William Wendt (1865-1946) The Higher Altitudes 40 x 50in overall: 50 x 60in (Painted circa 1913)
Lot 53
William Wendt
(1865-1946)
The Higher Altitudes 40 x 50in overall: 50 x 60in
Sold for US$ 93,750 inc. premium

Lot Details
William Wendt (1865-1946)
The Higher Altitudes
signed 'WILLIAM WENDT·' and dated indistinctly (lower right)
oil on canvas
40 x 50in
overall: 50 x 60in
Painted circa 1913

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc. (d/b/a Des Moines Art Center), Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1941.
    Sotheby's New York, American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, May 24, 1990, no. 127.
    Private collection, Southern California.

    Exhibited
    Los Angeles, Pictures by William Wendt and Jean Mannheim, Friday Morning Club, February 7 to March 7, 1914.
    Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Twenty-Seventh Annual Exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture, November 3 to December 6, 1914, no. 328.
    Corcoran Gallery, Fifth Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Contemporary Artists, December 15, 1914 to January 24, 1915, no. 65.

    Literature
    Antony Anderson, "Art and Artists," Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1914, p. III4.
    The Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture, Chicago, 1914, n.p.
    John Lane, "Thumb-Nail Notes on the Annual Exhibition of the Chicago Art Institute," International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, December 1914, Vol. LIV, No. 214, p. LV.
    John Alan Walker, Documents on the Life and Art of William Wendt (1865-1946), California's Painter Laureate of the Paysage moralisé, Big Sur, 1992, no. 281, p. 153.

    William Wendt visited the West coast as early as 1894, but traveled extensively throughout both coasts and Europe, with Chicago as his home base until he established residency in Los Angeles in 1906.1 While he and his artist wife Julia Bracken Wendt continued to participate in exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago over the next few years, they became firmly established in the Los Angeles plein air scene. They were original members of the California Art Club in 1910. Wendt was a loyal supporter of the CAC, exhibiting almost every year between 1910-1938 and serving as president for the years of 1911-1914, 1917, and 1918.2

    In the early 1910s, Wendt largely painted local landscapes such as Topanga Canyon and the Cahuenga Pass, with the exception of two painting trips in the South- and Northwest: The Grand Canyon in 1910, and Washington state in 1913. While little is known about what precipitated either of these travels, the present work likely dates to circa 1913 when Wendt spent the summer painting snow-capped views of Mt. Rainier, which he showed nationally.3

    In a review of the show which was likely this work's debut, Antony Anderson described Wendt's 'notable pictures' as 'large, serious, deliberate, carefully thought out from start to finish. The result is quiet massiveness, the brooding bigness of nature in skies, hills, and mountains. And his technique has the sureness which comes from thought and knowledge...he may be called a painter's painter.'4

    1 Janet Blake, Will South, and Jean Stern, In Nature's Temple: The Life and Art of William Wendt, Irvine: The Irvine Museum, 2008, p. 233, 239.
    2 Ibid, p. 242, 243.
    3 Ibid, p. 246, 247.
    4 Antony Anderson, "Art and Artists," Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1914, p. III4.
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