Los Angeles, CA— John Moran Auctioneers will kick off their summer lineup with an Art of the American West sale, happening Tuesday, June 4th, 2024, at 12:00pm PDT. Comprised of over 300 lots, this auction will feature an exciting and robust offering of fine art for a wide range of collecting aesthetics from historic to contemporary. Heading this sale are two works from Oscar Howe, whose world auction record was achieved at Moran’s last summer at $325,000. Other fine art will feature Don Oelze, Curt Walters, Eyvind Earle, Hernando Villa, Paul Pletka, Ira Yeager, Veloy Vigil, and multiple works by Marjorie Reed. Western bronzes from artists such as James Regimbal, Gary Ernest Smith, Cynthia Rigden, Steve Kestrel, and Asa Lynn “Ace” Powell will be offered. Incredible examples of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry including pieces by Gail Bird, Yazzie Johnson, Paul Livingston, Gibson Nez, Bernard Dawahoya, Roy Vandever, and Lloyd Oliver represent more than 50 lots. Also, a variety of Navajo textiles and Acoma pottery, including examples from Patricia Dobson and Lorencita Naranjo Tafoya, round out the sale. 

A Navajo pictorial textile $3,000-5,000

A Navajo pictorial textile $3,000-5,000

It’s déjà vu at Moran’s. Just like last summer, their June 2024 Art of the American West sale will feature two Oscar Howe works! Oscar Howe (1915-1983), the Native American artist, best known for his innovative and expressive depictions of traditional Dakota culture and mythology, has garnered major interest from private collectors, museums, and other institutions from around the country. Born on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota, Howe grew up immersed in his heritage and was deeply influenced by the rich visual traditions of his people. One of the works making its way to the block will be Smoke signals, circa 1953, estimated (waiting for Jenny). The provenance of this lot comes from John “Leonard” Jennewein, who acquired this work directly from the artist. Howe and Jennewein were good friends/colleagues at Dakota Wesleyan University, where Jennewein was a professor of history and of English from 1953 until his death in 1968. This piece of Howe’s artwork was to be adapted to copy paper letterhead. It Is unknown if this ever happened. The second Howe in the sale is Blessings for fertility, estimated $60,000-80,000.

An Arts & Crafts-style partner's desk $800-1,200

An Arts & Crafts-style partner's desk $800-1,200

Other stand outs in the fine art category come from Don Oelze and Curt Walters. Born in New Zealand, Don Oelze (b. 1965) was fascinated with American at an early age, especially with cowboys and Indians, so much so he would get in trouble for drawing Indians in class instead of listening to his New Zealand history teacher. When he was eight years old, his parents moved back to the U.S. where he continued to draw and paint through high school. In 1992, while living in Seattle, he met a Native American named Everett who produced native art and Totems. It was while working with Everett that he created his first big native painting. Since then, Oelze has been represented by multiple galleries, and has won countless awards. Moran’s is pleased to offer his work, “As Light Fades,” valued at $20,000-30,000.

Art of the West magazine declared Curt Walters (b. 1950) the “Greatest Living Grand Canyon Artist” in 1997, and “One of ‘Eight True Masters’” in 2007. In May 2011, Southwest Art named Walters “one of the Forty Prominent People in the Western Art World”. At an estimate of $10,000-15,000, collectors are sure to enjoy this breathtaking example of Walter’s work titled, California landscape.

Representing the over 60 lots of Native American textiles, a Navajo pictorial textile, estimated $3,000-5,000. Dated early 1900s, this example from the Diné people was woven in red, light brown, grey, black, cream, and beige wool with a central conjoined figural motif, feathers, and a complex diamond banded border. Also included in the sale, a Navajo Third Phase chief’s blanket, estimated $2,000-3,000, and a Puebloan wearing blanket with a $2,000-3,000 estimate.

For those that love Native American jewelry, this auction will present over 50 lots, including a pair of Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson stone set gold earrings. This pair of narrow modernist-style 18k gold pierced earrings, estimated $1,500-2,500, features a design created with agate and onyx.

Rounding out the sale, a female Lakota Sioux figure, circa 2000s by Rhonda Holy Bear, estimated $2,000-3,000, an Arts & Crafts-style partner’s desk, valued at $1,000-2,000, and a Laguna/Acoma Pueblo polychrome pottery olla with a $800-1,200 estimate.

— Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers 

“One of the works making its way to the block will be Smoke signals, circa 1953, estimated $60,000-80,000. The provenance of this lot comes from John “Leonard” Jennewein, who acquired this work directly from the artist.”
Oscar Howe (1915-1983, Yanktonai Dakota), Smoke signals $60,000-80,000

Oscar Howe (1915-1983, Yanktonai Dakota), Smoke signals $60,000-80,000

Upcoming Auctions

John Moran Auctioneers is continuing their 2024 lineup with the Jewelry & Watches sale, Tuesday, May 21st, followed by the Art of the American West sale, Tuesday, June 4th, 2024. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming auctions so you don’t miss out on the action, and the treasures!      
Jewelry & Watches: Tuesday, May 21st | 12:00 pm PDT 
Art of the American West: Tuesday, June 4th | 12:00 pm PDT 
Modern & Contemporary Fine Art: Tuesday, June 11th | 12:00 pm PDT 
ReDesigned: Tuesday, June 25th | 10:00 am PDT 
Traditional Collector: Tuesday, July 30th | 12:00 pm PDT  
Art + Design: Tuesday, August 13th | 12:00 pm PDT  
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com and follow us on social media: @johnmoran_auctioneers. 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.        
Consignments are always welcome:      
Email us at [email protected] today!