A Day in the Life–Fake Fritz Scholder painting surfaces following legitimate example sold through New York–Cottone auction January 2023

Portrait with Orange Bar by Fritz Scholder (1937-2005) sold through a New York state auction house on January 11, 2023 for $34,800.00. Subsequent to this sale a replica painting was sold through an auction house in Spain for $4,000.00. The painted replica utilized the same media, was the same size, superfically was framed the same, but it fell short in its execution. Other characteristics also rang false.

As one of the top-tier American Indian painters, Fritz Scholder’s largest paintings have been routinely selling in excess of $200,000.00, on up to $500,000.00 at auctions recently. Where prices are lofty, fake examples likely follow.

Fritz was a customer who did not require instruction regarding which brushes to use with acrylic paint. I was roughly twenty one in 1973. From that time on he was on my radar. Thinking of all the people who could identify a genuine Fritz artwork, sadly they are all gone: Rudy Turk, Tally Richards, Elaine Horwitch, Marilyn Butler. Currently there is not an official Fritz Scholder authenticator.

It will be interesting to learn if replica artworks surface for other top-tier American Indian artists: Jaune Quick to see Smith, Kay Walkingstick, Oscar Howe, George Morrison, Leon Polk Smith, TC Cannon to name a few.

Corinne Cain of SavvyCollector.com

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