Arts of the American West Category Added To The Curator’s Eye

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
  • /
  • June 11, 2014

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Ed Mell, Men of the Desert, 2014, oil on linen, 36 by 23 in
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The Curator’s Eye ( is pleased to announce the addition of the Arts of the American West category to its encyclopedic offerings. Featuring Native American textiles, contemporary western art, and early western photography, among other items, this category encompasses all that collectors and enthusiasts of the American West will want. The Curator’s Eye  launched with the cooperation of multiple leading dealers from across the country.

Contemporary Painting - Ed Mell

The Arts of the American West is headlined by a contemporary oil painting by Ed Mell titled Men of the Desert. This painting features anthropomorphic imagery by the artist, whose figurative work is inspired by the Hopi and Apache Indians. Mell, an accomplished artist and teacher, spent time on Arizona's Colorado Plateau where he reconnected with the land he loved and set his artistic course. Today he paints his well-known landscapes from a studio in the Phoenix area.

Early Western Photography - Edward S. Curtis and Ansel Adams

Also available is a rare gelatin silver print of Edward S. Curtis’ The Scout - Apache, from 1906. This iconic Curtis photograph was made in the high mountains of Apache-land in Arizona. The lone rider, a scout, rides through the arid mountains surrounded by large yucca plants. Edward Curtis is the most widely collected and exhibited fine art photographer in the history of the medium. His work is found in major public and private collections and has been exhibited in over forty countries. Ansel Adams’ seminal photograph of Bridal Veil Fall  in Yosemite Valley joins the early western photography.

Pueblo Blanket, circa 1880-1890
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Native American Pottery - Acoma Water Jar

This is a beautiful old Acoma four-color water jar, created circa 1890s, with vivid color and a warm well handled and used surface. In addition to the four birds, there are rainbow bands, heart-shaped flowers, bisected leaves and berries. The jar also leans a bit, adding a warmth from a time when such an “imperfections” did not detract from a pueblo view of beauty. Our modern exacting standards have led to harsh judgement of modern pottery that is not perfectly symmetrical and finely detailed. This is a fine jar to cherish from a more innocent time.

Traditional Western Art - William Herbert Dunton

The collection also includes an oil painting by the early western artist William Herbert Dunton titled The Glance and painted in 1907. This work, which is in its original frame, was probably created as an illustration for a magazine or book. It was the search for subject material for illustrations of western life that first brought Dunton out West, to Montana, in 1896. For the next fifteen years, he spent every summer traveling the western states, doing sketches that would become the basis for his illustrations.

Native American Textiles - Pueblo Blanket

On offer is a Pueblo blanket, made between 1880 and 1890, which exhibits a banded design for everyday use. It is soft, with a looser weave. Since the blankets were made to use, not many of them have survived. Some of the rarest weavings are made to wear. The excellent condition of this blanket indicates that it has not been used much. The salmon yarns are aniline dye and others are natural sheep color. Indeed, Navajo weaving is popular partially because its stylistic changes through time to faithfully mirror the social, economic, and political history of the Navajo people themselves.

Gustave Baumann, Cochiti Ensemble, woodblock print, 1947
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Traditional Western Art - Gustave Baumann

A woodblock print by master engraver and printmaker Gustave Baumann, Cochiti Ensemble, joins the group of tradition western art. This work, which is in its original frame, is representative of Baumann’s exceptional craftsmanship and iconography. He headed for Taos, New Mexico to visit artist friends, Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins, where intended only to visit, but ended up living in Santa Fe for over 50 years until his death in 1971. Baumann ultimately wrote and illustrated the book Frijoles Canyon Pictographs, which contained his woodcut images of the sacred Indian pictographs of northern New Mexico.

Native American Artifacts - Yavapai Basket and Blackfoot Moccasins

The notable collection of Native American artifacts includes a stunning Yavapai figurative basket, created circa 1900. This basket features snakes, deer, and humans, and has negative designs of made of Devils Claw and Willow. It joins with an excellent and historic pair of beaded moccasins from the Blackfoot tribe, created around 1775. These are beautiful artifacts made of brain-tanned leather and representative of an earlier era.

Spanish Colonial Furniture - Cuzco Armario

This one-of-a-kind masterpiece of a Spanish Colonial Armario was likely carved by Peruvian artisans at the commission of a wealthy patron from the Spanish ruling class. Created in Cuzco circa the 18th century, the monumental piece has an intriguing combination of imagery from its hybrid influences. It was likely used to store and display valuable objects such as silver tableware or religious ceremonial objects.

Native American Textiles - Shiprock Yei

This Shiprock Yei Navajo Textile exhibits an especially beautiful white background Yei with decorative ceremonial figures, corn stalks, and Rainbow Goddess. It was created between 1925 and 1930, and pictorials have always been a favorite item of the tourist trade. The Yei rugs which display a row of ceremonial figures are often surrounded by the Rainbow Goddess. Although these weavings have no particular religious connotation, they are highly appealing as Navajo art. The Navajos have always incorporated items in their life into their pictorials, and their daily scenes of life on the Reservation are especially popular.

The Curator’s Eye is the distinctive online platform for the finest art and antiques from distinguished dealers around the world. To view more exceptional items from the American West, visit  

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