Neil Welliver

American Artist
1929 2005

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The Value of Neil Welliver Artwork

American artist Neil Welliver is renowned for his rich, large-scale landscapes of Maine wilderness. Welliver produced primarily oil paintings, but also delved into woodcut printmaking and screenprinting later in his career. Because his works have varied in value, with estimates starting at $125 and soaring to $120,000, a knowledgeable appraisal is paramount to determining the value of a Neil Welliver work. 

Who Was Neil Welliver?

Neil Welliver (1929-2005) was born in rural Millville, Pennsylvania and developed a profound and early connection to nature, which would become a cornerstone of his art. Later on, this manifested itself in the vibrant strokes of his oil paintings, capturing the essence of the landscapes that so deeply moved him. Welliver studied color under the famed color theorist and abstract painter, Josef Albers, at Yale, where he would eventually teach. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania before settling in Lincolnville, Maine where he went on to create his most influential and valuable paintings and prints until his death in 2005

  • Born/Died: July 22 1929 – April 5 2005
  • Nationality: American 
  • Medium: Oil, Woodcut, Screenprint

What is the Artist Neil Welliver Known For?

Neil Welliver was influenced by artists like Willem de Kooning and Piet Mondrian, as well as the burgeoning Abstract Expressionist movement. His early paintings from the 1960s are characterized by abstract female nudes amid rich, wooded scenes poised along bodies of water and rendered in a variety of mediums ranging from oil painting to watercolor. The mid-1970s marked a shift in Welliver’s style when he suffered a series of tragedies, beginning with the accidental drowning of  a close friend in a pond on his property and continuing with the sudden deaths of his infant daughter and wife just six months apart.

Following this period, figures became hauntingly absent from the landscape and Welliver developed a keener receptiveness to the natural environment, shifting his focus towards the meticulous intricacies and textures of foliage, wildlife, and other organic attributes. These works, sans human figures, yield higher estimates. 

Welliver stands apart from other artists in that his works turn broad vistas into simple and stylized natural scenes—large-scale landscapes with an immersive and ethereal flair. Welliver maintained a steadfast and personal investment in land stewardship and conservation throughout his life that is palpable in his profound renderings of varying seasons and conditions, running the gamut from the aftermath of a flame-ravaged terrain to a jumble of luminous, snow-saddled trees.

Later in his career, he created a series of prints in collaboration with celebrated woodcutter Shigemitsu Tsukaguchi. 

His work has been exhibited at major institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art, among other venues including the Marlborough Gallery, Alexandre Gallery, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. 

What Mediums did Neil Welliver Use?

Neil Welliver’s oeuvre is synonymous with the rich and bold strokes of oil paint. He painted smaller scale images that he would later expand into 8’ x 8’ landscapes en plein air, backpacking through treacherous terrain with a weighty backpack carrying brushes, canvas, and merely eight colors of oil paint. 

While oil painting is the bedrock of Welliver’s legacy, he also collaborated with Shigemitsu Tsukaguchi in the 1980s to create a series of woodcut prints in the ukiyo-e style and he has produced a number of screenprints, but neither medium performs as profoundly in auction than his works rendered in oil paint.

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How Much Are Neil Welliver Artworks Worth?

Recently, prices for Welliver’s work have begun to increase. Welliver’s most valuable work, an oil painting, recently sold at an auction for $139,700 (2023). However, estimates more typically range from $1,000-$50,000, with anomalies periodically. Learn how much your Neil Welliver artwork is with a free estimate from Revere Auctions.

  • Average Estimate for Oil Paintings: $3,000-$50,000
  • Average Estimate for Screen Prints: $1,000-$5,000
  • Average Estimate for Woodcuts: $1,000-$3,000

What Determines the Value of Neil Welliver Art?

Several factors play into the value of a Neil Welliver work, including medium, subject matter, signature, and more, as outlined below.


  • Though he produced screenprints and woodblock prints, Welliver’s most prolific and valuable works have been rendered in oil paint on canvas. 
  • Larger scale works, regardless of medium, produce greater estimates than smaller scale works

Subject Matter

  • Landscapes are more lucrative than portraits and scenes with wildlife by approximately 50%.

Signed and Numbered?

  • Works with a signature are exponentially more valuable than works without a signature. 
  • Numbered prints are also more valuable than prints without numbering.


  • Welliver’s work from the mid-1970s, when his subject matter shifted away from portraits and towards landscapes, onward incites greatest interest and fetches the highest estimates.

Value of Neil Welliver Art

 Neil Welliver, Osprey’s Nest

Woodcut depicting an osprey nest amid a leafless tree and forested landscape, pencil signed along the lower right and numbered 13/80 along the lower left.

Estimate: $1,500-$3,000

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