R. Brownell McGrew (1916-1994) Bessie the Happy One 18 x 14in (Painted in 1971.)

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Lot 137
R. Brownell McGrew
(1916-1994)
Bessie the Happy One 18 x 14in

Sold for US$ 17,500 inc. premium
R. Brownell McGrew (1916-1994)
Bessie the Happy One
signed 'R Brownell McGrew' (lower left)
oil on panel
18 x 14in
Painted in 1971.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Collection of Robert "Bobby" Hillin, Sr., Midland, Texas.
    Sale, Texas Art Gallery, Dallas, Texas, September 17, 1983, lot 91.
    Acquired by the late owner from the above.

    Literature
    R.B. McGrew, R. Brownell McGrew: Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Presented by the Thunderbird Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri, 1978, p. 37, pl. 35, illustrated.
    D. Hedgpeth, New Western Images: The Hillin Collection of the Cowboy Artists of America, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1978, pp. 11, 90, illustrated.
    S.H. McGarry, Honoring The Western Tradition: The L.D. "Brink" Brinkman Collection, Kerrville, Texas, 2003, p. 128, illustrated.

    In writing to L.D. Brinkman, the artist's wife identified the subject of the present work as Bessie, a young Navajo girl. Bessie, her siblings and father John modeled for a number of portraits completed by the artist throughout his career. McGrew was invited to their reservation on numerous occasions to share in traditional Native American ceremonies which became the inspiration and subjects for the artist's more elaborate genre scenes, one particular painting Kin-Nadl-Dah: Evening, from the collection of L.D. Brinkman, is also included in this auction. Bessie was a favorite model of McGrew's and in this letter she proclaimed, "The painting in your collection was done in 1971 and is one that he enjoys as it reflects her sunshiny disposition."1

    1 unpublished letter, 16 April 1990.
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