Hindman's May Western & Native American Art Auction realizes over $1.6 million & sets new records

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Hindman's May Western & Native American Art Auction realizes over $1.6 million & sets new records
Fritz Scholder (Luiseño, 1937-2005), Indians on Horseback. Price realized: $100,000.

DENVER, CO.- On May 6, Hindman Auctions achieved outstanding prices and set new auction records in its $1.6 million Western Paintings and Sculpture including Contemporary Native American Art auction. The sale showcased celebrated Western artists from the 18th to 20th centuries alongside modern and contemporary Native American artists, and saw strong interest in works by Fritz Scholder, Eve Van Ek Drewelowe, Louis McElwain, and Ed Mell. Featured in the auction was a selection of 22 works sold to benefit The Couse Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, and the construction of The Lunder Research Center. The offering raised over $114,000.

“We were thrilled with the fantastic engagement from bidders,” said Hindman’s Vice-Chair, Maron Hindman. “The auction featured works that are truly special and meaningful for both historic and contemporary Western art as a whole, and we are so pleased to see that buyers agreed.”

Records were set by three female artists including Eve Van Ek Drewelowe’s Reflected Range (lot 54), which climbed well past its presale estimate of $2,000-4,000 to sell for $46,875, and Louisa McElwain’s Anvil IV (lot 63), which achieved $43,750 against a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000. McElwain is a plein-air artist and is known for her exquisite ability to capture the Western sky. Dorothy Eugenie Brett’s Practice of the Relay Race (lot 172) also set a record, realizing $22,500 against a presale estimate of $2,000-4,000.

The contemporary offerings were led by Fritz Scholder’s Indians on Horseback (lot 294), which soared past its presale estimate of $10,000-15,000 to realize $100,000. Ed Mell’s Red Rock (lot 64) sold for $37,500, more than double its presale estimate. Strong prices were also achieved for Dave McGary’s bronze sculpture titled Walks Among the Stars (lot 151) and John Nieto’s Plains Warrior (lot 291), with both selling for $28,125.

Additional highlights include Eanger Irving Couse’s An Indian Boy (lot 179), which sold for $28,125, and Watching the Rising Trout (lot 180), which also exceeded its presale estimate; Joseph Henry Sharp’s Eagle Star (lot 181), which achieved $21,250; and Frederick Arthur Verner’s Mid-Day Buffalo (lot 226), which realized $23,750 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000.

The Western Art sale concluded with a selection of 114 lots of contemporary Native American art which was very successful, realizing over $471,000 and achieving a 95% sell through rate. Modern and contemporary Native American art is an actively growing market and the combination of the categories proved to be an exciting and diverse sale composition. Luis Tapia’s Chama Altar IV sculpture / wall hanging (lot 346) realized $15,000 against a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000 and Ramona Saskiestewa’s Blue Corn 10 tapestry from 1994 (lot 342) sold for $17,500 against a presale estimate of $3,000-5,000. Romona Saskiestewa’s work was new to the auction market until 2020 when Cowan's sold a tapestry by her for a record $6,250. Blue Corn 10 surpassed that original record.

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