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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0154

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[photo] Morning on the lava beds
Photo credit: Early California and Western Art Research, 1988
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas, lined
Size: 20 x 36 in (51 x 91 cm) (reported 19.88 x 35.88)
Inscription: signed l/l "F. Schàfer" in the artist's block-letter hand
Verso: said to have been titled prior to lining.
Provenance: With Christie's, New York, 7 April 1983. With Mongerson Galleries, Chicago, in 1988; to an unidentified corporate collection, New York City; with Christie's, New York, 30 November 2011.
Exhibited: Painters of the American West, figure 10, page 7, Chicago, 1988.
Reproductions: Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #89 (color, 1988); 30 November 2011 sale catalog 2485, lot #34 (color).
Citations: 7 April 1983 sale catalog 5305, lot 132
Site: Presumably in the area of northeastern California that later became Lava Beds National Monument.
Description: A scene of a Indian encampment. About ten large tepees of Sioux design stand on the right bank of a river, reflecting the sky, which is bright at the horizon tapering to dark clouds above. Dozens of figures sit or walk around the tents, some with bright yellow or red robes. An Indian sits on the left bank of the river looking out over the encampment. There are tall poles in front of several tepees. The foreground is covered with brush; there are buttes along the horizon. Overall, the painting has a very brownish cast, although the word "CAREFUL" on the slide frame may indicate that the photographer felt the slide did not represent the painting well. (From a color photograph and the reproduction in the exhibition catalog.)
Note: 1. The 1983 and 1988 catalogs report a verso title but make no mention of lining. 2. See the index of Indians in desert locales for several possibly related paintings. 3. The painting Indians in the Lava Beds appears to be almost the same scene, but with a dry river bed in the foreground.
Identification: The 1983 sale catalog uses a title with minor variants, Morning in the Lave beds compared with the Mongerson Galleries 1988 exhibition catalog and the Christie's 2011 sale catalog. The Early California and Western Art Research index gives the size as 20 x 36, and identifies the slide with the Mongerson offering. The Mongerson exhibition catalog gives the size as 19.5 by 35.5 inches. Based on the title and size, the 1983 source probably refers to the same painting.

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Nov 10, 2020, 14:31 MST Accessibility