Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Santa Fe gallery owner alleges major Western art sale defamed him

With Western American art long dismissed as unworthy of the fine art world, few collectors would have even cared 25 years ago if an early 20th century oil painting of cowboys or Indians on the frontier was authentic or not. Now, the owner of galleries in New Mexico and New York City is suing one of the world’s largest Western American art auctions, a Nevada gallery and others for defamation, accusing them of falsely claiming a $1 million painting he sold is a fake. Gerald P. Peters of Santa Fe seeks unspecified damages from Peter Stremmel Galleries of Reno, the Coeur D’Alene Art Auction of Nevada and auction partner Mark Overby of Hayden, Idaho. The defendants’ lawyers say the claims have no legal basis. They filed motions in federal court in Reno last week to dismiss the suit. The high-society legal battle offers a glimpse into the high-stakes Western art market that’s evolved from California to Manhattan, with many millions of dollars in sales of paintings, sculptures and pottery annually. “It wasn’t really until the late 1980s or mid- to early-1990s that a lot of art historians and museums began to start taking Western American art seriously,” said Amy Scott, chief curator of the Autry Museum of Western Art founded in Los Angeles in 1988. The lawsuit centers on “The Rain and the Sun,” which Peters says is the work of Iowa-born Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939), a one-time illustrator for Field and Stream magazine who became famous for his oil paintings of nighttime frontier scenes. Peters sold it years ago for $750,000 as part of a trade with other artwork to R.D. Hubbard, a well-known Western art collector, business tycoon and horse-track owner...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Western American art long dismissed as unworthy of the fine art world"

- that statement epitomizes the dismissive attitude and contempt towards the rural American lifestyle by the gov., media and urbanites.

The "all-inclusive cultural diversity" they keep pushing in art and education doesn't seem to include any Western American culture.