LOT 289

Olaf C. Seltzer


Crow Scouting Party

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 20 x 30 inches

Signed and dated 1912 lower right


SOLD FOR: $81,900.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

As the story goes, on March 19, 1897, 19-year-old Olaf C. Seltzer strutted through the Silver Dollar Saloon in Great Falls, Montana, to meet a man he had been idolizing—Charles M. Russell. It was Russell’s 33rd birthday, but he was not too preoccupied to compliment the younger artist and some of his work that was hanging around Great Falls at the time. The two painters maintained a strong friendship for the rest of Russell’s life. On reflection after his friend and mentor’s passing in 1926, Seltzer said, “From that time on for 24 years…we enjoyed a continuous friendship and close associations…That raw March day in 1897 when we first met was no doubt a turning point in my life…By reason of that meeting and the subsequent association, my future was to a great extent molded.”

Much discussion has taken place over the course of the last century about the similarity of Seltzer’s work to that of Russell’s, but the two artists were friendly with each other and Russell’s reaction to Seltzer’s painting style was one of encouragement for the younger artist and flattery that another painter would admire his work so dearly. Today, collectors of their works marvel not at their similarities, but their differences. Each had his own painting style, subjects and ways of composing a scene. Although their works are linked by their friendship, both are collected on their own merit. “He once said, ‘If there is anything of lasting value in my art, it will survive. If not, it will perish,’” writes Larry Len Peterson in his book The American West Reimagined. “He would be happy to know that him and his art—2,500 oil and watercolor paintings—were not forgotten.”


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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

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