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John Moran Auctioneers Proudly Presents First California & American Art Auction of 2016 PDF Print E-mail

•    March 22nd sale is the first of their flagship biannual California And American Art Auction to be held at Moran’s newly renovated location in Monrovia, CA
•    Selections include Contemporary Western Art from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke
•    New start time and extended previews announced

MONROVIA, CA – With non-stop renovations taking place at their new Monrovia, CA location and two auction events added to their calendar in the first quarter of 2016, the last few months have been a whirlwind for John Moran Auctioneers. With the dust finally settling, Moran’s is pleased to announce the first of their flagship biannual California and American Fine Art Auctions to take place at the new location, scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd. Bidders will be pleased to note extended preview times, including oft-requested weekend viewing hours.

The full-color auction book is set to feature a curated selection of works by 19th and 20th century California and American artists, including traditional California impressionist paintings as well as a selection of Modern and Contemporary works by well-known artists.

The catalogue also promises a wide appeal due to the inclusion of a number of contemporary Western works of art from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke: philanthropist, rancher, and granddaughter of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Influenced by her family’s longtime passion for collecting as well as by her personal affinity for horses and ranch life, Cooke acquired a great number of western-themed paintings and bronzes throughout her lifetime, many purchased directly from the artists. The March 22nd Fine Art Auction is the second of three events in 2016 to feature works from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst cook; additional paintings and bronzes from the estate are slated for sale at Moran’s April 19th Decorative Art Auction.
John Moran’s March 22nd auction presents a number of highlights by acclaimed early California artists, include a wonderful turquoise-toned rocky coastal landscape by Guy Rose (1867-1925 Pasadena, CA) . Hailing from the Baeder Estate in New York, “Monterey, Calif”, is executed in a smaller scale than other works by Rose recently offered at Moran’s; as such, the piece carries an accordingly conservative $70,000 to $90,000 pre-sale estimate. Also on offer, a charming atmospheric beach scene by Oakland artist Frederick Milton Grant (1886-1959) gives compositional preference to the billowing clouds which hover over the monochromatically dressed beach-goers; the work is expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000.

Those seeking more contemporary works by well-known California artists should be pleased with the selection; an oil by ever-popular Claremont, CA artist Milford Zornes (1908-2008), titled “Repair Under the Trees”, is offered with a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate. Peter Ellenshaw (1913-2007 Santa Barbara, CA) is also represented in Moran’s catalog with a selection of his signature seascapes, each with approachable estimates at $5000 and below. Jack Laycox’s (1921-1984 San Francisco, CA) watercolor, “Stained Glass at the Cathedral”, is offered for $3000 to $5000.

Collectors who favor less traditional subjects will have a nice selection of Modernist works to consider; Edward Rauscha’s (b. 1937 Los Angeles, CA) iconic 1969 screenprint “Cheese Mold Standard with Olive”, executed in cool, washed-out hues, is expected to be one of the evening’s more popular offerings (est.: $20,000 to $30,000). Also sure to create a stir, a composition featuring curvilinear swaths in three different tones of purple by modern abstract painter Karl Benjamin (1925-2012 Claremont, CA) is offered with a $30,000 to $40,000 estimate. The untitled work dates to 1963, just three years after the 1959-60 “Four Abstract Classicists” exhibition which brought Benjamin national renown.
While the offerings overall are well-rounded, Western and American Indian genre works proffer a number of highlights, with selections hailing from the Hearst estate as well as from private Southern California collections and beyond. Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953 Taos, NM), widely considered the father of the Taos art colony, is represented in the March Fine Art catalog with a selection of excellent figural studies. One untitled work depicts a seated American Indian man looking out over a richly hued fall woodland landscape; the oil painting is expected to bring $70,000 to $90,000 at the block. Sharp’s comparatively diminutive “Dolly, Taos”, a contemplative portrait of a seated Taos woman in profile features a gold-infused palette and is offered with a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate. Consigned from the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke, a striking large-scale moonlit nocturne by James Elwood Reynolds (1926-2010 Sedona, AZ), titled “Coyotes and Cactus”, depicts a cowboy overlooking a desert landscape while seated atop his horse (est.: $18,000 to $22,000).

A second notable figural nocturnal composition is offered by Walter Emerson Baum (1884-1956 Sellersville, PA), who expertly painted the seasonal changes reflected in his surrounding Pennsylvania landscape, often en plein air. Baum’s nocturnal winter landscape is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Also Pennsylvania-based, genre artist John Lewis Krimmel (1787-1821 Philadelphia, PA), known as the “American Hogarth” for his representations of ordinary life in 19th century America, is represented in Moran’s March 22nd sale with a charming composition depicting children picking cherries, aptly titled “The Cherry Pickers”. Krimmel’s work is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000 at the auction block.
John Moran Auctioneers’ March 22nd California and American Fine Art Auction will be held at Moran’s newly renovated facility, located at: 145 E Walnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016. Admission is always free and all events are open to the public.
In order to accommodate potential buyers from all over Southern California and beyond, preview times have been extended, and now include Saturday viewing times. Public preview will be available on Friday, March 18th and Monday, March 21st from 10am to 4pm on each day, as well as on Saturday, March 19th from 10am to 2pm. Free event parking is available in the John Moran lot, as well as in the lower level of the adjacent public parking structure.

Doors will open on the day of the auction, Tuesday, March 22nd at 12pm, with the auction commencing at 7pm. Complimentary light refreshments, finger foods, and organic coffee and tea will be available for attendees on the day of the auction.

Bidding is available via telephone, absentee and online through, and To order a full-color catalogue or for more information regarding this or any other upcoming auctions or consignment, please visit: or call John Moran Auctioneers directly: (626) 793-1833.


Accepting Consignments: March 2020 Auction

John Moran Auctioneers is now accepting consignments for our March 2020 California & American Fine Art Auction. Limited space available, so if you are considering a consignment of California art, please do not hesitate to contact us. Click here to visit our Contact page, or simply call us at 626-793-1833 to discuss your consignment.

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