Thomas Moran painting

An anonymous bidder in Oklahoma got a bargain on this Thomas Moran painting that had been auctioned off by a Mesa woman. Priced at $75,000, it went for $60,000. 

A Mesa woman’s family heirloom has sold for $60,000, according to EJ’s Auction & Appraisal. 

The auction company helped Sharon Cushman sell her attributed Thomas Moran painting, which has been passed down in her family for generations. The painting is believed to date back to the 1800s. 

An anonymous buyer from Oklahoma purchased the painting for $15,000 below its listing price — and well below the hundreds of thousands of dollars that many of Moran’s paintings have sold for in the past.

“I am just thrilled to death,” said Cushman. “I’m splitting the money with my cousin and we are just very happy.” 

“I really was amazed at the company [EJ’s] that sold it for us,” she continued. “They did an awesome job.” 

The auction Aug. 30 and attracted more than 60 bidders in person and nearly 12,900 online. 

The painting, titled “King’s Canyon,” had at least two bidders online and several on the floor, explained Erik Hoyer, owner of EJ’s Auction & Appraisal. 

“It was a great night and there was a lot of intensity on the floor and a lot of excitement,” he said. “We had a mixture of antique collectors, art collectors and folks that are end-users and just buy for themselves.” 

Moran, who lived from 1837 to 1926, is a famous American painter best remembered for his landscape paintings and idealized views of the American West. 

The English emigrant was the first American painter to capture the grandeur of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, according to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Moran’s images of dramatic canyons, hot springs and geysers captured the imagination of the American public and helped bring about Yellowstone’s designation as America’s first national park. 

Although “King’s Canyon” didn’t quite sell for its original listing price, Hoyer said he is still pleased with the outcome. 

“I didn’t hit my estimate on the Thomas Moran,” he said. “But overall, it was a great night with a nice strong crowd and strong internet participation.” 

A family heirloom for 60 years, “King’s Canyon” was first purchased by Cushman’s grandfather, Hugh Meinhardt, in 1959 from the Paul Metcalf Art Gallery in Los Angeles. 

Although Cushman said she is nostalgic for the painting, neither she nor her cousin have the space for it. 

“It’s been in our lives forever it seems, that’s why my grandfather bought it so many years ago,” she said. “So that later in life, whoever ended up with it could do something with it.” 

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