Arlen Axdahl, Art Broker & Secondary Market
Specialist in Les C. Kouba Art



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Arlen Axdahl, Art Broker, Secondary Market Specialist in Les C. Kouba Art        Arlen Axdahl

I began buying wildlife art in the late 1970s after stopping by the Plymouth building in downtown Minneapolis one afternoon where art was being sold. I bought some Les Kouba prints and had them framed for my home in Minnetonka, Minnesota. 

After a while I began reading the art ads in the Sunday Minneapolis Tribune calling numbers for the ads to ask about the art they had for sale. Early in my hunt for Kouba original art, I  received a phone call from a woman in North Minneapolis who had a small original of Les Kouba's that I traded for an "In Shelter" print. After the trade it was discovered the small sketch was the original sketch Kouba put his trademark "13" birds in. I later sold this original sketch to a collector in Andover, MN, for $5,000. See image below and to the right. Note: the other 12 mallards in the  formation fall below the head of the large mallard. See a larger image of the framed sketch below.

Many more trips to the the American Wildlife Art Gallery, (AWAG), developed into a deep friendship with Les Kouba. "Heading for Shelter" was one of the first prints I remember was starting to raise in value. So I bought a lot of those prints at $800 - $1,000 per print which were later sold at a nice profit. I have bought and sold virtually hundreds and hundreds of Les Kouba's prints. 

Not only did I buy Les Kouba's prints but Terry Redlin's, Robert Bateman's, Bev Doolittle's and all other artists. I made friends with Richard W. Plasschaert (in the picture at the top left with Arlen) that won the Federal duck contest in 1980. He is great artist.

I am a public speaker on Les Kouba any time the opportunity presents itself. In the late 90's I spoke to many Rotary Clubs, Fur-Fin-Feathers, other groups that liked the Minnesota native wildlife artist -- Les C. Kouba. More recently in 2008 I spoke at the McLeod County Historical Museum, in Hutchinson, Minnesota about the art of Les C. Kouba. Later this summer, 2010, the plan is be at the "Game Fair," north of Anoka, MN. My booth will have a great deal of original Kouba art….Stop by to visit with me and see the 1944 Les Kouba oval deer, done in 1944.

When ducks unlimited, in Minnesota had the print, "Heading for the Stubble" as its sponsor print of the year, I purchased the original painting from the man that won it at the raffle. I paid $5,000 for the painting. I'm a life member in the Les Kouba fan club. There is no fan club, but for certain I am the number one member. 

When Les Kouba passed, in 1998, I attended his funeral.  I cried as if my father had died. I knew that we would miss the "GRAND OLE MAN." In my view Kouba was the Norman Rockwell of Minnesota. People are going to think that he was too when the original Kouba art works they bought are sold to buy them a house or new car. 

I've probably bought and sold hundreds of  Kouba prints, perhaps 50-60 originals, including "The Empty Stand," "The Blizzard," "Prairie Pintails," "Late Bills" and many other titles and untitled works. My most recent purchase is "Cans @ 6:03 AM" pictured here on this web site for an asking price of $25,500.

Watercolors are another of my favorite art works. I have virtually bought and sold dozens of them over time.

Axdahl's Art World

I am proud of which is owned by my offline company called Axdahl's Art World. This is the Mission Statement of what I want the site to be:

  • It is the purpose of this website to serve the needs of all art lovers involving all artists in America, as well as the private collectors, dealers, individuals interested in Les C. Kouba art.

  • To promote the legacy and fame of Les C. Kouba, to share visually the work that this man did as a prominent, outstanding Minnesota artist, and the work that he did that was to the benefit all of mankind.

  • To offer services to the general public, that are needed, desired, and wanted whether it be just sharing an image being offered for sale, offering ad space for the public to sell a piece of art, or to inform everyone as to fame that is due this very important Minnesota artist.

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Last updated February 6, 2018