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Catharine Carter Critcher (American, 1868-1964)

Paintings

Biography:

Catharine Carter Critcher was an American portrait painter and the only woman member admitted into the Taos Society of Artists. Born in Virginia and raised in Washington DC, Critcher studied at an early age with many of the best American artists of her time at the Corcoran School of Art. From there she began to do commissioned portraits for wealthy families in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and throughout Virginia. 

She traveled to Paris in 1904 to continue honing her art and developing her painting techniques. It was during this time that she became a tour guide for Americans visiting Paris. These connections led her to return to Corcoran where she began her teaching career. Eventually, she would leave, founding the Critcher school in 1919. The school developed curriculums around commercial art, focusing on many different styles and disciplines. In 1920 she began taking trips to Taos New Mexico, where she would unanimously gain entrance into the exclusive Taos Society of Artists. She would be the only woman ever elected to receive membership.

What type of art did Catharine Carter Critcher Create?

Catharine Carter Critcher was a painter and the only woman ever elected into the Taos Society of Artists. Her work - colorful, expressive paintings that pioneered new avenues for portrait and genre painters of the early 20th century are now widely respected and cherished - at the time weren’t always appreciated. She received only a small number of awards during her lifetime. 

How often do Catharine Carter Critcher paintings come up for auction?

Catharine Carter Crichter’s work is extremely rare, and as such doesn’t come up for auction that often. Recently there has been a re-assessment of Crichter’s work within the canon, so her paintings have experienced a recent renaissance. Her subjects, which often feature the American Southwest (and the people who lived there) make her work most popular domestically rather than abroad. 

How much is a Catharine Carter Critcher painting worth?

Catharine Carter Crichter’s paintings are worth several tens of thousands of dollars but have trended upward at recent auctions. Her piece, Indian Drummer (unknown) sold for over $200,000 at auction in 2016 -- more than double than the initial estimates. That being said, there is still a bargain to be had here, as some of her work has also gone below even the lowest estimates. 

Which Catharine Carter Critcher painting is the most valuable? 

The most valuable Catharine Carter Critcher painting is Indian Mystic (unknown), which sold for $254,500 at auction. An oil portrait painting of an old Native American woman with a somber expression, it exemplifies many of the themes and techniques that Critcher perfected throughout her lifetime. The haunting and evocative nature of the painting makes it easy to see why it is so popular. 

What are the most famous paintings by Catharine Carter Critcher? 

The most famous Catharine Carter Critcher painting is Indian Women Making Pottery (1924) which is currently featured in the Smithsonian. The aforementioned Indian Mystic (Unknown) is the most famous painting currently in a private collection. The Young Hunter (1924) is currently owned by the Taos Art Museum. All of these could be considered for a number of reasons to be the most famous or well-known painting by the artist. 

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Catharine Carter Critcher Original Art values sold at auction

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