Objects Trouvés: Found Objects From The Estate & Collection Of Noted Artist Ira Yeager Go Up For Bid

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Turner Auctions + Appraisals Offers Fine & Decorative Arts, Furniture & More at Live and Online Auctions on October 1, 2 & 15

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 26, 2022 – Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to present two auctions from the estate of noted California artist, Ira Yeager (1938-2022). Offered at both live and online auctions in October 2022, the sales feature Yeager’s artworks, plus fine art, decorative arts, furniture, and more from his vast collection and estate, which encompasses multiple residences. Between these two auctions, around 700 lots from Yeager’s personal collection of found objects amassed over many years – what he called “objects trouvés” – go up for bid.

Artist: Ira Yeager (1938-2022). Title/Subject: "1762", Masked gentleman and others with leopards. Size: 66” x 66”. Year Created: 20th/21st century. Signature: Signed lower right (and with alternate signature, "Von Yager", in scroll). Medium/Ground: Oil and Acrylic on canvas. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000.
Artist: Ira Yeager (1938-2022). Title/Subject: “1762”, Masked gentleman and others with leopards. Size: 66” x 66”. Year Created: 20th/21st century. Signature: Signed lower right (and with alternate signature, “Von Yager”, in scroll). Medium/Ground: Oil and Acrylic on canvas. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals will hold the live auction in Napa Valley, California, on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 & 2, 2022, at YÄGER GALERIE, 1312 Lincoln, Calistoga, California, from 10 am PDT; the auction is available for preview on Friday, September 30, from 10am-6pm. Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 10:30 am PDT; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The online auction will be featured live on multiple platforms:  LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, iCollector, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps (“Turner Auctions”). All are easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website:  www.turnerauctionsonline.com/upcoming-auctions, where details on both auctions are available.

World-renowned for diverse works of art created over six decades, Ira Yeager is acclaimed for his Native American portraits, history-themed paintings, and abstract landscapes. He was born in 1938 in Bellingham, Washington, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean near the Canadian border. His father had a namesake sporting goods store, still in operation today, and was a friendly competitor of Eddie Bauer, the man. Ira came of age hunting, fishing, appreciating the natural beauty of the outdoors. Foretelling interests to come, he also come in regular contact with Native Americans and Canadian First Peoples with whom his father would trade fishing or hunting rights for goods from his store. 

Young Ira’s interests were primarily elsewhere, however. When he was about eight years old, he asked for a set of oil paints for Christmas and received them from his mother, always an enthusiastic supporter of his artistic endeavors. He knew from that time that art was to be part of his future, and indeed the smell of oil paints remained a sensory recollection throughout his life.

In 1957, Ira moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend the California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied with abstract expressionist Richard Diebenkorn; then with Elmer Bischoff at the San Francisco Art Institute. He then went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence to further his studies, beginning a lifelong passion for Europe, Morocco, travel, cultural immersion, and eccentric characters in his wide circle of friends. A true bohemian, Yeager felt at home in many places – and acquired many homes along the way: San Francisco, also where his studio was located; Corfu, Greece, where he and his partner George Hellyer lived for a decade; Santa Fe, New Mexico, where recent exhibitions were held in the LewAllen Galleries; Calistoga in Napa Valley, also home to the YÄGER GALERIE; and Sea Ranch, California. Many of his favorite places were near the water, reflecting his coastal birthplace and always calling him back. An enthusiastic entertainer, his many homes welcomed a wide array of friends and acquaintances who would add fun to the festivities. Among them were famed contemporary artists or writers, including Truman Capote, Joan Brown, Tennessee Williams, William Boroughs, and others. From his first solo exhibition in the 1960s in San Francisco, Yeager’s work has been widely lauded and shown in numerous Northern California venues and in Santa Fe. His art is held in many private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe.

In German, the word “Jäger,” which became the anglicized surname “Yeager,” means “hunter” – a spot-on description of a man who searched, found, and collected throughout his life. Always on the hunt, Yeager was an avid collector for over 70 years, beginning from around age 14 with objects found locally, such as glass floats or paint boxes. His interests were diverse, exotic, and eclectic – from Native American jewelry and baskets or firearms and duck decoys, reminders of items from his youth; to European pieces that reflected the history or color palettes of France and Italy of the 17th or 18th centuries. As Yeager said, he could “go anywhere and find something from the 18th century” – that is, something that supported the tradition of design of the era and that could inform or inspire his own work. In fact, often his finds would show up in his artworks: a colorful teapot or shapely chair, for example, might end up pictured on his canvas – or a footstool or table might become the canvas itself!

Brian Fuller, Yeager’s friend and colleague for over 30 years, is his Gallerist and Curator. There at Fuller’s YÄGER GALERIE in Calistoga, Yeager’s works and objects trouvés are showcased in context, just as the artist did.  Speaking about Yeager and his passion for collecting, Fuller said “Ira came from the land of Christmas trees and always knew there was something beyond.” His collection was sourced from many places “beyond” – among them, Yeager’s varied residences in Europe (noting that he felt living in Corfu, Greece, was the closest thing to living in an 18th-century village). America was also a valuable collecting resource, particularly San Francisco, where his dear friend Lillian Williams owned a shop of French antiques, and the city’s grand estates, whose owners would carry objects of culture and discernment back from their Europe travels. From these many enjoyable forays into hunting, history and cultures, Yeager created his “follies,” properties replete with and surrounded by special, hand-picked items. There, in an environment created by him, he could react to his found objects and use them as a reference for his artistic works. Surrounded by his found treasures and the fruits of his collecting passion, he found inspiration for his own artistic creations and to, as he said, “push paint around.” 

As an artist and collector, “Ira chose beauty,” said Fuller, seeking beautiful lines, shapes, and colors that would culminate in his artwork. While inspired to paint European ancestry or Indian portraits, he sought to “reinvent history,” giving his works a contemporary and challenging interpretation. According to Fuller, Yeager knew when to stop – always leaving something irregular, an edge, to give his work added life, age, or patina. Now, with Ira Yeager’s passing, Fuller is sharing a lifetime of objects trouvés – and continuing the YÄGER GALERIE, whose contextual vignettes of art and found objects celebrate the spirit and flair of how Yeager lived and worked. It is there the legacy of Ira Yeager will continue to engage, inspire, and flourish.

Here is information on the upcoming online sale (see online auction and lot details in the online catalog):  

Lot 250: Artist: Ira Yeager (1938-2022). Title/Subject: “1762”, Masked gentleman and others with leopards. Size: 66” x 66”. Year Created: 20th/21st century. Signature: Signed lower right (and with alternate signature, “Von Yager”, in scroll). Medium/Ground: Oil and Acrylic on canvas. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000. 

Lot 100: Figurative Weathervane. Size 32” x 31”. Estimate: $800 – $1,200.  

Lot 248: Original Ira Yeager Oil on Canvas, “A Slice of Cake.” Size 20” x 20.” Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000. 

Lot 221:  New Haven Arms Co. Navy Lever Action Pistol. 4 inch barrel. Serial number is not visible. Stamped “NEW HAVEN (worn away) CONN. PATENT FEB 14.1854”. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. 

Lot 197: Navajo Cuff of a Kachina. Silver, turquoise and coral. Estimate: $200 – $300. 

Lot 136: Original Ira Yeager Painted Footstool with Native American Indian Motif. Estimate: $300 – $500. 

Ira Yeager among his art and objects trouvés in the YÄGER GALERIE, 2018. 

Lot 255: Original Ira Yeager Watercolor on Paper. Size 15 1/2” x 17 ½,” self-portrait. Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500. 

Lot 14: 19th-Century Oil on Canvas, School of Pietro Longhi. Size 18” x 14” Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500. 

Lot 245: An Original Ira Yeager Mixed Media “Indian head,” 1984, Size 27” x 13 1/2”. Estimate: $800 – $1,200. 

Lot 105: Original Ira Yeager Speckled Painted Side Table. Estimate: $500 – $700. 

Lot 98: Late 19th-/Early-20th Century Carved Wooden Horse. Size 30 1/2” x 39”. Estimate: $300 – $500. 

Lot 240: Original Ira Yeager Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, Landscape “San Miguel de Allende.” 1969. Size 48” x 48”. Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000. 

Lot 152: Chinese Blanc de Chine Guanyin. Size 22 inches in height. Estimate: $300 – $500. 

Lot 55: Spanish Colonial Santo. Size 5 1/2 inches in height. Estimate: $200 – $300. 

Lot 154: A Pair of Chinese Blue and White Ginger Jars. Estimate: $100 – $200. 

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ABOUT TURNER AUCTIONS + APPRAISALS

Based in South San Francisco, Turner Auctions + Appraisals was founded by Stephen Turner to expand and complement the capabilities of Stephen G. Turner Associates, an auction and appraisal consulting firm founded in 2004. Turner Auctions + Appraisals presents online auctions in diverse categories of personal property (www.turnerauctionsonline.com). Among them are Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Asian Arts, Toys, Jewelry, Militaria, Ethnic Arts, and others. The company offers a range of auction and appraisal services for buyers, sellers, and collectors. Online auctions are held several times a month. Working with leading live and online auction houses on the West Coast since 1991, Turner is a professional appraiser of personal property and seasoned auctioneer. His areas of expertise include fine art, decorative arts, antiques & residential contents. The company welcomes consignments and appraisals.

For more information about the company, please contact:

Stephen Turner, President, Turner Auctions + Appraisals, 461 Littlefield Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080

415-964-5250 / [email protected] / www.turnerauctionsonline.com

For media inquiries or photos, please contact:Jill Turner, Rodin & Shelley Associates / [email protected]

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