Lot 307: BROWNING, GEORGE WESLEY (1868-1951). Collection of 134 loose sketches of natural history and landscape subjects.
December 8, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: BROWNING, GEORGE WESLEY (1868-1951). Collection of 134 loose sketches of natural history and landscape subjects. Primarily in watercolor, graphite and ink, many signed in monogram and dated, various sizes; with a cloth bound sketchbook containing 18 leaves of fine charcoal and graphite sketches. [American West, 1880''s-1890''s]
A Utah native, George Wesley Browning spent his career as an accountant for the Rio Grande Western Railway from 1890-1938, but ever maintaining an artist''s heart. Though his friends and influences include fellow Utah painters J.B. Fairbanks and John Hafen, Browning was a self-taught artist. He was also an amateur botanist and entomologist of local repute, roving the wilderness gathering specimens and filling his sketchbooks. "Browning was a weekend painter, although the quality of his work argues that he was much more developed than a casual novice." (Olpin, Painters of the Wasatch Mountains, p. 233). Indeed, he exhibited his work at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905 and later in life with a solo exhibition at the Art Barn in 1944.
The present archive of drawings reveals Browning''s skillful ability to record the minute details of insect anatomy, but also with the soft touch of an almost impressionistic landscape painter.