Historic painting with links to JFK and LBJ will be auctioned Nov. 16-17 in Austin, Texas

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Historic painting with links to JFK and LBJ will be auctioned Nov. 16-17 in Austin, Texas
Historic oil on canvas painting by Porfirio Salinas (Texas, 1910-1973), created to be presented to President John F. Kennedy at the LBJ ranch on Nov. 23, 1963 (est. $75,000-$125,000).

AUSTIN, TX.- An historic oil on canvas painting by the renowned Texas artist Porfirio Salinas (1910-1973), created to be presented to President John F. Kennedy at Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s ranch on Nov. 23, 1963 – the day after JFK’s assassination – is the headliner lot in an auction planned for November 16th and 17th by Austin Auction Gallery, online and in the gallery.

The auction date is close to the 56th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination – November 22nd, 1963. The painting is not only a work of art by an accomplished Texas painter, it is an historic artifact with connections to two former U.S. Presidents and one of the most seminal dates in U.S. history. Porfirio Salinas, incidentally, was Lyndon Johnson’s favorite artist and a personal friend. He hung canvases by Salinas at his Texas ranch and even in his private suite at the White House.

Kennedy was scheduled to visit the LBJ ranch on the evening of November 22nd, following a planned fundraising dinner in Austin. It was at the ranch that Salinas had intended to personally present the painting to Kennedy as a gift, at a barbecue event the next day. The painting still has the original plaque stating it was a present from Salinas. A second, later plaque reflects on the assassination.

The painting, a landscape titled Rocky Creek, is signed lower left and measures 20 inches by 25 inches (sight). The overall size, with the frame, is 29 ¼ inches by 33 ½ inches. It has a pre-sale estimate of $75,000-$125,000. A second work by Salinas, a signed, framed oil on canvas titled Bluebonnets and Live Oaks, 29 ¼ inches by 35 ½ inches (sight), should bring $30,000-$40,000.

Porfirio Salinas was a landscape artist recognized for his depictions of the Texas Hill Country in springtime. He was one of the first Mexican American artists to become nationally recognized for his paintings. Works by him are displayed in the Texas State Capitol, the Texas Governor’s Mansion, the Witte Museum in San Antonio and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

The Salinas paintings are part of a fabulous art collection that will also come up for bid, featuring original artworks by noted, listed painters such as G. Harvey, A.D. Greer, Robert Wood, Gerald McCann, Robert Harrison, Peter Hohnstedt, Carl Smith, C.P. Montague and Joe Rader Roberts.

A few expected top achievers in the original artwork category include the following paintings:

• A framed oil on canvas painting by Texas artist G. Harvey (1933-2017), titled Stray Heifers, signed at Austin and dated 1969 lower left, with the tags of G. Harvey Gallery on verso and measuring 20 inches by 24 inches (sight) (est. $15,000-$20,000).

• A framed oil on canvas by the famous French artist Edouard Cortes (1882-1969), titled Louvre Seine Quai, signed lower right and verified as authentic with registration number 36374 by the archives of Arnot Galleries in New York City, measuring 13 inches by 18 inches (est. $12,000-$18,000).

• A framed oil on canvas by Peter Hohnstedt (Texas/Ohio, 1871/72-1957), titled Texas Hill Country, signed lower left and with the label of Milam Galleries in San Antonio on verso, measuring approximately 29 inches by 35 inches (less the frame) (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Co-headlining the auction will be items from the estate of Alfred A. King (1916-2006), the great-grandson of Captain Richard King, founder of the now-825,000-acre Texas King Ranch. The estate features a fantastic collection of Native American and Southwestern jewelry, including pieces by Frank Patania, Sr. (Italian-American, 1899-1964), and an equally incredible collection of sterling silver and New Mexico art, including works by Theodore Van Soelen, Freemont Ellis, Bernique Longley, Agnes Sims, Miki Hayakawa, Cliff Bahnimptewa and Norma Bassett Hall.

Native American jewelry will feature a Modernist silver ring with multi-stone inlays by Charles Loloma (Hopi, 1921-1991), with a shaped silver frame having coral, lapis and other inlays with silver and yellow gold spacers, marked to the interior (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a silver stamped bracelet bearing a picto-hallmark for Frank Vacit (Zuni, 1915-1999), the Rainbow God, in turquoise and jet channel inlay, on a large circular bezel with a stamped cuff (est. $800-$1,200).

Also offered will be a Modernist gold-plated bronze over wire sculptural pendant, untitled, hand-signed on the tag “Lassaw” (Ibram Lasaw, 1913-2003), hung from a 16-inch-long gilt wire necklace (est. $1,000-$3,000); and a Native American carved shell figure by Leo Poblano (Zuni, 1905-1959), made circa 1928, depicting a robed Native American dancer with turquoise earrings and a necklace, with raised lace, about 3 ½ inches by 2 ¼ inches (est. $400-$600).

The pieces by Frank Vacit and Leo Poblano were purchased at the Sotheby’s auction of the C G Wallace collection. Wallace was an important figure in Native American jewelry as he worked in the early 20th century with the Zuni Pueblo jewelry makers to refine their production for sale to the new tourist flow coming to the West and Southwest. In 1975 a portion of his collection was transferred to the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The balance was sold at auction through Sotheby’s.

The wonderful jewelry creations of Frank Patania, Sr. will feature a Modernist sterling silver necklace, hallmarked, with graduated alternating scrolls and drops with serrated bezel-set turquoise stones (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a Modernist sterling silver jewelry suite, all hallmarked sterling, comprising a necklace with staggered lapis lazuli drops, tube beads, a hook closure and screw-back earrings with lapis lazuli drops (est. $3,000-$4,000).

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