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    John Clymer (American, b. 1932)
    Visitors at Fort Clatsop, 1978
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 48 inches (61.0 x 121.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: John Clymer / 1978
    Signed and titled in a copyright notice adhered to the backing board


    Collection of William P. Sherman;
    Portage Route Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation;
    Jackson Hole Art Auction, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, September 14, 2013, lot 103;
    Private collection, Texas, acquired from the above.

    Prior to painting Visitors at Fort Clatsop, John Ford Clymer would have fully immersed himself in the historic details that would accurately convey this western narrative. Throughout his career as a highly successful illustrator for publications like the Saturday Evening Post, and later as an acclaimed member of the Cowboy Artists of America, Clymer developed an effective process for portraying the history of the American West accurately. First, he and his wife would painstakingly research the subject of the painting, down to the smallest details of setting, climate, and historic period. After completing their research, they would then travel to the proposed site for the painting to get a firsthand feeling of the area. That attention to historic detail and first-hand observation of the actual environment is what gives paintings like Visitors at Fort Clatsop such power and believability.

    Clymer's career in many ways parallels the development of the art of the American West in the twentieth century. Born in the Pacific Northwest, he showed a natural talent for drawing at an early age and sold his first illustrations when he was only sixteen. Later he studied with some of the true luminaries of the great age of American illustration, including Harvey Dunn. At that time, most artists who depicted the history of the West did so in the employ of magazines and book publishers. Clymer became one of the most sought after in that field. By the early 1960s, western art collectors increasingly began to branch out from buying works by historic artists to seeking paintings by living artists. Encouraged by this emerging market for western art, Clymer left his career as an illustrator and turned his attention towards painting the history of the West on a full-time basis. He was asked to join the Cowboy Artists of America early in that organization's development and became one of its most celebrated members.

    Clymer's popularity is not only based on his technical skill, but also on his skill as a good storyteller. Fort Clatsop was the winter encampment for the Corps of Discovery from December 1805 to March 1806, and now serves as a Unit of Lewis & Clark National and State Historical Parks. Visitors at Fort Clatsop is a vivid narrative that contains all the elements that collectors seek in Clymer's work-a masterfully rendered scene of the Indians timidly interacting with men stationed on their land in Oregon. Clymer lets the drama of the scene unfold before the viewer's eyes as the natives come towards the settlers with the offering of fish as a gift of peace. The painting is a classic example of Clymer's work which combines his talent as a figural and landscape artist, his knowledge of western history, and his prowess as a visual storyteller.

    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; two extremely thin and faint scuffs to the left edge of the canvas, only noticeable upon close inspection; there do not appear to be any signs of in-paint upon UV inspection.
    Framed Dimensions 35 X 58.5 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. 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
    July, 2020
    1st Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,149

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