Archie Teater Restored

A Once-Famous Idaho Artist Undergoes a Revival

By Teddy Khteian-Keeton

Photos from The Life and Art of Archie Teater, by Lester D. Taylor

Before the death in 1981 of Patricia Teater, wife of the late Idaho artist Archie Teater, she told me she feared that if an organized program to preserve his remaining pieces was not professionally managed and a sales and exhibition plan implemented, his name would go “out of sight and out of mind.” I worked with her to avoid that fate, but legal papers had not yet been produced for the exhibition when Mrs. Teater died, and the paintings underwent liquidation at garage-sale prices.

In 1978, when Archie preceded his wife in death, he was recognized as one of the West’s best landscape artists. He had one-man shows in New York City, his work hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other galleries, and he was featured in United States embassies around the world. Yet his name and reputation subsequently suffered from the lack of an organization dedicated to keeping his work before the public. Buyers and patrons receded, until paintings that had been worth thousands of dollars sold for as little as a couple hundred dollars. I bought one, “Night in Old San Antonio,” a true gem that depicted a crowd celebration along the river.

All this explains why an event hosted last April by the Hagerman Valley Historical Society was so important. More than eighty people attended the Hagerman affair, which introduced a new book by Lester D. Taylor, The Life and Art of Archie Boyd Teater (Gibbs Smith, 2016).

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