Top Selling Painting by Harry Davis reaches final bid of $7,000The top selling oil painting at the 2014 November art auction in Indianapolis was a 20x16 Oil painting from artist Harry Allen Davis (1914 – 2006) that reached a final bid of $7,000. Harry earned a fine arts degree from the Herron School of art in 1938 and in the same year won the coveted Prix de Rome in painting. The scholarship allowed him to continue his studies at the American Academy in Rome and travel around Europe sketching and painting in order to refine his skills. In 1942 Harry enlisted in the Army designing camouflage in North Africa and later was assigned as a combat artist with the Fifth Army Historical Unit in Italy. After serving in Italy from 1944 to 1946, Harry returned to the US and taught at the Herron School of Art. Teaching there until he retired in 1983. Two other Harry Davis paintings were offered to bidders including a 16x24 painting titled “Drilling Rig” which brought $1,100. The other titled “In Dry Dock Gloucester”, 1949 was a Hoosier Salon Entry and measured 16x24 sold for $1,000.
A nice Harbor scene by the Monon railroad worker Leroy (Roy) Trobaugh (1878 – 1955) measured 34 x 40, signed lower right and exceeded the $1,500 - $4,000 estimate by reaching a final price of $4,750. Roy painted in his spare time and traveled on his free railroad pass to paint around the United States. He never considered himself a professional painter and only took a few classes when enrolled at the Art Students League (ASL) in 1902. He left the ASL in 1902 returning to Dephi, Indiana where he spent the rest of his life as a Monon employee and artist. His work was accepted into the many regional exhibitions such as the Hoosier Salon and the Brown County Art Gallery.
With a large selection of paintings from Dutch born artist Derk Smit (1889 1985) , collectors were offered a variety of subjects available for purchase. Born in the Netherlands, Derk and his family immigrated to the United States in 1914 settling in Chicago. Prior to signing up for the US Military during WWI, Derk studied at the Chicago Art Institute. Once the War was over he opened an interior decorating company and continued paint, making many trips to Indiana and the Brown County area. Derk was a member of the Chicago Painters and Sculptors Association, Brown County Art Gallery Association and the Indiana Artists Club. Derk moved to California in the mid 1950’s where he lived until his death in 1984. Of the approximately 15 paintings by the artist the top seller was a 18x24, SLR oil painting depicting a Southwestern village scene that reached a final bid of $800. The second best seller was a 24x28 oil, signed lower right Coastal scene that reach $700. At the lower end were a couple of small oil paintings, one 6x7 and a 6x8, selling for $75 each.
Indiana Art Values
Arnold Turtle, 9.5x11.5, Mixed Media, SLL 1943, street scene sold for $1,000
November 23, 2014 auction values provided by Indiana Art Online
Homer G. Davisson, 20x24, O/B, SLL, landscape sold for $1,500
Louise Woodroofe, 8x10, O/B SLR, titled "The Market" sold for $800
Ruth Bahls, 28x24, O/B, SLR '36, City Scene sold for $700
George Baum, 20x24, O/C, SLR, Landscape sold for $200
Paul Raney, 24x30, O/B, SLR, Floral Still Life sold for $125