Monrovia, CA – Moran’s first highly anticipated Art of the American West sale of 2022 is coming to Monrovia on May 24, 2022. Hot on the heels of our white glove James M. Cole Collection auction, collectors, and enthusiasts of Native American Art, as well as Western art will find abundant examples of select pottery, textiles, basketry, beadwork as well as fine art, sculpture, and Native American kachina figures, painted retablos and more!

Lot 2022: A Margaret Tafoya Santa Clara Pueblo redware vessel $4,000-$6,000

Lot 2022: A Margaret Tafoya Santa Clara Pueblo redware vessel $4,000-$6,000

Pottery in many graceful forms, with intricate designs from subtle to bold, will feature in the auction, with examples from esteemed artists such as Margaret Tafoya, with a Santa Clara Pueblo redware jar estimated at $4,000-$6,000, Nancy Youngblood, whose sublime Santa Clara burnished blackware pottery lidded melon jar with deeply ribbed body, is presented with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, and two works by Richard Zane Smith, a Wyandot sculptor born in Georgia, and later grew up in St Louis, Missouri. He studied pottery at the Kansas City Art Institute, and his work draws from his ancient Wyandotte heritage as well as from Navajo and Ancient Puebloan-inspired designs that incorporate coils and layers within the clay. His striking ridged textured polychrome pottery jar, estimated at $3,000-$4,000 certainly evokes designs of “pre-historic corrugated pottery (where the coils made to form the shape of the pot are left exposed and are rough textured) from the southwest as well as resembling the ancient basketworks of the Wyandot people.” (Wikipedia)
A selection of fine baskets will also come to the auction block looking for new homes, including a number of Central California Yokuts baskets such as a finely woven coiled boat-shape Yokuts basket with an attractive design representing multiple centipede arms estimated at $800-$1,200, and others ranging from a striking Apache pictorial olla basket, estimated at $500-$700, to a large polychrome Apache pictorial burden basket with fringing and tin dangles, estimated at $400-$600, as well as a group of Navajo wedding baskets and a colorful group of Hopi wicker plaques, estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Among the woven offerings, Native American textiles, historic and contemporary, will play the lead role with many stunning examples of Navajo/Diné weavings such as Germantown, Yei, Ganado, Two Grey Hills, Wide Ruins and Crystal, to name a few! Numerous highlights are certain to inspire serious collectors, such as a late 19th Century Navajo Germantown Moki (Moqui) variant blanket, in bold stripes and stepped diamonds, estimated at $6,000-$8,000 an outstanding Navajo sandpainting weaving with Yei figures and protective Rainbow Guardian estimated at $1,000-$1,500, and a jewel-toned Navajo Teec Nos Pos rug by Cora Tom, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. A fine selection of dazzling Rio Grande textiles will also add color and variety and promises to pique the interest of textile enthusiasts everywhere! With examples such as an early 20th Century multicolored Rio Grande blanket with vibrant diagonal sawtooth stripes, estimated at $800-$1,200, who could fail to be enticed to add one of these treasures to a collection!

Another group of appealing woven items presented to auction will be a selection of Native American beadwork, including an impressive Plateau beaded blanket strip, estimated at $4,000-$6,000, an Iroquois beaded Glengarry cap, and a stunning velvet opera cape with floral beadwork by Edith Claymore, Lakota (Miniconjou Sioux) with detailed floral and butterfly designs, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

“Namingha’s work provides a glimpse of his sacred traditions such as the spirit messengers or kachinas, which represent blessings, ancestors, and cloud people, while he constantly challenges himself to try new styles, representation, abstraction, and minimalism. ”
Lot 2025: Dan Namingha (b. 1950, Hopi-Tewa), “Hopi Figure” $3000-$5,000

Lot 2025: Dan Namingha (b. 1950, Hopi-Tewa), “Hopi Figure” $3000-$5,000

Fine Art highlights include dramatic paintings by Veloy Vigil and Navajo artist Al Bahe, a work by Edgar S. Paxson, and a selection of drawings and etchings by Edward Borein, including this fine etching entitled: “Race to the Wagon No. 1”, estimated at $700-$900. Born in 1872, Borein was one of few early Western artists actually born in the West. As a young man he travelled through the western states and territories, and Mexico, working as a cowboy and “using his artistic talent to record these experiences. Developing a deep affection for the West, and nurtured by his free lifestyle as a cowboy, he soon became known as a facile and spontaneous recorder of cowboy and Indian life.” In his early thirties, Borein moved to New York City to study art, where visitors to his studio included Will Rogers, Charles M. Russell, Carl Oscar Borg, and Buffalo Bill Cody. “Borein returned to his native California, married, and set up a permanent studio in Santa Barbara in 1921. His etchings, watercolors, and drawings quickly earned him a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of the American West, and few artists have done so as accurately and skillfully as Borein.” Borein maintained his early friendship with Will Rogers, and with Charles M Russell, and according to The Los Angeles Times, “The three formed a triumvirate who depicted with picture and legend in the West before the days of the fences.” (Santa Barbara Historical Museum)
A contemporary rendition of a cowboy is offered by Ben Wright’s “Red Rider in Hollywood,” with an estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Wright draws from Native American ceremony, symbolism, and tradition to attain balance, connectivity and spirituality in his work and life. He combines powerful imagery and intensely bold colors, with a sophisticated glazing technique to achieve his impressive creations. Colors, numbers, and shapes play an integral and critical role in his work. “I try to create a dialog with my viewers. I often see those who stand so far back from artwork, but I want to pull people in. I want to get them to admire the surface but also see beyond it. To see what is underneath.” Ben Wright (Ben Wright Studio/Goldstein Gallery).

Two works rounding out the highlighted paintings are a sweeping Southwest desert landscape by Harry Wagoner, estimated at $3,000-$5,000 and a powerful, abstract painting by Dan Namingha, “Hopi Figure,” of 1982, with an estimated $3,000-$5,000. A member of the Hopi-Tewa, Namingha has been a painter and a sculptor for over 40 years. He studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and was influenced by the work of Jackson Pollack, Adolph Gottlieb, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Norman Rockwell. Namingha’s work provides a glimpse of his sacred traditions such as the spirit messengers or kachinas, which represent blessings, ancestors, and cloud people, while he constantly challenges himself to try new styles, representation, abstraction, and minimalism. “His abstract figures allude to the timeless nature of life on the Colorado Plateau and the unity of the spiritual and physical worlds.” (Altamira Fine Art; quote: Dr. Robert Breunig, former Director of the Museum of Northern Arizona)

Moran’s Fine Art selections will also include sculptures such as classic Western bronzes by renowned sculptors such as CM Russell, Carl Kauba, and John Coleman, including “Little Hopi Clowns” one of two by Coleman, estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Other offerings include works by Bud Boller and Doug Hyde, whose elegant patinated bronze of two standing women is estimated at $1,500-$2,500. Not to be overlooked, several groups of diminutive sculptures in the form of finely carved stone fetish figures, in an array of materials and subjects, will be put to auction, with choice selections such as a group of Zuni Corn Maidens by Troy Sice, estimated at $700-$900, and an iconic Zuni carved pipestone howling coyote by Darren Shebola estimated at $200-$300.

Also within the Fine Art category will be two lots of various photographs and related items, including a group of American Indian themed photographs from the first half of the 20th century, including a group of Fred Harvey and other postcards of Southwest and American Indian themes, cabinet photos, photogravures, as well as a Stereopticon viewer and cards with Southwest and American Indian themes, estimated at $800-$1,200, and a collection of Harmon Percy Marble and other Southwest photographs, from the late 19th Century and later, including Navajo, Puebloan and Southwest images, with figurative, village-related, and some landscape scenes, estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

A keen collector will certainly find something to take their fancy within the variety of high quality and unique offerings showcased at this upcoming auction. Get ready to make your choice and bid on that one piece you have always desired, or suddenly thought would be wonderful to add to your collection!

Sally Andrew, John Moran Auctioneers

Log 2128: A Navajo sandpainting textile with Yei figures $1000-$1500 

Log 2128: A Navajo sandpainting textile with Yei figures $1000-$1500 

Upcoming Auctions

Fine Jewelry and Timepieces: Tuesday, May 3 | 12:00 pm PDT
California & American Fine Art: Tuesday, May 10th | 12:00 pm PDT
California Living: Tuesday, May 17th | 12:00 pm PDT
Post-war & Contemporary Art + Design: Tuesday, June 21st | 12:00 pm PDT
Art of the American West-ONLINE Tuesday, July 26th | 12:00 pm PDT
Made in Mexico: Tuesday, August 23rd | 12.00 pm PDT

John Moran’s takes the health and safety of our staff and customers seriously; as such, sales will continue to be held online and without a live audience. However, each item is available for public preview. Moran’s auction showroom is over 10,000 square feet and allows clients to preview objects within established social distancing guidelines so that buyers can feel confident when making an appointment to preview the property. For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: Bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.   Consignments are always welcome: Email us at [email protected] today!