An Early Spring for California & American Fine Art as Moranís Presents March 25th Auction

- Nearly 200 paintings covering a wide range of price points scheduled to go on the block

- Guy Rose, John Frost, Hanson Puthuff and William Wendt head up a large selection of California landscapes bursting with light and color


Pasadena, CA—John Moran Auctioneers will present the first of its two 2014 California and American Fine Art Auctions on Tuesday, March 25th, offering nearly 200 carefully selected works resplendent with the vivid color and light beloved of early 20th century American Impressionists and Western artists. Pre-sale estimates ranging from $700 to $80,000 ensure opportunities for buyers at all levels to bolster their collections with top-notch works, including stellar examples by several of the best-known California painters.

Moran’s is delighted to include in a sale characterized by consistently high quality a painting by that most sought-after of California Impressionists, Guy Rose (1867 – 1925 San Gabriel, CA). The signed oil-on-linen measuring 13’’ x 13’’ is one of Rose’s more ethereal, loosely structured works. It depicts a French countryside scene with a bridge arching over a stream amid lush green grass using feathery brushwork, dissolving solid forms in hazy light and color much in the manner of Claude Monet, Rose’s friend and mentor during his long stay in Giverny. The work is estimated to realize $30,000 – 40,000

One of the top lots by value, assigned an estimate of $60,000 – 80,000, is a landscape by Hanson Puthuff (1875 – 1972 Corona Del Mar, CA) that exemplifies the California Impressionists’ taste for timeless scenes celebrating the grandeur of nature, devoid of people and all reminders of civilization. The 40’’ x 60’’ oil-on-canvas portrays an expansive and serene foothill scene in soft colors and textures, the foreground populated by nothing more than venerable oak trees. Positively vibrating with energy, on the other hand, is ‘’Mount San Jacinto’’ by John Frost (1890 – 1937 Pasadena, CA). A tumult of strongly contrasting, bright purples, greens and oranges laid down in a complex network of highly textured, varied brushstrokes topped with flecks of yellow portrays dappled light filtering through tree leaves and reflected on water, with the distant mountain in the background. This superb work is estimated to bring $50,000 – 70,000. Another work by Frost, illustrating his versatility as a colorist, is ‘’Eaton Canyon’’, showing the mountain slopes above Pasadena bathed in warm autumnal light. Subtler and more subdued than ‘’Mount San Jacinto’’, rendered in muted oranges and lavenders with deep blue shadows in a softly blended mosaic of short, blunt daubs, the 30’’ H x 36’’ W canvas is also offered for $50,000 – 70,000.

William Wendt (1865 – 1946 Laguna Beach, CA) and Edgar Payne (1883 – 1947 Hollywood, CA) are also well represented. Wendt’s large oil titled ‘’Sycamores’’, a lively study of the strong shadows cast on flat, grassy ground by a group of tree trunks with thickly textured bark, beyond which can be glimpsed lavender mountains, is estimated to bring $40,000 – 60,000. Payne’s view of the San Gabriel range near Sierra Madre, CA portrays the solemn silence and stillness of a rapidly falling dusk draping the steep slopes in richly saturated purples and pinks, watched from the valley floor by dark trees in deep green shadow (estimate: $30,000 – 50,000).

Other California landscapes of note include a majestic cloud study by Paul Grimm (1891 – 1974 Palm Springs, CA), composed of a wide swathe of sky filled with dramatically slanting, backlit clouds anchored by the solid forms of a narrow strip of hilly landscape stretching along the bottom edge of the canvas. The large work could easily surpass its pre-sale estimate of $7000 – 9000. A more sheltered scene is ‘’Harvest Time’’ by William Alexander Griffith (1866 – 1940 Laguna Beach, CA), a nostalgic homage to agrarian life depicting figures bailing hay, nestled in the embrace of the golden hills of Laguna Canyon. Yet another superb depiction of the sparkling white light specific to California, it is estimated to realize $15,000 – 20,000.

While examples of California landscape predominate at Moran’s sale, buyers will find many other subjects, such as a marvelous daytime street scene brimming with figures set in San Francisco’s Chinatown by Jules Pages (1867 – 1946 San Francisco, CA) (estimate: $10,000 – 15,000). Moran’s is also pleased to offer a rare opportunity to acquire a work by Anna Katharine Skeele (1896 – 1963 Pasadena, CA). Estimated at $10,000 – 15,000, ‘’Aspen Dance’’ depicts Native Americans performing a ritual dance in an adobe courtyard, the simplified, flattened forms of the figures and buildings boldly colored and outlined in black (estimate: $10,000 – 15,000). The painting displays Skeele’s great sensitivity toward Southwest Native American subjects, developed during numerous trips to New Mexico and Arizona, as well as her talent for manipulating space and reducing complicated forms to a stylized pattern.

Among the artists from outside California represented in Moran’s sale are Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1943 New York, NY), whose ‘’Arab Encampment’’ is offered for $2500 – 3500; John Marin (1870 – 1953 New York, NY), whose two charming pencil sketches of the Brooklyn Bridge are estimated to bring $3000 – 5000; and Karl Albert Buehr (1866 – 1952 Chicago, IL), whose ‘’Fishing Pool’’ carries an estimate of $6000 – 8000.

Updated highlights are viewable at www.johnmoran.com. Full sale catalogues are posted at www.johnmoran.com 2 - 3 weeks prior to each sale. Bidding is available from the floor and via absentee, telephone or online through Artfact.com or LiveAuctioneers.com. The sale will be conducted at the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 East Green Street in Pasadena, CA.

Consignments are accepted throughout the year for Moran’s Fine Art Auction, held bi-annually, their Antiques and Decorative Arts Auctions, held six times a year, and for their bi-annual jewelry sales. Please contact Moran’s offices at 626-793-1833 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information about any of their upcoming events.