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Masterpieces heading home in Heritage's Texas Art Auction
Julian Onderdonk (American, 1882-1922), Blue Bonnet Field, Early Morning, San Antonio Texas, 1914. Oil on canvas, 30-1/2 x 40 inches. Estimate: $150,000 - $200,000.

DALLAS, TX.- Blue Bonnet Field, Early Morning, San Antonio Texas, a large and rare canvas of Julian Onderdonk's classic Texas bluebell wildflowers is expected to bring $150,000 to lead Heritage's Texas Art Signature® Auction in Dallas.

The Nov. 16 auction, held during a three-day offering of Western & California and American Indian art, may see strong support by new collectors enamored with Texas' mid-century artists, said Atlee Phillips, Director of Texas Art at Heritage. Many of the 120+ lots are fresh to market and are presented to collectors for the first time in decades.

"I always love bringing Texas paintings back home," said Phillips, who discovered major paintings by Onderdonk in private collections in New York. "It's also great to see how well respected these artists are outside of Texas. They are just flat out, great American paintings."

Among the highly anticipated paintings include Onderdonk's A Hillside of Blue Bonnets — early Morning, Near San Antonio Texas, another impressive work, also expected to bring $150,000+, and On the Old Blanco Road, Southwest Texas, 1911, expected to bring $80,000, which Phillips calls the best non-bluebonnet work by Onderdonk that has been offered on the open market to date.

"It has so many amazing elements and shows the profound influence Onderdonk's teacher, William Merritt Chase, had on his work," Phillips said.

The auction includes eight works by Porfirio Salinas, including Autumn in the Hill Country, which may sell for $18,000+, Fall in the Hill Country, estimated to bring $10,000+, and Country Scene with Bluebonnets and Tree, estimated at $8,000+.

Marking a rare auction appearance are mid-century examples of classic Texas Regionalism, such as Light Snow, 1942, could bring $10,000, by Jerry Bywaters, considered the leader of the group known as The Dallas Nine. Works by additional Texas modernists include Austin, Texas, sculptor Karl Umlauf's The Kiss (est. $4,000).

Atlee said the auction arrives at a thrilling time in the Texas art community.

"Early Texas artists are becoming much better known outside Texas, as more early American art collectors start to take notice, but what is really exciting is the emergence of a new generation of collectors who are interested in mid-century Texas artists," she said. "Younger collectors are driving the upward trend of the market in American Regional and Modernist art, especially since there are still works available at relatively low prices. In another ten years, it's going to be a completely different story."

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