Two Western landscape paintings by Albert Bierstadt sold at the Coeur d'Alene weekend auction in Reno, Nevada, for a total of $4 million.
Bierstadt's 1890s oil "Mount Rainier," measuring 54 x 83 inches, fetched $2.1 million against a presale estimate of $1.5 million to $2.5 million. His 1863 "Lander's Peak, Wyoming" went for $1.9 million. Both works came from private collections.
From a single private collection, two paintings by Charles M. Russell—his 1892 "Water for Camp" and 1924 "A Dangerous Sport"—brought in nearly $1.5 million each. The former depicts a group of American Indians getting water from a stream, while the latter portrays two cowboys on horseback roping a struggling mountain lion.
The annual American and Western art auction offered more than 300 works which sold at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino for a total of about $17 million, well above last year's total of $9.2 million. Sales in 2009 hit $11.7 million, but lagged behind the pre-recession $37 million sales total in 2008.