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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
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 characteristic block-letter hand
Verso: said to have been titled prior to lining.
Provenance: Sold 7 April 1983 for $2640 by Christie's, New York, as lot 132 in sale 5305. Sold in 1988 by Mongerson Galleries, Chicago, to an unidentified corporate collection, New York City; offered 30 November 2011 by Christie's, New York as lot 34 in sale 2485 (not sold).
Exhibited: Painters of the American West, figure 10, page 7, Chicago, 1988.
Reproductions: Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #89 (color, 1988); Christie's 30 November 2011 sale catalog (color).
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.
In index(es): Title list, Indian encampments as primary subjects, Indians in desert locales

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May 19, 2024, 10:22 MDT Accessibility