originals in private hands
Express Staff Writer
Kitchen, of Charlotte N.C., had never been to Idaho and didnít know
much about Sun Valley when he came into possession of a piece of
mid- to late 1980s, Kitchen met the widow of J.C. Hill, an artist in
Charlotte. While looking through Hillís morgue files, he found some
original artwork from an ad campaign done sometime in the late 30s and
early 40s for the Sun Valley Resort.
ended up buying eight original art works from her," Kitchen said.
Some were by Hill and some by Dwight Shepler. Shepler taught watercolor
painting at several Boston art schools; wrote articles and did portraits
as illustrations for the Boston Herald. He also created advertising
illustrations for Sun Valley.
original painting was created sometime in the late 1930s.
forward to this past August: The Antiques Roadshow, a public television
program, was coming to Charlotte, and Kitchen decided to take in four of
the paintings for appraisal.
he showed an advance appraiser a Shepler painting of the Roundhouse on
impressed the appraiser, who then introduced him to Nicholas Lowry,
president of Swann Galleries in New York. In addition to running the
company, Lowry is also principal auctioneer and director of the poster
department at Swann. On occasion he is one of the vintage poster experts
for the Antiques Roadshow.
tried not to act surprised when I was pulling them out." Kitchen
said. ĎWhere did you get these?í he asked and then asked would I
like to be on TV. He still didnít say anything about how much they
still had to be approved by the producers of the show, who ultimately
agreed. Lowry finally fessed up when they were on the air. He said he
had recently sold a poster of one of the originals for over $3,000.
in the world did pieces from Sun Valley get here?" Lowry asked.
"He was surprised and pleased," said Kitchen. Lowry told him
about Sun Valley, and about the trend for Sun Valley nostalgia and ski
told him that in the current market the posters are selling for more
than original artwork. "But, he told me later ĎIím sure thatís
going to change. This is the market trend right now.í "
Lowry is selling them through his gallery, Kitchen still has possession
of the paintings. He really believes they belong in Sun Valley. Some are
unsigned, and some are printed pieces imprinted with Wilmarth, an Omaha
advertising agency, which was used by the Union Pacific Railway, the
first owners of the Sun Valley Resort.
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