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William Robinson Leigh’s Indian Rider leads Heritage art sale

An iconic work by the renowned American artist William Robinson Leigh will lead the line-up of Heritage Auctions’ spring American Art Auction in Dallas.
Painted in 1918, Indian Rider depicts a Native American racing through the desert on horseback, and is regarded as Leigh’s masterwork. Having remained in a private collection for almost a century, the work will now be offered publically for the first time and is expected to sell for more than $400,000.

The work is just one of many making its auction debut in the forthcoming auction, which features a superb selection of Western & California art alongside original illustration art from the likes of Norman Rockwell and LeRoy Neiman.

"This auction defines the term ‘fresh to market’," said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art. "The selection we’ve assembled includes fresh works never before seen at auction – many of which embody the height of these artists’ talents. For institutions and advanced collectors, this is a must-watch sale."

Two important Rockwell works are also expected to fetch six-figure sums.

First up is his original promotional artwork for the 1960 Jerry Lewis film ‘Cinderfella’, one of only a handful of movie posters Rockwell ever produced during his career. Lewis hand-picked Rockwell to create the artwork, stating "My whole idea was to get an icon in the world of art and have that icon sell the movie", and he was right – the movie was a hit, and the artwork is now valued at $300,000-$500,000.

The second important Rockwell work is Portrait of a Young Boy, dated circa 1955 and estimated at $100,000-$150,000. According to Lehmann, "Portrait of a Young Boy personifies post-World War II mainstream values of wholesomeness, good manners, and a clean-cut appearance. Besides being just a wonderful representation of idealism, hard work, and family, the portrait is rare in that it was never published and could be an early study for one of Rockwell’s most successful campaigns, the "Look, Mom, no Cavities!" ads for Crest toothpaste."

Amongst the most notable Western and California artworks on offer are Ernest Bluemenschein’s Aspen in the Square, estimated at $150,000-$250,000; Leon Gaspard’s Festival of the Eagles, estimated at $60,000-$80,000; Birger Sandzens’ Lake at Sunset, Colorado, valued at $300,000-$400,000; and Maurice Braun’s Autumn, estimated at $50,000-$70,000.

The Heritage Auctions spring American Art Auction takes place in Dallas on Saturday May 7.

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