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    Description

    Olin Travis (1888-1975)
    Mr. Fowler Oil Millionaire Van Texas 1930
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 25in.
    Signed lower right: Olin Travis (with turtle monogram)
    Attached verso: Exhibition label from Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Olin Travis, Texas Master, Exhibit No.16

    Jed Clampett and The Beverly Hillbillies was a 1960s fictional invention of Hollywood, but this painting depicts a real Jed Clampett borne out of Texas' oil boom days.

    Oil was struck on Elisha Fowler's farm in Van, Texas, ten days before the great stock market crash of 1929. Mr. Fowler, then 67 years old, was a poor farmer who became an instant millionaire. The remarkable thing about Mr. Fowler's newfound wealth, indicative of the Texas pioneer spirit, is that Mr. Fowler never changed his humble ways and simple life.

    Lured by the excitement of an oil boom so close to Dallas, Olin Travis traveled to Van, Texas in 1930 as the country slipped into depression. Travis recorded that Mr. Fowler never changed his frugal and hard working ways. In spite of his wealth, Mr. Fowler continued to raise chickens and sell the eggs in town for 10 cents per dozen. The oil boomtown that became Van, Texas, did not have adequate housing for the oil workers, so Mr. Fowler rented the extra room in his house for 50 cents per night.

    The companion piece to this painting is titled "Boomtown," and hangs in the Dallas Petroleum Club to this day.

    Source: Sam Blaine, Olin Travis biographer


    Estimate: $32,000 - $35,000.

    Condition Report*: Excellent condition, lined canvas, very minor inpainting, new hand-carved gold-leaf 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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 556

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