LOT 298

John Clymer


Welcoming the Trade Boat

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 30 x 60 inches

Signed and dated 1978 lower right; Accompanied by:"The West of John Clymer" book, illustrated on pg. 51

Signed and titled verso


SOLD FOR: $555,750.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, OK, 1991
National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, WY
Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA

The West of John Clymer, Walt Reed, National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 1991: p. 51.

The mythmaking of John Clymer and his storied career began almost immediately after the artist died in 1989. By 1991, a major exhibition would launch at what was then the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, then traveling to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Autry Museum of the American West. The West of John Clymer was not only a celebration of the artist’s life and career, but a deep examination of why his work was charged with such power and authenticity, and why it resonated with so many viewers. Welcoming the Trade Boat—along with another work in this sale, Wood Smoke Tale—was part of the exhibition, one filled with many masterworks from the great illustrator and artist.

“Painted in a representational style, with painstaking attention to detail and historical accuracy, Clymer’s historical works possess a depth and finish that distinguish them from his earlier magazine illustrations. Even so, the artist remained true to many of the precepts taught by the incomparable Harvey Dunn and handed down from the dean of illustrators, Howard Pyle. These men and others imbued Clymer with the belief that, no matter the subject, quality art reflected both imagination and emotion. It is precisely these qualities that lend universality to canvases often linked to specific times, places and people,” wrote B. Byron Price, then the executive director of the museum, in the exhibition’s catalog. “…As Americans we are drawn to John Clymer’s work because it inspires us, because it confirms our tribal saga. Full of truth as well as fact, his paintings ought also to give us pause for more than sentimental reflection. After all, there are still new worlds to explore and majestic landscapes to save. Ordinary people can still act heroically and respond to adversity with dignity. Historic injustices can still be set right. John Clymer’s legacy is more than paint on canvas. It is the common ground that unites us all as human beings.”


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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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