1911 Olaf Carl Seltzer Gouache & Watercolor Painting
It was my father's. It was in our home as I was growing up. My dad had gotten it in, I would say, during the '60s from a friend. My dad was in the leather tanning business.
The artist is a fairly well-known Western painter named Olaf Carl Seltzer. He was born in 1877. He was actually Danish-born.
But came to the States at a very young age. His father had died, and he and his mother traveled to New York, and took the Transcontinental Railroad straight to Montana.
Which is where he lived out most of his career.
He was mostly a self-trained painter. This is a gouache and watercolor on a paperboard. It was a common medium for a lot of artists who got their start in illustration work. Seltzer, early in his career, was illustrating for some publications in New York. He worked in this medium throughout his career. This particular painting has a lot of things going for it as far as Seltzer's work is concerned. First of all, it's large. It's very well done. It's a completely finished work. Many of his works were not as finished as this example is. And, thirdly, it's very dynamic.
A lot of his subjects were static. The last thing I would note is that the figure in the foreground appears to be a Native American, which was his favored subject. Although I have not seen him depicting Native Americans in this context before. It's just an unusual subject for him, and compelling, I think. It's also signed here in the lower left, and dated clearly 1911, which would be earlier in his career, but right when he was hitting his stride during his most mature period of work. An example in this size, for a fair market value and auction value, I would place a conservative estimate of $15,000 to $25,000 on it.
Okay, great. That's great, thank you.
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