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Walter Ufer (American, 1876-1936)

Paintings

Birth Place: Huckeswagen, Germany

Biography:

Who is painter Walter Ufer?

Walter Ufer was an American painter and member of the Taos Society of Artists. For over 40 years he painted portraits of the inhabitants of the American Southwest, most notably the Pueblo Indians. Ufer was also a social activist, who helped victims of the 1918 flu epidemic and collected money for striking miners in nearby Madrid, New Mexico. Ufer’s ability to paint light and shadow was almost preternatural, stemming from a mastery of the high-key palette.

It wasn’t until Walter Ufer was in his 50s, sometime during the 1920s when he began to experience critical success. He famously showed at the Carnegie International, which almost immediately led to his induction in the National Academy of Design. These days Ufer’s pieces hang at some of the most prestigious art galleries and museums in the world including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, and the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House.

What kind of art does Walter Ufer make?

Walter Ufer was best known for his portraits of the people of the American Southwest, most often featuring the Pueblo Indians. These paintings showed great command of color and light, using mid-tone hues and whites in beautiful blends to show the special light that permeates New Mexico. Ufer’s paintings fit in aesthetically with the other artists at Taos, and he became one of the famed “Taos Ten”, known nationally for their social and political art. Ufer was extremely politically active, using his art as an extension of his activism. His love for the people of the American Southwest showed through in his art, giving us realistic and empathetic pieces that stir great emotions to this day.

How did painter Walter Ufer get started?

While Walter Ufer was born in Germany in 1876, his family almost immediately immigrated to Louisville, Kentucky where the artist spent his formative years. As a young man, he took an apprenticeship with a lithographer. His talents were evident early on, so he went to Europe to find work as a traveling journeyman. He trained in Hamburg and Dresden before returning to America to work in a print shop. Ufer also taught school at this time. After a brief stay in Chicago, he returned to Munich for a time to study but ultimately ended up in Taos in 1914. There he joined the famous “Taos Ten” and lived the remainder of his years in that community, creating art and staying politically active.

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How much are Walter Ufer paintings worth?

Most Walter Ufer paintings range from $15,000 upwards. The most ever paid for a Walter Ufer painting at auction is $1,497,000 for the piece The Gateway (1918) which sold on May 21st, 2008. Ufer is a noted American artist, and his reputation is buoyed thanks to his activity in the Taos Ten. There are many avid collectors of his work and his paintings typically reflect that value. To that end, Ufer paintings have sold for over a million dollars five times.

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Where to buy Walter Ufer paintings for sale?

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

How to value Walter Ufer 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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Walter Ufer Original Art values sold at auction

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