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Tom Lea Sold at Auction Prices

Painter, Illustrator, Wall painter, b. 1907 - d. 2001

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      • Tom Lea 'And There He Was' Durango Cowboy Print
        Apr. 13, 2024

        Tom Lea 'And There He Was' Durango Cowboy Print

        Est: -

        Frame is in good condition. Frame measures approximately 23in x 26.5in. BH40056 SA

        EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
      • Tom Lea (1907-2001) - Drawing of a Matador Being Gored by a Bull
        Feb. 02, 2024

        Tom Lea (1907-2001) - Drawing of a Matador Being Gored by a Bull

        Est: $2,000 - $3,000

        Tom Lea (1907-2001) - Sketch of Goring, In Tom Lea's hand. Signed Tom Lea bottom of drawing. Framed dimensions 18.625" x 15.125", unframed dimensions 10" x 8".

        Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery & Auction
      • Tom Lea, Cattle Grazing
        Nov. 11, 2023

        Tom Lea, Cattle Grazing

        Est: $300 - $500

        Tom Lea (Texas, 1907-2001), cattle grazing, offset lithograph signed "Tom Lea, El Paso" in margin sight: 5.5 x 9.5 in., frame: 13 x 16.5 in. Provenance: Property from the personal estate collection of noted photographer and screenwriter William "Bill" Wittliff (1940-2019, USA), from his downtown Austin, Texas studio on Baylor Street, or his home in the nearby Tarrytown neighborhood; includes Certificate of Authenticity: Estate of Bill Wittliff We happily provide seamless shipping services on everything we sell. Please email us at [email protected] or call 210-971-5750 for more information.

        Vogt Galleries Texas
      • TOM LEA (1907-2001) "Fighter pilots back from a tough six-hour mission . . ." (WW2 / SOLDIERS)
        Dec. 15, 2022

        TOM LEA (1907-2001) "Fighter pilots back from a tough six-hour mission . . ." (WW2 / SOLDIERS)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        TOM LEA (1907-2001) "Fighter pilots back from a tough six-hour mission . . ." Grisaille watercolor on paper, 1943. Image measures 155x204 mm; 6x8 1/4 inches, on 9x12-inch sheet. Signed and dated "Tom Lea, Tunisia 1943" in image, lower right, signed and captioned in lower margin. Tipped to matte. The full caption reads "Fighter pilots back from a rough six-hour mission and gathered at Operations for interrogation have their own thoughts while they sweat out the possible return of the missing men of their squadron. Done on Cape Bon, Tunisia, in Africa, September 1943 / To Bill and Jo - with the affection of their friend, Tom Lea." Preserved paper from former frame back bears a clipped note in Lea's hand stating "In memory of Fergus Meek Jr. and his squadron." While Lea is best known for his cowboy and western imagery, his paintings and illustrations of war, created while a combat artist and journalist for Life Magazine, rank among the most powerful and collectible of his oeuvre. They are often achingly beautiful in their rawness. As Lea stated: "I did not report hearsay; I did not imagine, or fake, or improvise; I did not cuddle up with personal emotion, moral notion, or political opinion about War with a capital W. I reported in pictures what I saw with my own two eyes, wide open" (Huard, Paul H.; Historynet.com).

        Swann Auction Galleries
      • TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957,
        May. 21, 2022

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957,

        Est: $200 - $300

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957, comprising two boxed sets of The King Ranch, Tom Lea, published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston and Toronto, 1957, first edition, each two volume set 838 pages, designed and printed by Carl Hertzog; each set 9 1/2'' x 7 1/2'' x 3''. (4)

        Simpson Galleries, LLC
      • TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1967,
        May. 21, 2022

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1967,

        Est: $600 - $800

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1967, the two volume boxed set, the special "Saddle-Blanket" edition, Kingsville, 1967, from an edition of 3000 presentation copies, designed by Carl Hertzog; 9 3/4'' x 7 3/4'' x 3 3/4''.

        Simpson Galleries, LLC
      • TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957,
        May. 21, 2022

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957,

        Est: $200 - $300

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) TWO SETS OF BOOKS, "The King Ranch," 1957, comprising two boxed sets of The King Ranch, Tom Lea, published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston and Toronto, 1957, first edition, each two volume set 838 pages, designed and printed by Carl Hertzog, one set with the inscription, "Inscribed for Robert Suhler/ with all the best/ Tom Lea/ El Paso," and with accompanying letter from the author, a press clipping, and three unidentified photos of a boy; each set 9 1/2'' x 7 1/2'' x 3''. (4)

        Simpson Galleries, LLC
      • Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Night Rider Getaway, 1976 Charcoal and watercolor
        May. 07, 2021

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Night Rider Getaway, 1976 Charcoal and watercolor

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Night Rider Getaway, 1976 Charcoal and watercolor on board 19-1/2 x 24-3/8 inches (49.5 x 61.9 cm) Signed, dated, and titled lower right: Night Rider / Getaway / Tom Lea 76 PROVENANCE: Private collection, Fort Bragg, California. HID01801242017

        Heritage Auctions
      • (7) TEXAS ARTIST TOM LEA (1907-2001) ARCHIVE
        Mar. 20, 2021

        (7) TEXAS ARTIST TOM LEA (1907-2001) ARCHIVE

        Est: $100 - $200

        (lot of 7) Tom Lea (Texas, 1907-2001) archive, including: (1) hand-written letter by Lea, dated 1994, the letterhead being Lea's El Paso home address (other letters from the correspondent are part of the University of Texas, El Paso Library, collection); (1) printed order of funeral service for Lea, February 2, 2001; (3) copies of a print entitled "The Western Frontier: 1860-1890, Second Phase," competition design for the Post Office Building, Washington, D.C., 1935; (1)1998 card notice of exhibition of Lea drawings, April, 1998, the card features a print of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Orate by Lea; (1) El Paso Art Museum fold-out brochure, 1994, for a retrospective exhibit of Tom Lea, the brochure features a copy of the Texas centennial issue of the El Paso Times illustration by Lea Start Price: $80.00

        Austin Auction Gallery
      • TOM LEA - PORTFOLIO OF SIX PAINTINGS WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY J. FRANK DOBIE
        Aug. 26, 2020

        TOM LEA - PORTFOLIO OF SIX PAINTINGS WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY J. FRANK DOBIE

        Est: $300 - $600

        Lot 186 Tom Lea American (1907-2001) Portfolio of Six Paintings with an Introduction by J. Frank Dobie complete set of six chromolithographs laid down sheet (each): 19 x 16 inches Provenance: From a New York Collection published in 1953 by University of Texas Press, Austin,,comprised of Fighting Bull, The Hills of Mexico, The Shining Plain, Lonely Town, Ranger Escort West of the Pecos, The Pacing White Mustang and Trail Herd

        Capsule Gallery Auction
      • TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) SKETCH MATERIALS FOR "The Wonderful Country," CIRCA 1950,
        Sep. 21, 2019

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) SKETCH MATERIALS FOR "The Wonderful Country," CIRCA 1950,

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        TOM LEA (American/Texas 1907-2001) SKETCH MATERIALS FOR "The Wonderful Country," CIRCA 1950, comprising a framed mixed media letter collage, 11" x 9"; "Sterner's Office," a watercolor on paper, 9 1/4" x 12 1/4"; "Sketch Map of Martin Brady's Country, 1880," ink on paper, in margin, "Made during in writing of THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY - 1950," 22 1/2" x 21"; and "Plat of the Town of Puerto, 1880," ink on paper, in margin, "Made for reference during the writing of THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY," 22 1/2" x 26 3/14". Note: This lot includes illustrations, hand-drawn maps and ephemera created by Tom Lea during the writing of his 1952 novel "The Wonderful Country," which is the story of a man's exploits in 1880s Mexico and Texas. The book was adapted into a film in 1959 starring Robert Mitchum. 

        Simpson Galleries, LLC
      • TOM LEA AUTOGRAPHED EXHIBITION ILLUSTRATED BOOK
        Jul. 20, 2019

        TOM LEA AUTOGRAPHED EXHIBITION ILLUSTRATED BOOK

        Est: $100 - $200

        Book: "Tom Lea, A Selection of Painting and Drawings from the Nineteen-Sixties", The University of Texas, Institute of Texas Cultures at San Antonio, December 6, 1969-January 17, 1970, Limited edition of 200 copies, autographed by in ink by Tom Lea and officials of the University of Texas, housed in slip case 8.75"h, 8.5"w, 0.5"d, 1lbs Start Price: $60.00

        Austin Auction Gallery
      • Tom Lea pastel
        Oct. 21, 2017

        Tom Lea pastel

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        Tom Lea (American 1907-2001)- Ship at Sea- pastel on paper, signed Tom Lea lower right, very good condition. 15 x 23 1/4''

        Rachel Davis Fine Arts
      • TOM LEA (1907-2001), SIGNED LITHO, ASHBEL SMITH
        Nov. 20, 2016

        TOM LEA (1907-2001), SIGNED LITHO, ASHBEL SMITH

        Est: $300 - $500

        Unframed lithograph, "Ashbel Smith, M.D." pencil signed, dated lower right with sentiment, 1975, Tom Lea (Texas, 1907-2001), tear at upper right corner not affecting image14"h, 11"w *Note: Ashbel Smith (1805-1886), Surgeon General Republic of Texas, Minister of the Republic of Texas to the U.K., Ireland and France, Surgeon U.S. Army Mexican-American War, president board of Visitors, U.S.M.A., West Point, Brevet Colonel, Confederate Army, President University of Texas Board of Regents, Texas House of Representatives* Start Price: $200.00

        Austin Auction Gallery
      • Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Woodblock Print
        Feb. 15, 2016

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Woodblock Print

        Est: $200 - $300

        Depicting cowboys around a campfire looking at a star with the text "You Reckon it's the same one, Slim?", with inscription from the artist.

        Locati LLC
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $100,000 - $150,000

        Sierra Madre Morning, 1968

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $3,000 - $6,000

        El Guitarron

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $12,000 - $24,000

        Horse, 1976

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $400 - $800

        Trail Herd

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $400 - $800

        The Shining Plain

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        Santa Fe Bronze House, 1931

        David Dike Fine Art
      • Lea, Tom
        Jan. 24, 2015

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $250 - $500

        A Picture Gallery: Painitngs & Drawings

        David Dike Fine Art
      • The King Ranch
        Aug. 14, 2014

        The King Ranch

        Est: $150 - $250

        2 vols. [10], 467; [12], [469]-838 pp. Illustrated with numerous plates, vignettes and maps (some color, printed with special inks) after drawings by Tom Lea, plus facsimiles of documents. 9x6¾, two-tone buckram, slipcase. Designed by Carl Hertzog and Tom Lea. First Trade Edition, First Printing.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy and Girl Oil on ca
        Nov. 10, 2012

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy and Girl Oil on ca

        Est: $1,500 - $2,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy and Girl Oil on cardstock 10-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches (26.7 x 19.1 cm) Signed lower left: Tom Lea

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Bull Fight Oil on cardsto
        Nov. 10, 2012

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Bull Fight Oil on cardsto

        Est: $1,500 - $2,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Bull Fight Oil on cardstock 10-3/4 x 7-1/2 inches (27.3 x 19.1 cm) Signed lower right: Tom Lea

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy on Horseback Oil o
        Nov. 10, 2012

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy on Horseback Oil o

        Est: $2,000 - $4,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Cowboy on Horseback Oil on cardstock 10-3/4 x 7-1/2 inches (27.3 x 19.1 cm) Signed lower right: Tom Lea

        Heritage Auctions
      • Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001)
        May. 01, 2012

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Pioneer couple signed and inscribed 'Color sketch for Pioneers / Pass of the North / Tom Lea' (lower right) watercolor on paper 10 3/4 x 9in overall: 17 1/2 x 15 1/2in

        Bonhams
      • Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Mural Panels for East Wall,
        Jan. 28, 2012

        Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Mural Panels for East Wall,

        Est: $20,000 - $30,000

        Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Mural Panels for East Wall, Dining Room, Mimbres Hot Springs" 1935 mixed media on paper. Image: 8.5"H x 16.5"W; Frame: 19"H x 26.25"W. Signed and dated lower right, "Tom Lea, des. 1935"; titled lower middle. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Tom Lea was a painter, illustrator, muralist, teacher, writer and commercial artist. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and from 1926 to 1933, worked there as a mural assistant to John Warner Norton, a noted muralist. In 1936 Lea returned to El Paso, working as an illustrator and WPA library and post-office muralist. Lea's murals of the 1930s express the history and character of the Southwest on walls of public buildings from Washington, D.C. to Dallas, Texas. A letter of provenance and explanation of historical significance accompanies the painting. Provenance: The Wheaton-Smith family owned the Mimbres Hot Springs near San Lorenzo, NM from 1946-1970, which they bought from Dr. Stovall who ran the ranch as a Sanatorium and clinic. This painting came with the ranch when the family purchased it in 1946. Upon the sale of the ranch in 1970, the painting was loaned to the Silver City Museum.

        Dallas Fine Art Auction
      • Tom Lea (American 1907-2001), U.S. Destroyer at Sea, pastel on paper, sight size: 17-3/4 x 22-3/4 in
        Dec. 03, 2011

        Tom Lea (American 1907-2001), U.S. Destroyer at Sea, pastel on paper, sight size: 17-3/4 x 22-3/4 in

        Est: $2,000 - $3,000

        Tom Lea (American 1907-2001) U.S. Destroyer at Sea Signed tom LEA l.r. Pastel on paper; apparently in good condition. Framed.* Sight size: 17-3/4 x 22-3/4 in (45.1 x 57.8 cm)Property of Various Owners

        Weschler's
      • Tom Lea (American 1907-2001), U.S. Signal Light Crew at Sea, Dawn, pastel on paper, sight size: 14-3/4 x 21-1/2 in
        Dec. 03, 2011

        Tom Lea (American 1907-2001), U.S. Signal Light Crew at Sea, Dawn, pastel on paper, sight size: 14-3/4 x 21-1/2 in

        Est: $2,000 - $3,000

        Tom Lea (American 1907-2001) U.S. Signal Light Crew at Sea, Dawn Signed tom LEA l.r. Pastel on paper; apparently in good condition. Framed.* Sight size: 14-3/4 x 21-1/2 in (37.5 x 54.6 cm)Property of Various Owners

        Weschler's
      • Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "...
        Oct. 13, 2011

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "...

        Est: $50 - $100

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "29/100 Tom Lea 1962" in pencil l.r., titled l.l. Photomechanical reproduction, image size 11 1/4 x 18 3/8 in., framed. Condition: Toning, not examined out of frame. Provenance: From the estate of Gerald and Martha Schipper.

        Skinner
      • Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "...
        Apr. 14, 2011

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "...

        Est: $100 - $200

        Tom Lea (American, 1907-2001) Downtown El Paso in the 1860s- Corner El Paso and San Francisco Streets. Signed, dated, and numbered "29/100 Tom Lea 1962" in pencil l.r., titled l.l. Photomechanical reproduction, image size 11 1/4 x 18 3/8 in., framed. Condition: Toning, not examined out of frame. Provenance: From the estate of Gerald and Martha Schipper.

        Skinner
      • Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Study for West Texas Mural,
        Jan. 29, 2011

        Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Study for West Texas Mural,

        Est: $20,000 - $25,000

        Tom Lea (1907-2001), "Study for West Texas Mural, Pioneer Family" 1936 pen and ink on paper. Paper: 7"H x 20"W; Frame: 25.25"H x 38.5"W. Signed and dated lower left, "Tom Lea 1936". A mural study for the, "Pioneer Family" mural painted for the Texas Centennial, and is still in the Hall of State at Fair Park in Dallas, TX.

        Dallas Fine Art Auction
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $3,000 - $5,000

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). Seated Nude - Original charcoal and pastel on paper. Original charcoal and pastel drawing on brown paper. Visible area 27.8x38 cm. (103/4x15"). Matted and framed, overall 43x53 cm. (17x21"). January 31, 1944 An attractive young lady seated on a chaise, her right knee raised and her forearms crossed behind her head. Signed and dated in charcoal at lower left. Label of the Adair Margo Gallery on rear. Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). Where the Hawks Live - Print, matted and framed. Color print, image size 54x36 cm. (211/4x141/4") plus margins. Matted and framed, overall 80x60.5 cm (311/2 x233/4"). 1972 Titled, signed, and inscribed in pencil by Lea in lower margin. Inscription reads: "For John Knight - with regards". One of three unnumbered proofs. Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $700 - $1,000

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). The River Li - Print, matted and framed. Color print, image size 49.2x65.2 cm. (191/4x253/4") plus margins. Matted and framed, overall 77.2x91.5 cm (301/2 x36"). 1984 Titled and signed in pencil by Lea in the lower margin. Inscribed by the artist 'For Judy and John Knight". Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $500 - $800

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). Recuerdo de Lagrimas - Print, matted and framed. Color print, image size 33.2x49.2 cm. (13x191/2 ") plus margins. Matted and framed, overall 54.4x70.4 cm (211/2 x273/4"). Number 199 of 200. 1967 Titled, numbered and signed in pencil in lower margin. Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $700 - $1,000

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). Great River of the North - Print, matted and framed. Color print, image size 59.2x39.2 cm. (231/4x151/2 ") plus margins. Matted and framed, overall 87x64.5 cm (341/4x251/2 "). El Paso: 1983 Title printed in the lower margin. Signed, dated and inscribed in pencil by Lea at lower right. Inscription reads: "To my friend John Knight - regards". Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • [ Books ]
        Jul. 22, 2010

        [ Books ]

        Est: $400 - $600

        Lea, Tom (1907-2001). Aticca and Ch'in - Print, matted and framed. Print, image size 34x24.7 cm. (131/4x93/4") plus margins. Matted and framed, overall 54.7x44.5 cm (211/2 x171/2 "). 1983 Signed and titled in ink in lower margin. Appears fine, not examined out of frame.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
      • Tom Lea (1907-2001 El Paso, TX)
        Oct. 13, 2009

        Tom Lea (1907-2001 El Paso, TX)

        Est: $15,000 - $20,000

        Around the campfire, signed lower left: Tom Lea, watercolor and tempera on paper under glass

        John Moran Auctioneers
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Semana Santa -
        Jan. 24, 2009

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Semana Santa -

        Est: $700 - $1,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Semana Santa - Chihuahua, 1972 Print 29-1/2 x 21-1/2 inches (74.9 x 54.6 cm) Ed. 61/200 Signed, titled, and dated in the plate lower right: Semana Santa / Chihuahua / Tom Lea / -72 Signed, titled, and numbered lower margin: Semana Santa - Chihuahua no. 61 of 200 Tom Lea

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) The River Li, 1984
        Jan. 24, 2009

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) The River Li, 1984

        Est: $800 - $1,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) The River Li, 1984 Print 24-1/2 x 30 inches (62.2 x 76.2 cm) Ed. 95/215 Signed, dated, and monogrammed in the plate lower right: Tom Lea / '84 Signed, titled, and numbered lower margin: The River Li 95 of 215 Tom Lea

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Santa Elena Canyon,
        Jan. 24, 2009

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Santa Elena Canyon,

        Est: $8,000 - $16,000

        TOM LEA (American, 1907-2001) Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend, 1994 Pastel on paper 25-1/4 x 19-1/4 inches (64.1 x 48.9 cm) Signed and dated lower left: Tom Lea / 94 PROVENANCE: Adair Margo Gallery, El Paso (label verso). El Paso painter Tom Lea is most associated with his nostalgic paintings of cowboys and ranch life based on childhood memories. However, his most innovative work dates to the 1930s, stylized magazine illustrations and murals for WPA libraries and post offices. Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend employs the same Cubist and Art Deco vocabulary of this earlier period: the fractured earth-toned planes of the canyon walls rise precipitously from the base of a zigzag riverbed, evoking the awesomeness of the West Texas landscape. Following a stint in World War II documenting battles for Life magazine, Lea returned to El Paso, where he became noted for his paintings and books on the cattle industry.

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (1907-2001)
        Dec. 02, 2006

        TOM LEA (1907-2001)

        Est: $20,000 - $30,000

        TOM LEA (1907-2001) The Americans from the East Design for Mural - St. Louis Post Office, 1939 Tempera 5in. x 15in. Signed and dated lower left Titled lower center Tom Lea, one of Texas's most celebrated artists, worked for six decades as a painter, muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, and author. Lea studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under John Norton, one of the most respected muralists of the 1920s and 1930s. Building on the foundation of his teacher and mentor, Lea painted murals in Washington, D.C., Texas, Missouri, and New Mexico for the Works Progress Administration. Lea won five murals for the WPA: The Pass of the North for the El Paso Federal Courthouse; Back Home, April 1865 for the Post Office in Pleasant Hill, Missouri; Stampede for the Odessa, Texas, Post Office; Comanches for the Seymour, Texas, Post Office; and The Nestars for the Benjamin Franklin Post Office in Washington, D.C. Lea painted other murals as private commissions. These include the West Texas Room mural for the Texas Centennial, a mural for the Public Library in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and a mural for the El Paso Public Library. Lea submitted two other proposals for mural competitions. These were a mural for the San Antonio Post Office in 1937 and a mural for the St. Louis Post Office in 1939. In 1939, after completing his installation for the Pleasant Hill Post Office, Lea began his research for his most ambitious project yet, the St. Louis Post Office. The project called for a cycle of nine large panels exploring St. Louis's historic role as a point of convergence of four different cultures from the four directions of the compass. This panel, subtitled The Americans from the East, was complimented by The French From the North, The Spanish From the South, and The Indians from the West. The other panels dealt with the westward immigration away from St. Louis, as well as the local environs of the city. Although he did not win the commission, this mural was the largest and most ambitious design project Tom Lea was to have undertaken in his life. The studies demonstrate Tom Lea's technical mastery and talent as a draftsman, as well as his lifelong interest in capturing the adventurous spirit of exploration in America's western frontier. Eight of the nine mural studies have been exhibited on two separate occasions. The first was in 2001 at the El Paso Museum of Art, the second was the 2004-2006 traveling exhibition of the Tom Lea Retrospective. In both cases the mural studies are referred to as the eight surviving preparatory works, the ninth designated as "lost." This study is that "lost work"! The eight other studies are in the collection of the El Paso Museum of Art. This is a wonderful opportunity to own a rediscovered Texas, as well as American Regionalist, masterpiece. Provenance: Tom Lea Rebecca Smith Lee Gardner Smith Mr. & Mrs. J.D. Schwartz Kevin Hill Inscribed verso: Space No. 4 St. Louis Competition (Tempera) Design for Mural - St. Louis Post Office Scale 1/2" = 1' Tom Lea Summer 1939 Also inscribed verso: For Gardner Smith my nephew 7/14/79 Rebecca Smith Lee Literature: The Art of Tom Lea, University Press, pictured page 73 Exhibitions: Tom Lea and Charles M. Russell, El Paso Museum of Art, May 5 - July 29, 2001 Tom Lea Retrospective, September 1, 2004 - April 17, 2006 First Division Museum at Cantigny, Wheaton, Illinois J. Wayne Stark University Center Galleries, College Station, Texas Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas

        Heritage Auctions
      • TOM LEA (1907-2001)
        Dec. 02, 2006

        TOM LEA (1907-2001)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        TOM LEA (1907-2001) Labrador, 1944 Oil on artistboard 10in. x 14in. Signed and titled lower left At first glance, this scene of a broken tree stump and brooding skies might be a typical depression era "Dust Bowl" image, but the title, Labrador, tells a different story. Tom Lea was in Labrador because Life magazine had hired him as a combat artist and war correspondent. He was on his way to the North Atlantic Theater. His mood must have matched the painting's mood, both brooding and forelorn. In this painting, Tom Lea used "Dust Bowl" imagery to foreshadow what he would soon see at war. The broken and bent tree stump can be considered an allegory to the broken and bent democracies standing against the forces of German, Italian, and Japanese fascism. The tree also acts as an allegory for the human destruction wrought by the war. Technically, the painting has a marvelous quality of light originating in the sky and reflecting off the water. Equally impressive is the rock at the base of the tree. Close-up, it has a wonderful abstract quality with bravura brushwork and impasto.

        Heritage Auctions
      • Lea, Tom
        Feb. 11, 2006

        Lea, Tom

        Est: $5,000 - $7,000

        Lea, Tom Texas (1907-2001) MATADORS pen and ink, framed signed: lower left, Tom Lea sight size: H9 1/4" W5 1/2" *Artist biography: Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Tom Lea was a painter, illustrator, muralist, teacher, writer, and commercial artist. Many of his paintings depicted scenes from Texas, although his career ranged beyond his home state. During his youth, he spent many summers working on ranches in both Texas and New Mexico. At age seventeen he enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago, and from 1926 to 1933, worked there as a mural assistant to John Warner Norton, a noted muralist. From this job, he earned money to travel and study in Italy for a year. Returning, he moved to Santa Fe, and from 1933 to 1935 he worked part time on the staff of the Laboratory of Anthropology. In 1936, his first wife died, and Lea returned to El Paso, where he opened a studio and worked as an illustrator and WPA library and post office muralist. He also completed Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine illustrations. During World War II, Life magazine personnel hired Lea as a combat artist, and he recorded battles in Italy, the South Pacific, the China-Burma Theatre, the North Atlantic, and the Arctic. For his excellent work, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Navy. After the war, Lea returned to El Paso and continued with mural and canvas painting and illustrations. He did a series of canvases on the evolution of the cattle industry and wrote extensively on the beef industry including a history, The King Ranch, published in 1957.

        Charlton Hall
      • TOM LEA
        Jun. 18, 2004

        TOM LEA

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        The King Ranch. Kingsville, Texas: Printed for the King Ranch, 1957 Two volumes, 4to (9 x 6 3/4 in.; 230 x 170 mm.). Illustrated by the author with drawings, maps, facsimiles. Bound in a facsimile of the saddle blankets woven and used on the King Ranch. In a linen slipcase, with gold-stamped leather title label.

        Sotheby's
      • A Picture Gallery
        Nov. 20, 2003

        A Picture Gallery

        Est: $100 - $150

        2 vols. With text by the artist. Illustrated from paintings by Tom Lea, including 35 plates (12 in color) loose in accompanying portfolio. 11x8 1/2 & 15 1/2 x11, two-tone cloth, spines lettered in gilt, both housed in the original slipcase with paper cover labels. First Edition. Fine examples from Lea's work throughout his career.

        PBA Galleries Auctions & Appraisers
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