Ten 19th Century American Paintings from William Reese
By Michael Stillman
This month, the William Reese Company takes a brief timeout from its usual focus on books, but not from its concentration on Americana. Reese's Art Bulletin 14 is entitled American Paintings . Offered are ten paintings that hearken back to an earlier day in America -- not your youth, as they are too old for that, but perhaps of your grandparents or great-grandparents. What is offered is a series of paintings from the period of 1850-1900, and if your taste runs to older American scenes and scenery, you will enjoy this collection. Here is what is offered.
1. A pastel painting of a Pacific Northwest scene, perhaps on the Columbia River, featuring Indians landing their canoes on a riverbank. The painting is based on sketches made circa 1850-55, but painted somewhat later. Artist George Gibbs was also a customs official in Astoria, Oregon, where he probably painted this picture, as well as a geologist, expert in Indian languages, and took part in the boundary surveys between the United States and Canada. Priced at $75,000.
2. A circa 1900 New England winter scene, with horses and sledge drawing timber through the snow. The painter was George Hallowell, a Boston impressionist painter who was a craftsman, illustrator and architect as well. $25,000.
3. Alfred Murray (aka Lord Alfred Dunmore) painted this watercolor of British lords hunting buffalo around 1862. The hunt likely took place near Fort Ellice in Manitoba, Canada. Young Murray was a nobleman along for adventure on Viscount Milton's exploration of the Canadian West, and apparently something of a bother to the serious explorers. $19,500.
4. An oil painting by Alfred Agoust from 1893 depicting showman Buffalo Bill and two Londoners in what was known as the "Frenchman's Bottle Gag." $47,500.
5. An oil painting of Baltimore, circa 1840, based on a William Henry Bartlett engraving and signed "W.H. Bartlett." Baltimore appears as a shimmering city on a hill in this view. $18,500.
6. An 1850s oil painting of a Cuban sugar plantation, attributed to Charles DeWolf Brownell, a Hudson River School artist who spent his winters on the tropical island. $15,000.
7. "The Cliff Dwellers Daughter," a George Martin Ottinger circa 1900 painting of a young Anasazi woman, one of the Indians who lived among the caves of the Four Corners region a millennium ago. She balances a large bowl atop her head. This painting is of the Natural Bridges area of southern Utah. $5,000.