Gerard Curtis Delano (1890-1972)
The Trail Ahead
oil on canvas
30 × 36 inches
signed lower right
Sold at Auction: $409,500
Condition ReportOriginal canvas, surface condition excellent, no visual restoration.
Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
In My Life As An Artist, Delano wrote in part, “At eighteen I submitted a pen-and-ink drawing to the then children’s magazine, St. Nicholas. This magazine offered gold and silver badges for the best and second-best drawings by teenagers, and an honorable mention for the third-best entrant. My drawing didn’t win either a gold or a silver badge, but the magazine did publish it with an honorable mention. The town librarian, Mary Allen, saw the drawing in the magazine and when she next met me, she complimented me on it and asked me what I wanted to do in life. ‘Well I’d like to be an artist,’ I said, ‘but my folks don’t think that’s a practical thing. They say that my Uncle Jim has painted lots of pictures, but has never made a dollar at it.’ ‘Well,’ Miss Allen said, ‘if I were you, I would go ahead and be an artist.’”
According to Richard G. Bowman, “Delano obviously had great confidence in his abilities and no fear of tackling a difficult idea or something out of the ordinary. He was always the painter, the designer, not the historical reporter. His portrayals of historic subject matter were more in the spirit of the myth and romance of that era and its characters.
“More of a poet than a realist, he used bits and pieces of the real world, but transformed and manipulated them into his own personal form of expression, inviting the viewer to explore, to dream, and to participate. His work is popular not because it leans toward the nineteenth-century traditions of Western art. Its strength lies in his very personal vision of Western history…. His was a vision unencumbered or obstructed by the camera or preconceived thought.”
The Collection of Bill Green
Richard G. Bowman, Walking With Beauty, The Art and Life of Gerard Curtis Delano (Denver, Colorado: Richard G. Bowman, 1990), page 25, illustrated