JERRY GOROSKI is the consultant appraisar to whom I refer inquiries about Scriver bronzes. He is formally trained and certified to do assessments and knew Bob Scriver as well as working for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. His gallery is called "Open Range Art."


Monday, February 28, 2011


We’re getting close to Charlie Russell’s birthday, which used to be the date of the landmark Great Falls Ad Club Auction in Great Falls. Last year for the first time the main auction was not held, for various reasons, and success at the smaller ones was mixed, also for various reasons. Part of the change was due to the recession, but also the passage of time had a great deal of influence. It is getting so Charlie Russell is a senior citizen figure. When one looked at the big auction crowd, there were a lot of gray and even white heads.

The following “classifieds” are from which is a website that keeps track of American (a few Canadian) artists -- not just Western artists but more usually historical than contemporary. I’ve taken off the names of the people who posted these but you can find the names, conveniently linked to the person’s email, at

In combination, auctions and this sort of website which monitors auctions, have come to act as adjuncts to galleries. If you want to know what things are selling for, this is the go-to website. If you want to know their VALUE, you won’t find much curation beyond the artist’s life stories and a list of books and magazines that consider him or her. That’s very helpful, but if you are wondering about how much something will sell for at the NEXT auction, much depends on who is there, the general economy, and other dynamics no one can control, like weather. The gambler dynamic is part of the game. You can use the site to locate an expert.

found.... bob scriver sculpture " six point bull"

Today at a thrift store in cda Idaho I found and purcheased what I am certain is an original Bob scriver bronze six point bull sculpture. It is engraved with his name and the date 1984 and 110/110. It asking says " six point bull". I paid $6 for it at St Vincent depaul. It is obviously bronze and original. I am wondering if this should be in a museum or a collection somewhere. I am not a collector and I would like it to be in the right place. Not looking for money just a good home if it is real which I am certain it is. Its about 12" tall and sits on a wood base. Very heavy..... thank you

Scriver & Powell bronzes
I have several bronzes I need help pricing. Powell:Blood Man & Woman, On Alert, Sun Mt. Colt and Spring Foal.
Scriver: Iola's Otter, Paul's Bull and Sage Brush.
Any info will be helpful.

Bob Scriver PAINTING
I have found a Bob Scriver Painting in my parents estate. It is signed and dated 1955. The picture is of a pronghorn antelope. There is a sticker on the back, "Bob Scriver Taxidermy and Art Studio. Western Sculpter of North America Big Game in Minature." with Phone number and address. There were other unsigned paintings of Pheasants & other birds. I don't think it's his style, but I don't think they were his. Just curious if anyone has other Scriber paintings? Thank You-Elsie Miller

4 Bronzes by Scriver
I was blessed to receive as gifts 4 bronzes by Bob Scriver:

1. No 67 of 100 "1861 Mail (Pony Express)"
2. No. 84 of 110 "Six Point Bull" - a beautiful elk
3. No. 72 of 100 "In Season (Big Horn Ram)
4. No. 55 of 100 "Rex's Bull (buffalo)

These were the nicest gifts ever given to me and my family. Can someone give me an idea of their worth.

Trained by television shows that feature “experts” who tell people what their attic finds are worth, people know that they may have something that is more valuable than they think, and in this age of commodification are not backwards about pricing gifts. Particularly in the American West where Charlie Russell was famous for producing works that ended up stored someplace because inheritors thought that cowboy subjects indicated low-brow and low-value work, many alert aficionadoes have carefully worked their way through places like the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and a few have made major finds.

Some things are not likely to be desirable to a major gallery. Bob Scriver’s early paintings are likely to be valuable mostly to people who knew him. Some of them may be “learning copies” of work by more developed artists. With Russell there’s always the problem of Seltzer paintings looking just like Charlie’s to the untrained eye. With Scriver it was me who painted just like him sometimes because we went out to make sketches side-by-side and stole ideas from each other.

Here’s Bob at the St. Mary’s cabin with the day’s “take.” Mine is the smaller painting on the left. This was in the mid-Sixties.

When dealing with bronzes there are several different factors to consider which I have laid out in this blog and in my biography of Bob: “Bronze Inside and Out.” (Available on Amazon) The chief difficulty has been the failure of any dealer to promote his work or support his “mythology” in the way he did himself when he was alive. His estate is not even exhibited.

The second biggest problem is that a three-dimensional sculpture is vulnerable to technological advances that changed the dynamics of bronzes as much as electronic books have changed publishing. Suddenly bronzes were easy to copy, they were everywhere, an untrained eye couldn’t tell good from bad, and they were cheap to produce. The general public, esp. in a place like Montana where people know the subjects of the art but not the qualities or business of art, can only tell that a bronze is metal and doesn’t fuss around about how many were cast, what the casting flaws might be, the importance of provenance, and so on.

Subject matter counts for a lot, with cowboys and Indians in action poses being the most valuable for a long time. Things come in and out of “political” opinion so right now you’d probably have to be a certain kind of person to want a big rodeo bronze like “Paywindow,” which goes in and out of auctions for much less that I think it will eventually be worth. I think the casting going around is one we did in Browning and that I worked on. At the time it was considered very daring. It’s BIG and that makes a difference, too. In the era of big houses, which is just ending, this would be great. In a small apartment, not so much.

From the beginning Bob Scriver sold smaller pieces to local people. Towards the end he made many modestly-sized pieces to order for entrepreneurs who “published” them using their own foundries and galleries. These have less value than scarce sculptures that he cast earlier in his own Bighorn Foundry, using a traditional method. They were meant to be that way. Most Montana people who have them are not thinking in terms of investment as much as about the direct connection with the artist.

One does wonder how that bull elk got into the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. Someone died? An unappreciative spouse? Just a plain outright mistake? Keep an eye peeled!