well?

By Carlson. And I sold it for over $30,000.

Oh, my gosh.

So I would say for insurance value, about $60,000.

Oh, my gosh. That's more than I would have guessed.

Appraisal Details

Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2004)
$30,000 Auction$60,000 Insurance
Reno, NV (August 14, 2004)

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