Highlights from Moranís October 2014 Fine Art Auction Herald an Exciting and Eclectic Offering

Pasadena, CA—John Moran Auctioneers is poised to present the autumn installment of their semiannual Fine Art Auction, scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.</br></br><hr id="system-readmore" />Thanks to Moran’s long string of successes in this collecting category, the Southern California house was deluged early on in the calendar year with high quality consignments, filling the sale to capacity well ahead of schedule. Covering a wide range of price points and appealing to a variety of tastes, Moran’s October catalogue overflows with 250 works in all, including paintings by local luminaries such as Guy Rose, John Frost, Maurice Braun, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel, Hanson Puthuff, Arthur Mathews and many more, and an eclectic selection of works by other American greats such as Norman Rockwell, Dr. Seuss, and Leroy Neiman.</br></br> 

Leading Moran’s sale are two oils by pre-eminent California Impressionist Guy Rose (1867 – 1925). “Shifting Shadows” is a Giverny, France landscape showing barely a patch of sky. Rather, sunlight filters down through a dense canopy of jade-green leaves, bathing the rich underbrush and dirt path below in pools of dappled light. Drawing the viewer in with a limited palette, the enclosed vista, and the repeating pattern of rows of tree trunks with up-stretched limbs receding into the hazy distance, Rose creates a tranquil, thoughtful space rendered in loose, textured brushwork. This work is estimated to earn $300,000 - $500,000.</br></br> 

The other oil by Rose, hailing from the same local private collection, is a contrastingly open scene, set in or near the coastal village of Wickford, Rhode Island, where the artist and his wife, Ethel, spent part of their time after their return from France in late 1912, and where Rose taught outdoor sketching classes in the summers of 1913 and 1914. Boats and a boathouse casually occupy the middle distance of a broad patch of shadowed ground beneath a sky filled with pale, high clouds, suggesting the sultry atmosphere of high summer. The painting is offered with an estimate of $70,000 – 90,000.</br></br> 

For those looking for a historically important work with a classical flavor, a gorgeous gouache-on-paper by San Francisco artist Arthur F. Mathews (1860 – 1945) is offered with an estimate of $50,000 - $70,000. Mathews depicts the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts under construction as its iconic dome is being raised, with classically draped allegorical figures observing the scene. Intended as a venue for art exhibitions, the landmark building is one of the few structures remaining from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, and the only one from still on its original site. In bringing romantic, classically draped figures before the Palace, Mathews’ vision is perfectly in sympathy with architect Bernard Maybeck’s dream of an ancient ‘’ruin’’ spun from a romanticized interpretation of Greek and Roman architecture. Reinforcing this ethereal vision from an imagined past is the beautifully softened palette, heavy on neutrals and atmosphere.</br></br>

Also evoking an ethereal atmosphere, while boasting an earthbound estimate of $12,000 - $18,000, is a coastal nocturne in oil on board by San Diego artist Alfred R. Mitchell (1888 – 1972), titled “Moonlight at Torrey Pines’’. Mitchell’s feathery brushwork captures the quietude and stillness of the scene, while the moonlight reflecting off the glassy surface of the water gives the composition a meditative focal point.</br></br> 

Estimated to find a buyer for $20,000 - $25,000 is a ravishing desert landscape by Hanson Puthuff (1875 – 1972), one of several Puthuff oils consigned to Moran’s by descendants of the artist. Aptly titled “Shadowed Ledge”, it depicts a view of the Grand Canyon a short distance from the edge of the ravine, with a backdrop of red rock walls set aflame by sunlight framed between the cool, shadowy trees and underbrush in the foreground. Puthuff’s painterly brushwork and bravura use of raking light and shadow articulate masterfully the rugged textures of the canyon landscape.</br>

A scene of a charmingly ramshackle fishing village by George Pearse Ennis (1884 – 1936) presents a more tranquil, domesticated landscape, while displaying an equally deft use of color. The east coast artist’s work with stained glass and murals is very evident in his depiction of weathered wooden cottages, their clapboards and roofs reflecting a rainbow of colors, tumbling haphazardly down a verdant hillside overlaid with blocks of deep shadow and contrasting light, toward distant sailboats on white-topped waves. The rich coloration and broad, easy brushstrokes lend the oil painting a liveliness bidders will find irresistible, especially when paired with the very attractive $2000 - $3000 estimate.  </br> </br>    

One of the more whimsical works on offer is a large ink-and-gouache-on-paper board composition by Theodor Geisel (1904 – 1991)(commonly known as Dr. Seuss), titled ‘’Family Tree of the 7 Godivas’’, depicting the family tree of the fictional seven lady Godivas and the Brothers Peeping. Executed as a double page illustration for the front endpapers in Geisel’s 1939 book ‘’The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family’’, the cartoon-like drawing displays the same type of eccentric wit found in the author’s famous books for children, though, in this case, the humor is decidedly for an adult audience. ‘’The Seven Lady Godivas’’ was not a commercial success upon its initial release, and was Geisel’s last attempt at writing books for adults. Reflecting the scarcity of original Dr. Seuss book illustrations, the estimate for this work is placed at $30,000 - $50,000.</br></br>

Additional highlights and sale information will be posted on John Moran Auctioneers’s website (www.johnmoran.com) in the coming months. Any questions about the works listed here should be directed to John Moran’s Fine Art Specialist, Morgana Blackwelder, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it For general inquiries, including questions regarding consignment or bidder registration, interested parties are welcome to call at: (626) 793-1833 or email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it John Moran Auctioneers is accepting consignments of quality fine and decorative arts and jewelry for the remainder of their 2014 Auctions. Moran’s next California and American Fine Art auction is scheduled for March, 2015.