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updated: 11/12/2010 11:56 AM

It may take some time for Windberg prints to reach value

Treasures in Your Attic

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By Helaine Fendelman and Joe
Rosson

Q. I have two limited-edition prints by Dalhart Windberg. They are titled "Love's Reflection["] and "The Glow of Love.["] They have matching frames, signed but not numbered. What is their value?

A. At last report, Dalhart Windberg was alive and well and living in Texas. Born in Goliad, Texas, in 1933, he is known for both his still-life images and romantic landscape paintings that often (but not always) reflect his Southwestern heritage.

His work shows a skillful use of light and shadow, and his paintings began to attract national attention in the 1960s. The Texas legislature named him state artist of Texas in 1979, and he uses what he calls the "smooth surface["] technique of painting.

This process means that he prepares his painting surface with diluted modeling paste to give the image a surface texture similar to that of an "Old Master["] painting. The term "Old Master["] is typically used to apply to the work of European painters particularly Dutch, Flemish and Italian of the 13th to the 17th centuries (one reference included artists who worked up to 1830).

Windberg's most mature style seems to be his landscape work, which often includes images of bluebonnets, windmills, Texas Hill Country farms, Rocky Mountain waterfalls or desert cactuses. He claims to be painting "America,["] but he focuses mostly on his Texas home and the American Southwest.

His colors in our view tend to be almost otherworldly and are, in some cases, soft, bright, vivid and "dreamy,["] in a spectrum that doesn't exist in nature. Other landscapes (farm scenes, for example) can be more realistically hued, but all his oil paintings are lush and lavishly detailed.

The market for Windberg originals is strong for a living artist. We found two that sold in Texas (apparently the best market for his work) for $6,000 each in 2007. "River Scene["] measured 24 by 36 inches, and the other, "Yucca and Prickly Pear Cactus,["] was 25 by 38 inches.

Other Windberg originals start at around $2,000 (we found an image of a galleon sailing ship, 35 by 47 inches, at this price), but most tend to sell at auction on the secondary market in the $2,500 to $4,000 range. The demand for Windberg's original work appears to be vibrant, and the artist also makes limited-edition prints.

By all accounts, Windberg is a meticulous artist who works long hours to perfect his images, and he brings the same attention to detail to his prints. However, it should go without saying that his prints are much less valuable than his original oils, and we have found an example similar to the items you own that sold at auction for a mere $10!

"Reflective Elegance["] (a still-life image of a brandy snifter and daisies) sold in Texas in 2007 for this small amount, but we checked a little further and found a pair of prints identical to the ones in today's question retailing on a Texas site for $375. Although these two prints are identical to the ones you own, they were referred to as "Refreshing Pause["] in the sales offering, and it was stated they were part of an edition of 3,000.

This edition size is much too large, and it may be some time before this $375 price can actually be realized.

•Contact Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson at Treasures in Your Attic, P.O. Box 18350, Knoxville, TN 37928 or via e-mail at treasures@knology.net.

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