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Christie’s announces the sale Visions of the West: American Paintings from the William I. Koch Collection, which represents the breadth of Western Art with works spanning the 19th century to the present day. The dedicated sale will take place on May 21, at noon, following Christie’s Spring sale of American Art, and will feature more than 65 paintings from Mr. Koch’s superb collection. Highlights include the most important historic artists of the genre including Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, Henry F. Farny, William Robinson Leigh, and Philip R. Goodwin, among others. The sale also features notable examples by many of the most important contemporary Western artists, including Howard Terpning, Martin Grelle, Tom Lovell and G. Harvey, among others. Representing a wide variety of Western subjects, the sale represents an excellent opportunity for new and established collectors alike.

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Eric Wimmer was in shock when he stepped into a Casper home full of art.

The curator of the Nicolaysen Art Museum was visiting the home in March because its owner, who recently died, had donated his vast collection to the Nic. Wimmer entered and was immediately greeted by a painting.

Was that an authentic Thomas Moran?

Wimmer has a master’s degree in art history. In grad school, Moran, a titan in Western art, was one of his all-time favorites. He’d spend hours at a Denver art museum looking at Moran’s paintings, and now there was one sitting right in front of him in the foyer of the Casper home.

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On Monday, the Nelson-Atkins Museum announced that its wonderful Grand Canyon painting by Thomas Moran, from 1912, would grace a Forever stamp as part of an homage to the Hudson River School of artists — it’s one of four tributes.

What are the other three paintings? (I got no other press notices.) Were the other three museums, as the Post Office would choose only from works held in the public domain, mum on the honor? Guess so. But I looked it up.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:36

Edward Hopper Paintings Head to White House

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has lent two paintings by Edward Hopper to the White House. ‘Cobb’s Barns, South Truro’ and ‘Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro’, both oil on canvas works painted between 1930 and 1933 in Cape Cod, are currently on view in the Oval Office.

The paintings from the Whitney, which holds the world’s largest archive of Hopper’s works, were created while Hopper and his wife were renting a summer cottage in South Truro. From the home, Hopper executed a series of drawings and paintings of the buildings on his landlord’s farm, capturing the structures from various angles and at different times of the day. Both of the paintings from the Whitney capture Hopper’s masterful use of light and the quiet stillness that pervades much of his work.  

The two Hopper paintings will join Rembrandt Peale’s ‘George Washington,’ George Henry Story’s ‘Abraham Lincoln,’ Thomas Moran’s ‘The Three Tetons,’ Childe Hassam’s ‘The Avenue in the Rain,’ and Norman Rockwell’s ‘Statue of Liberty,’ all of which belong to the permanent White House collection.

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The Portland Art Museum in Oregon will exhibit Francis Bacon’s ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud,’ the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. The triptych, which sold for $142 million at Christie’s in November, will go on view beginning December 21.

The presentation of the Bacon painting will be part of the museum’s Masterworks / Portland series, which is now in its fifth year and provides an opportunity to study a single object and artist in depth. Previous works that have been featured in the series include Raphael’s ‘La Velata,’ Titian’s ‘La Bella,’ and Thomas Moran’s ‘Shoshone Falls on the Snake River.’

While the painting’s owner has not been publicly announced, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation helped make the Portland Art Museum’s presentation of the Bacon triptych possible. Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, is a major art collector, leading many to believe that he purchased ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ from Christie’s.

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Washington’s Tacoma Art Museum broke ground Thursday, September 5, 2013 on a $15.5 million expansion that will include new galleries. The 16,000-square-foot wing will house 280 works of Western art donated to the museum by German billionaires Erivan and Helga Haub. The collection, which ranks as one of the finest groupings of Western American art in the world, was accompanied by a $20 million gift from the Haubs.

The Tacoma Art Museum’s expansion, which is helmed by the Seattle-based architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, is slated to reach completion by fall 2014. The institution will boast the most significant public holding of Western artworks in the Pacific Northwest. The Haubs’ bequest includes landscapes by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, sculptures by Frederic Remington and works by modernist painters including Georgia O’Keeffe. The pieces range from the 1820s to the present and span various Western art genres.

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The Denver Art Museum has received a significant gift from local collector Henry Roath who has pledged to donate approximately 50 artworks by masters of the American West including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and Frederic Remington to the museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art. Roath’s collection, which is considered one of finest private collections of western American art in the country, focuses on art of the American southwest, especially works from members of the Taos Society of Artists. Roath has also donated $500,000 to the museum in an effort to establish a fund for future acquisitions.

The works that make up Roath’s gift range in date from 1877 to 1972 and include oil paintings, watercolors and bronze sculptures. Highlights include Thomas Moran’s Snowy Range, an 1896 landscape painting of the Grand Tetons, and two casts of Frederic Remington’s seminal sculpture Bronco Buster. The Roath collection is currently on loan to the museum and will remain on view in two of the institution’s western American art galleries.

Roath said, “I want the collection to be accessible to the public. The Denver Art Museum has made a strong commitment to art of the region and has a bold program. I’m excited for visitors and the public to be able to experience the masters of the American West firsthand.”

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