This week in 1000 Words we celebrate one of my favorite artists, Phillip R. Goodwin (1881-1935). Goodwin was one of the most prolific outdoor artists, with his painting gracing the cover of dozens of magazines. A child prodigy (he famously sold his first illustration to Collier's Magazine at age 11), his first important commission was illustrating Jack London's Call of the Wild in 1903.
The painting above is a very early work of his, painted in 1906 and called "A Distant Acquaintance." It first appeared in Outer's Magazine in 1906.
His originals have gone stratospheric in the past decade; in 2003, one of his paintings sold at auction for $143,750, and his prints regularly sell for over $1000.00. Even magazines that are graced by his work on the cover often bring good money.
Here is another example of his work from the National Museum of Wildlife Art, entitled "The Surprise."
Sadly, Goodwin ran into bad luck in the Depression and died at the height of his talent at the age of 54 on December 14, 1935.
-- Dr. Todd
PS: One of the best anecdotes I've read of late comes from Meadowlark Gallery's web page and concerns a Philip R. Goodwin original offered at a garage sale in Lacrosse, Wisconsin for $5. They write: "A man came by and offered the lady having the garage sale $3.00 for it. She did not accept the offer and decided to investigate her garage sale item. She sent photographs of it to a major western and sporting auction. The work was authenticated as an original oil painting by Goodwin. The painting sold at auction in 2001 for the amount of $ 33,000.00 which included the buyers premium. This is a good lesson for those individuals that insist on bartering before every purchase." An amazing story. For $2 someone talked themselves out of an original Goodwin painting...