John Moran Auctioneers to Offer an Important Selection of California and American Artworks This Fall

MONROVIA, CA - This October 25th, John Moran Auctioneers will host their biannual California and American Fine Art Auction, featuring approximately 200 lots of fine art consigned from private collections and estates across the United States. This curated auction event will feature property from a number of important estates and collections, including the Estate of Andrew F. Chandler and the Lenore Gantt Chandler Trust, the Estate of Phoebe Hearst Cooke, and the Estate of Margaret Eaton Brown Fleming.

Excellent examples by top-tier American artists abound, while price-points for the offerings are varied; pre-auction estimates range from $1000 to $120,000.

Consistent with the high concentration of Western-genre offerings Moran’s has sold throughout the year, the October California and American Fine Art Auction features a large number of works by important Western artists dating from the 19th century through the contemporary. Highlights include historically important mural-sized panels by German-born Detlef Sammann (1857-1938 Los Angeles, CA), which were commissioned in 1910 by California oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to be installed in his Los Angeles mansion. Sammann, who was originally known as an interior decorator prior to moving to California, originally conceived the works as a continuous room-sized frieze to be displayed in Doheny’s “Indian Room”; the work in its entirety was titled “The American Indian from the Landing of the Pilgrims to the Present Day”. Moran’s will now offer three self-contained and two contiguous pairs of panels from the frieze in the October catalogue; each lot has been assigned a conservative $8000 to $12,000 pre-auction estimate.

More contemporary Western works hail from the Paso Robles estate of dedicated art patron Phoebe Hearst Cooke. “Wyoming Range”, a large-scale oil painting by artist Tucker Smith (b. 1940 Wyoming) is an excellent example of the artist’s compositional and tonal prowess. Depicting two cowboys on horseback herding cattle before a stunning backdrop of forest and snow-capped mountains, “Wyoming Range” is expected to bring $40,000 to $60,000 at the auction block. Consigned from a private Sun Valley, CA collection, a diminutive watercolor by celebrated Western artist Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926 Great Falls, MT / Pasadena, CA) is also expected to prove popular with collectors – titled “My Shot Killed the Elk (The Dispute)”, the work carries a $15,000 to $20,000 pre-sale estimate.

The October 25th Auction catalogue comprises a number of gorgeously rendered American landscape vistas, with a strong showing of fine examples by top-tier American impressionist painters. William Wendt (1865-1946 Laguna Beach, CA) is represented in Moran’s October catalogue by a sweeping, saturated view of Santa Ana Canyon, consigned from a private Riverside, CA collection (estimate: $80,000 to $120,000). Equally striking, John Frost’s (1890-1937 Pasadena, CA) view of a riotously colorful poppy field in full bloom is balanced by distant, icy blue snow-capped mountains and a cloud-dappled sky to which the artist gives equal purchase on the canvas. Consigned from the Estate of Andrew F. Chandler and the Lenore Gantt Chandler Trust, “California Poppies, Desert” is expected to earn $60,000 to $90,000 at Moran’s October California and American Art auction.

In contrast, New York painter Albert Bierstadt’s (1830-1902) more romantic view of El Capitan, Yosemite, exhibits the artist’s signature atmospheric style and painstaking attention to the play of light (estimate: $40,000 to $60,000)

The important Pasadena, CA Estate of Margaret Eaton Brown Fleming has proffered a charming, if atypical, painting by great American Western artist Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909 Ridgefield, CT). The work, a portrait of Louis Brown’s English Setter, was painted as a wedding gift for Brown and his wife, Lulu, after a large-scale portrait of an Indian man Remington had previously gifted the couple was deemed too large for their home. The delightful dog portrait is presented with a $50,000 to $70,000 estimate.

A select group of photographs is slated for sale at Moran’s October 25th California and American Art auction, including a dynamic, low-angle view of the Sierra Nevadas from Manzanar by Ansel Adams (1902-1984 Carmel, CA). Titled “Mount Williamson”, the 1944 gelatin silver print will go to the block with a $10,000 to $15,000 pre-auction estimate.

Even collectors of modern and contemporary art should be pleased with Moran’s October catalogue, as the house continues to branch out from their traditionally California impressionist specialty with quality contemporary offerings. Curated selections include an early figurative work by Los Angeles painter and muralist R. Kenton Nelson (b. 1954). Titled “Mr. Berne’s Decision”, the work’s bold coloration and clean lines illustrate how strongly Nelson’s work is influenced by that of his WPA-era predecessors (estimate: $5000 to $7000).

John Moran Auctioneers’ October California and American Fine Art Auction is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25th at 7pm. To pre-order your fully illustrated catalogue, view upcoming highlights, or inquire about consignment, visit John Moran Auctioneers on the web at:, or contact them directly via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone: (626) 793-1833.

Sign up for Newsletters and Alerts

Join the JMA Family today! Sign up for our newsletter and auction alerts

* required