Dear Wildlife Art Journal. My aunt died and left me an etching by Carl Rungius. I am told the name of it is "Three Old Gentlemen." It is behind glass in what appears to be an old original frame. I intend to keep it. Is there anything I need to do? What can you tell me about this etching? Just out of curiosity, what is something like this worth? Laura
OUR ANSWER: (from Gary Temple, owner of Meadowlark Gallery, Billings, Montana which specializes in etchings by American Western and Sporting artists):
GARY TEMPLE: Laura, you should thank your aunt with a fond memory because it’s a classic Rungius etching, portraying one of his favorite subjects, mountain goats. Anecdotally and interestingly enough, the etching is related to an oil painting Rungius [1869-1959] made around 1940 that shares the same title. That work resides in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I can tell you that you are not alone. Many people who inherit art works do nothing and simply hang it on the wall. This is a mistake. Once you assume ownership of any art piece that you believe has value beyond sentimental appeal, you should have its condition assessed and its value appraised for insurance purposes. I would bring the work to a reputable gallery owner in your area. Let them take it apart for inspection and make recommendations on how the framing carriage should be updated. However, as a note of caution,...
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Post Date:June 30th, 2009
'In this installment of YOU ASK/WE FIND AN ANSWER, a reader inquires about the value of a Carl Rungius etching that she inherited from her departed aunt. Whether you value the piece as a sentimental keepsake or an investment, art that is stewarded today is art preserved for enjoyment tomorrow.