Arts & Culture

Sandzen paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars

“The Gate – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.,” 1925, by Birger Sandzen, sold for $95,000 this past weekend at an auction in Douglass.
“The Gate – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.,” 1925, by Birger Sandzen, sold for $95,000 this past weekend at an auction in Douglass. Courtesy photo

The Birger Sandzen paintings and illustrations auctioned off over the weekend in Douglass sold for a pretty penny.

“The Gate – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.,” an oil painting Sandzen did in1925, sold for $95,000.

Another, “Elko River Nevada,” that Sandzen created in 1951, sold for $70,000.

Still another, “Kansas Lake – Morland Lake, Graham Co., Kansas,” created in 1950, sold for $50,000. And “In the Mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.,” painted in 1939, sold for $43,000.

“We were very pleased,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction Gallery in Douglass.

“As an auctioneer, I don’t get surprised by anything. I always hope and anticipate something takes off, and it was pleasant to see these did.”

The auction generated interest across the nation, not just for those particular Sandzen pieces, but for other works people hold in private collections.

“We had numerous people call, and it might open up to potential additional auctions in the future,” Woody said. “You never know until it happens.”

Sandzen, a prolific painter and printmaker, lived and taught in Lindsborg from 1894 until his death in 1954. He created more than 3,000 paintings, 328 prints and countless watercolors and drawings.

Inspired by the French Impressionists of the late 19th century, Sandzen brazenly used pink, purple, blue, yellow and green to mimic the light on his landscapes.

Woody said three of the four paintings were purchased by Kansas residents and are expected to stay within the state for now.

Beccy Tanner: 316-268-6336, @beccytanner

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