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    JOE BEELER (American, 1931-2006)
    Trail Driving Days
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm)
    Signed lower left: Joe Beeler
    Titled on stretcher: Trail Driving Days

    One of the pioneers of modern American Western Art, Joe Beeler was equally at ease with both the sculptor's clay and the painter's palette. He was also equally at ease in his studio in Sedona, Arizona, as he was mounted on his horse with lariat in hand. Like many of his contemporaries, Beeler bridged the gap between the world of the artist and that of the working cowboy. Along with John Hampton, Charlie Dye, and George Phippen, Beeler was a founder of the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). He grew up in Oklahoma, graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Kansas State Teacher's College, and received further artistic training at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. One of his first jobs in the art world was as an illustrator for the University of Oklahoma Press.

    He was given a one-man exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1960 and has since exhibited in numerous museums, including the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Montana Historical Society in Helena, Montana. He is one of only a few artists who received the top honor from the CAA in both sculpting and painting. Beeler helped guide the CAA for four decades and was an active member of the group at the time of his death in 2006. He literally died in the saddle, suffering a heart attack while roping calves on his ranch.

    Beeler's work spans many facets and eras of the West, from early nineteenth century buffalo hunts to modern ranching. Rope Trouble and Trail Driving Days illustrate his ability to move between historic and modern scenes, while keeping a sense of the continuity that connects the cowboys of the 19th century and their modern day counterparts. Beeler used his first hand knowledge of a cowboy's routine activities to portray that life with accuracy and authenticity. Even though paintings like Rope Trouble and Trail Driving Days portray cowboys a century apart, Beeler is able to convey convincingly that much of the work of an historic cowboy is the same as that done by his modern counterpart. Rope Trouble is a dramatic reminder that even the most routine tasks, such as roping a steer, are fraught with danger. Trail Driving Days takes a more nostalgic look at the Old West portraying a lone cowboy at the head of a long line of steers fording a river. As the cowboy glances back over his shoulder toward the herd, he seems to be both monitoring the progress of the herd and taking a backward look at days gone by.

    Condition Report*: 1/4 inch abraision lower left corner, and minor accretion in upper left quadrant, otherwise good 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
    December, 2009
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,424

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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