Posts Tagged ‘ Jimmy Swinnerton ’

John Hilton and the Smoketree Gang

Editor’s note–In anticipation of Kathi Hilton’s visit to Palm Desert March 17-20, 2017, we’re featuring Dan Rohlfing’s article about Kathi’s dad, John Hilton, and his own Wild Bunch of friends. John Hilton, who died in 1983, ran with a circle that included Agnes Pelton, Clyde Forsythe, Maynard Dixon, Bill Bender, Nicolai Fechin, Desert Magazine editor Randall Henderson, Zane Grey and others. The article–reprinted from Dan and Linda Rohlfing’s Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery newsletter–shows how the Smoketree School‘s strength was based not on individual celebrity but on a web of relationships. The friends spanned the fields of government, journalism, Hollywood, literature,…

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Gary Fillmore on Appraising Desert Art

Gary Fillmore on Appraising Desert Art

Ed. intro: “I have a Conrad Buff that belonged to my stepdad’s mother…” “I found a Val Samuelson in my brother’s condo…” People write to this website all the time with questions about found art. The inquiries break down into two categories: “Can you tell me more about the artist?” And “What is it worth?” I love the first category because it often leads to the discovery of neglected desert artists. The juiciest queries have a seed of a story attached: “I have a painting that was given to my great aunt who lived in Mecca since 1914 when her…

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Jimmy Swinnerton and Bill Bender in Monument Valley

Ed. Note: Gary Fillmore’s’ new book Shadows on the Mesa explores the interactions of artists who visited the Wetherill-Colville Guest Ranch in Arizona in the early 1900s. Among them are painters who also worked in the Coachella Valley: Clyde Forsythe, Carl Eytel, Ferdinand Burgdorff, Maynard Dixon, Guy Rose and others. Many artists made regular pilgrimages from the California desert to the Arizona Navajo lands. In this excerpt, Gary Fillmore looks at two such pilgrims: Jimmy Swinnerton and Bill Bender. James Swinnerton spent every year from 1906 until the late 1950s in much the same fashion. In 1938 his fifth wife,…

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An Appraiser Looks at Swinnerton

Ed. Note:  Santa Barbara art historian, curator and appraiser Alissa J. Anderson has a special affinity for desert paintings. She grew up in Lake Arrowhead and made frequent trips to Palm Springs as a youth. “I love the austerity of the desert,” she says. “That atmosphere. That silence. I love Swinnerton in particular. He captures the same loneliness that Edward Hopper has in his cityscapes.” Many of Anderson’s clients, collectors of Western art, also pursue desert paintings.  In this article (it first appeared on Anderson’s blog), she appraises a Jimmy Swinnerton painting submitted by a reader. Swinnerton, a giant of…

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Jimmy’s Kiddies, Desert Lampmakers, Route 66 Art Museum and More

Arizona art dealer and author Gary Fillmore continues his absorbing Looking for Jimmy series, named for the former Palm Desert artist Jimmy Swinnerton. In a recent episode Gary solved the mystery of the Canyon Kiddies figurines. A woman phoned Gary a decade ago and said she had some Canyon Kiddies figurines Swinnerton had given to her late mother. (The Canyon Kiddies was Swinnerton’s popular comic strip circa 1922-1941.) It was only recently that Gary discovered the origin of the charming figures. Read the caper here and be on the lookout for these rare Kiddies in your local thrift store. https://lookingforjimmy.com/2017/01/28/now-back-to-jimmy/ Jimmy…

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Swinnerton Stash, Eric Merrell, Hwy 62 Art Tours, Mary Weatherford on Agnes Pelton and More

Swinnerton Stash, Eric Merrell, Hwy 62 Art Tours, Mary Weatherford on Agnes Pelton and More

When Alan and Lois Stoneman built a home at Thunderbird Country Club in 1960, they asked Jimmy Swinnerton to paint them a smoke tree (a favorite of Alan’s.) Swinny borrowed the throw pillows from the couple’s sofa to make the painting match the decor. Over the years the Stonemans acquired more work by their friend, Swinnerton. Now their son, Alan Stoneman, is looking for a home for all seven of his parents’ sketches and paintings, including a prized scene of Monument Valley. This is a rare opportunity to purchase an entire Swinnerton collection that comes with a direct personal link to the…

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Tony Foster, Carl Borg and More

With Desertscapes behind us for another year, the theme of desert-influenced art continues in these exhibits locally and elsewhere in the West. Sacred Places—Watercolour Diaries from the American Southwest opens  May 18, 2012 (through July 14) at Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. British adventure artist Tony Foster models all the “best practices” for plein air painters. He travels far into the wilderness, hiking 12-14 miles a day, in the style of early exploration artists. He keeps an expedition-style log and annotates his paintings with journal entries, as well as quartz crystals, glass beads, quail feathers, arrowheads and sand–all collected…

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Gary Fillmore Speaks in Palm Desert

Gary Fillmore Speaks in Palm Desert

Gary Fillmore, a well-known authority on Arizona and Western art, comes to Palm Desert on Friday,  April 23rd to speak on the painters Marjorie Reed, John Hilton and Jimmy Swinnerton. All three once lived and painted in the Coachella Valley. Fillmore, owner of the Blue Coyote Gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona (near Phoenix), is the author of an acclaimed biography on Reed “All Aboard: The Life and Work of Marjorie Reed” as well a book on Swinnerton: “Desert Horizons: Images of Jimmy Swinnerton’s Southwest”. Fillmore will be speaking at a location essential to the history of desert art. LG’s Prime…

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