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    Description

    ELMER BOYD SMITH (Canadian-American, 1860-1943)
    Haycocks, Brittany, France, circa 1890s
    Oil on canvas laid on masonite
    10 x 13 inches (25.4 x 33.0 cm)

    THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST

    PROVENANCE:
    Sotheby Parke-Bernet, Chicago, Illinois, sale #565, June 3, 1981;
    Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York;
    Vose Galleries of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts;
    Sessions Hootsell American Paintings, Natchez, Mississippi (labels verso).

    Landscapes featuring flat newly-mown fields dotted with haystacks held particular appeal for collector Graham Williford, who grew up in Texas on his family's extensive ranchlands. He owned many examples of this motif, especially by Americans working in France, and the current auction features seven of them. This remarkable, nearly iridescent painting of two monumental haystacks is the work of Canadian-born artist, Elmer Boyd Smith, who was raised in Boston, and trained as a painter and draftsman in Paris at the Academie Julien in Paris under Boulanger and Lefebvre before eventually settling in Wilton, Connecticut. While living abroad, Smith absorbed a wide swath of influences ranging from the muted, mystery-laden palette and epic vision of French muralist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes to the dashing graphic shorthand of poster artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He based My Village (1896), the first of the more than seventy books he illustrated for adults and children, on his summer sojourns in the village of Valombre, near Paris. Like so many artists of his generation, Smith, being acutely aware of living in a time of breathtaking technological and social change, dedicated himself in part to documenting aspects of the everyday world that he knew to be on the verge of disappearing forever. Smith established himself as a book illustrator upon his return from France, working for the august Boston house, Houghton Mifflin. In early 1900, he went West sketching Indians and herders. Smith illustrated books by Andy Adams ("Log of a Cowboy") and Mary Austin ("Land of Little Rain") insuring his reputation as a western artist. Among the titles of children's books he both wrote and illustrated are: "The Story of Noah's Ark," "The Chicken World," and "Pocahontas and Captain John Smith."





    Condition Report*: Under UV examination there is no evidence of any restoration. More recent varnish. Very good condition. Framed Dimensions 15.5 X 18.5 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2013
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 994

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