Pasadena, CA –John Moran Auctioneers is delighted to announce the first of their 2011 California and American Art Auctions, a sale of 150 works by leading artists spanning the mid-19th to mid- 20th centuries with an emphasis on plein air landscapes. The event will take place Tuesday, February 15th at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA.
Conducting three such sales annually, Moran’s is established as a market leader in sales of American Impressionism, routinely setting new records. After celebrating a successful 2010 auction series, the Southern California-based company will once again meet the demand for quality works from this vibrant collecting area with a selection of notable works by Maurice Braun, Alfred Mitchell, Ernest Lawson, Jack Wilkinson Smith, Charles Rollo Peters, E. Charlton Fortune, Selden Gile, Johann Berthelsen, Si Chen Yuan, and many others.
Sale highlights include:
• Pair of White Peacocks by Jessie Arms Botke (1883 – 1971), (estimate: $35,000 – 45,000). Arriving at auction from the estate of a collector, this large (32 x 27 inches) work includes water lilies as the botanical element. Exotic birds and foliage in decorative, flattened compositions featuring great attention to accurate detail were a fascination for Botke, and represent by a wide margin the top price earners for the artist at auction. Moran’s holds the current record for Botke, set in 2005 by the sale of Javanese Peacocks for $90,400
• Kansas Hills by Birger Sandzen (1871 – 1954) (estimate: $70,000 – 90,000). This 30 x 40 inch oil was created in 1935 in the trademark style of the artist’s mature work, featuring a high-keyed palette, thick impasto and rigorous, abstracted structure. Sandzen was unique among Kansas artists in capturing the state’s landscape in this fauve-like style. This work was recently exhibited in a show at the Palm Springs (California) Art Museum, ''Colors of the West: The Paintings of Birger Sandzen'', from April 17-September 12, 2010.
• An Adriatic harbor scene by Edgar Payne (1883 – 1947) (estimate $50,000 – 70,000). Featuring sailboats with rustic portside buildings in the background, this lovely work is offered for sale for the first time, having remained in the family of the original owner since presented by Payne as a gift. Though Payne’s boat depictions do not include minute technical detail, they are built on a foundation of thorough technical knowledge. He made rigorous studies of sailing vessels, sketching riggings and building scale models, to accurately convey their shape and structure while reveling in broad, loose brushstrokes and the lively play of broken light and color. This deeply shadowed work with strong warm / cool complementary color contrasts and a richly patterned surface exemplifies his ability to convey a scene’s subjective qualities while maintaining a strong structural underpinning.
• A view of Taxco, Mexico by Arthur Grover Rider (1886 – 1975) (estimate: $20,000 – 30,000). Rider was heavily influenced by the Spanish Luminist Joaquin Sorolla, with whom he painted on the beach at Valencia, Spain, and his paintings blaze with the same clear light and masterful use of color. In the last years of his life Rider made many trips to Taxco, concentrating on architectural subjects. Moran’s is delighted to offer this spectacular work directly from a private collection.
Many more highly desirable works, including California Style watercolors and Western subjects, will be offered in the sale. All of Moran’s auctions are held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. Bidding is available from the floor and via telephone, absentee or online at Artfact.com. Moran’s posts images of sale highlights on their website, johnmoran.com, and a full catalogue of the auction, with complete descriptions, condition reports and multiple images of every item, will be posted at johnmoran.com and at artfact.com three weeks prior to the sale.
For more information about this sale or to consign artworks, antiques or jewelry, please call the offices of John Moran Auctioneers at (626) 793-1833 or email