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    FRED DARGE (1900-1978)
    Old Pedro the Goat Herder
    Oil on linen
    36in. x 30in.
    Signed lower right
    Signed and titled verso

    Fred Darge received his training at two of the most prestigious art schools in the United States: The Art Institute of Chicago and the Arts Students League in New York. His first job was as a commercial artist, but he was soon unemployed because of the deepening Great Depression. Displaced and out of work, Darge moved to San Antonio to be nearer to West Texas. He had toured West Texas in 1929, and was determined to further explore the area and its artistic possibilities.

    In 1935, Darge moved to Dallas. He would spend the warm months traveling in West Texas between Big Bend, El Paso, the Davis Mountains, and northward into New Mexico. The cold months would then be spent finishing the paintings he had started earlier in the year.

    Darge became the foremost chronicler of ranch life in Texas. After World War II, he purchased an old ambulance and converted it into a mobile studio, spending 1946 to 1978 traveling and painting throughout Texas and New Mexico.

    Darge's exhibition record includes: Union League Club, Chicago (1928 and 1929 purchase prizes); Art Institute of Chicago (1931, 1933); Witte Memorial Museum, San Antonio (1934); San Antonio Local Artists Annual Exhibition (1934-35); Texas Centennial Exposition, Dallas (1936); Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition, Dallas (1937); Annual Allied Arts Exhibition, Dallas (1937-38), 1941-43, 1945 award, 1947 honorable mention, 1948-49, 1950 award); Annual Texas Artists Exhibition, Fort Worth (1937); Harry Z. Lawrence Galleries, Dallas (1939); Annual Exhibition of the State Fair of Texas, Dallas (1939); Annual Exhibition of the State Fair of Texas, Dallas (1939); Feragil Art Galleries, New York (1940);Texas-Oklahoma General Exhibition (1941); Texas General Exhibition (1941, 1944); Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (1941, 1944, and 1947 one-man, 1949); Texas Artists Circuit Exhibition (1941); Corpus Christi Caller Times Annual Exhibition (1944-48); Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin (1948 one-man); Texas Painting and Sculpture Annual Exhibition (1955); Southwestern Prints and Drawings Annual Exhibition, Dallas (1951); Texas Technological College Art Museum, Lubbock (1966 one-man); Painters of Texas 1900-1950, Museums of Abilene (1989); Survey of Texas Artists 1890-1990, Longview Museum and Arts Center (1991); Hock Shop Collection: Rediscovering Texas Artists of the Past, Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine (1997); Visions of Texas: 1900-1950, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont (1997); Dallas Painting 1889-1945, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas (1999).

    This painting is undeniably one of Fred Darge's masterpieces. Travel to his beloved Big Bend area took Darge through the Edwards Plateau and Ft. Davis, which were the most prolific sheep and goat ranching areas of the United States. It is evident Darge was wholly sympathetic to the stock man. The shepherds life, simple, close to the land, and under wide open skies, was something Fred Darge idealized.

    The painting is visually rich. Dramatic low clouds skirt the very tops of the hills. The undulating hills set up a visual rhythm across the picture plane. The clumps of bushes on the hills and in the valley provide a decorative tapestry-like pattern across the surface of the canvas. The goats add additional color and texture to the composition.

    The "Pastor" is a peaceful man without gun or weapon. He has known each of his flock from birth, and cared and protected them. Pedro has aged, but his eyes are bright and his posture sure and erect. This is Fred Darge's hero, one with the land and one with his animals.

    Condition Report*: Excellent condition with no restorations, no losses, original canvas with lining. Pristine! Period frame in excellent condition.
    *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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    19th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,274

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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