Los Angeles, CA— On Tuesday, May 9th, 2023, John Moran Auctioneers will present their Spring California & American Fine Art auction starting at noon PST. The selection will feature fresh-to-the-market artworks from private collections and public collections throughout California, the Southwest, along with a group of important early California works deaccessioned by the Jonathan Art Foundation of Los Angeles, CA. Leading the sale are works by early American artists, Edgar Alwin Payne, Armin Hansen, Thomas Hill, Sydney Mortimer Laurence, Carl Oscar Borg, Charles Reiffel, John George Brown, and Elmer and Marion Wachtel. With a wide range of subjects and time periods represented, this sale has something for every California and American collection.
Some of the most anticipated lots will feature works by Edgar Alwin Payne (1883-1947). Payne was an American impressionist painter who grew up in Missouri but spent most of his career captivating the majestic scenery of the West. He especially loved the mountains and frequently took packhorse into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This sale will feature one of these works with an estimate of $40,000-60,000. During his career, Payne had the opportunity to take a two-year “painting tour” of Europe from 1922-1924. This work depicting fishing boats in the West Coast of France will be offered with a $30,000-40,000 estimate. Making its way to the block will also be Payne’s Brittany Boats in Harbor, valued at $20,000-30,000.
Continuing the boat theme is Making Port, by Armin Hansen (1886-1957). This view of Monterey, California, estimated at $20,000—30,000, is just one of the many examples from the artist that captures the spirit of marine life. Hansen achieved international recognition during his lifetime and is considered to be one of Early California’s most influential and successful artists.
Crescent Lake – Yosemite Valley, done by the English-born artist, Thomas Hill (1829-1908) is an example of how he combined his powers of observation with powerful motifs. Yosemite Valley was one of his main sources of inspiration to begin painting and captured his direct response to nature. Hill’s best works are considered to include the monumental subjects Canyon of the Sierra, Yosemite, Vernal Falls, and Yosemite Valley. Moran’s is pleased to present Crescent Lake – Yosemite Valley with an estimate of $20,000-30,000. This auction will also include Deer in a Landscape, 1872, estimated $20,000-30,000.
Another early American landscape painter was Sydney Mortimer Laurence (1865-1940). This sale will offer his work, Mount McKinley, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Laurence was an American Romantic landscape painter and is widely considered one of Alaska’s most important historical artists.
In the category of Southwestern American fine art is Hopi Rain Dance, by Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947). In 1901, the Swedish-born painter settled in the United States and eventually became known for views of California and the Southwest, especially Arizona and New Mexico. He worked in various mediums including watercolor, etchings, woodblock, and oil—like this example, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Borg was a founding member of the Painter’s Club of Los Angeles and the California Art Club and was one of the first art directors for a major Hollywood movie studio.
Originally a lithographer, Charles P. Reiffel (1862-1942) quit his New York lithography business in his early sixties to devote all his time to easel painting. Soon thereafter, he and his wife moved to San Diego, California, where his creativity thrived. Reiffel’s landscapes of California brought him national acclaim before his death in 1942. This sale will offer one of these landscape paintings with an estimate of $15,000-20,000.
Also included in this auction are stand-out works by Maurice Braun, Conrad Buff, John Ross Key, Ernest Lawson, Clarence Hinkle, and Thaddeus Welch.
—Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers
“Edgar Alwin Payne (1883-1947) was an American impressionist painter who grew up in Missouri but spent most of his career captivating the majestic scenery of the West. He especially loved the mountains and frequently took packhorse into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. ”
John Moran Auctioneers will continue their 2023 lineup with a two-day Traditional Collector auction, Tuesday & Wednesday, April 25th & 26th, followed by the California & American Fine Art sale, Tuesday, May 9th. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming auctions so you don’t miss out on the action, and the treasures!
The Traditional Collector: Tues. & Wed., April 25th & 26th | 10:00am PST
California & American Fine Art: Tuesday, May 9th | 12:00 pm PST
Costume & Couture: Tuesday, May 23rd | 12:00 pm PST
Fine Jewelry & Timepieces: Wednesday, May 24th | 10:00 am PST
Art of the American West: Tuesday, June 6th | 10:00 am PST
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com and follow us on social media: @johnmoranauctioneers. Along with our website, bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. You may also choose to bid by phone or absentee.
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