Blue Bonnet Field, Early Morning, San Antonio Texas, a lush canvas of Julian Onderdonk's bluebell wildflowers, brought $515,000 a record for the artist at Heritage Auctions
' $1.5+ Texas Art Signature Auction in Dallas. The Nov. 16 auction set a house record for the most valuable offering of Texas Art held to date.
The work, along with two other Onderdonk masterpieces brought a combined $1.1 million as A Hillside of Blue Bonnets Early Morning, Near San Antonio Texas reached $317,000 and On the Old Blanco Road, Southwest Texas ended at a strong $281,000.
"The auction offered two of the best Onderdonk paintings ever offered on the open market," said Atlee Phillips, Director of Texas Art at Heritage Auctions. "Blue Bonnets at Sunrise had absolutely everything going for it. It was fresh to the market, large, in excellent condition, and the quintessential Onderdonk bluebonnet painting. One of this size and quality had not been available since the Onderdonk exhibition at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and the Dallas Museum of Art, highlighting his misty bluebonnet paintings which are heavily influenced by Tonalism.
"It is no surprise such a painting would set a new World Record," Phillips said. "Julian Onderdonk is a great American artist, and there was significant interest in these paintings from outside the state, but at the end of the day Texas collectors were simply not willing to let them leave the state."
Additional lots include Light Snow, 1942 by Jerry Bywaters, which brought $59,375 and Desert Scene with Cacti by Robert William Wood, saw interest from four bidders before ending at $25,000. Autumn in the Hill Country by Porfirio Salinas closed at $23,750, followed closely by his Fall Landscape at $12,500.
Works by additional Texas modernists include Austin sculptor Karl Umlauf's The Kiss, which doubled its estimate to end at $8,750.