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Ed Moses (American, 1926-2018)

Paintings

Also known as:  Moses, Edward; Moses, Edward Branco

Birth Place: Long Beach, CA USA

Biography:

Who was painter Ed Moses?

Ed Moses was an American abstract painter whose work helped to define the postwar West Coast art movement. Starting in the 1950s, his work gained steam and popularity over the subsequent decades until eventually becoming one of the touchstones of the West Coast artist community. He was a brilliant painter, earnest teacher (working at the UC Irvine campus for several years), and a groundbreaking innovator. HIs painting brought him several recognitions and awards, including an endowment from the NEA in 1976 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980.

These days Moses’ work appears in some of the best and most prestigious institutions and collections in the world. He has paintings at the MoMA of New York, the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, The SF MoMA, and countless other institutions. He was given an honorary PHD from the Otis Art Institute in 1996 and has even received recognition for his lithography, winning the prestigious Tamarind Lithography Workshop Fellowship in 1968.

What kind of art did Ed Moses make?

Ed Moses was an experimental artist whose work was constantly changing and shifting over the course of his 50+ year career. His abstract paintings are often what he’s known for, but Moses also experimented in non-objective style paintings, cross-hatching, wood-panel paintings, and even abstract architectural designs. One through-line in his work -- Moses rarely used a brush to paint his work, instead choosing more tactile ways to apply color to the canvas. It isn’t rare to see a Moses piece covered in staining, knifing, or splashing colors. This application gives depth and feeling to the pieces, making them feel as vibrant and alive today as they did when Moses created them.

How did painter Ed Moses get started?

Ed Moses was born in Long Beach, California in 1926 to a single-parent household. He was raised by his mother, a full-time job on account of the young Moses’ tuberculosis recovery. He rarely went to school. During his sophomore year, Moses left high school to join the Navy. It wouldn’t be until he began classes at UCLA in 1949 that Moses would have his first art class. He went to school on and off for the next seven years, eventually earning a BFA in 1956 and an MFA in 1958. He got work as a technical illustrator in the 1960s which allowed him more freedom to pursue his artistic inclinations.

How much are Ed Moses paintings worth?

Ed Moses paintings have a wide range of worth, from about $1,200 on the low end to $100,000 on the high end. The most ever paid for an Ed Moses painting at auction was $100,000 (1971) on October 20th, 2019. It went for nearly double the high estimate, showing that there is a substantial interest in Ed Moses’ paintings going forward. Collectors would be wise to check in on any pieces that become available. Several of Moses’ pieces have gone for significantly more than their pre-auction estimates in recent years.

Where to buy Ed Moses paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Ed Moses paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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Ed Moses Original Art values sold at auction

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