Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often, that to list them would require changing the count every few months. To name three would be to cite the highest prizes awarded to Western art: countless awards from the Cowboy Artists of America, the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, the National Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum. Why such praise? Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them — all this and more has made Terpning the "Storyteller of the Native American." Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, he first gained attention from some powerful Time and Newsweek covers. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind. But his love of the West and Native American traditions saw his transition to fine art. Terpning is a long-time member of the Cowboy Artists of America, which has presented him with Gold and Silver awards, "Best of Show" awards, and "Best Overall Show by a Single Artist" awards more than two dozen times. His book, The Art of Howard Terpning won the Wrangler "Outstanding Art Book" award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
“Great gatherings of trappers and Indians could go on for three or more weeks, during which they would exchange hides for trade goods to carry them through the winter,” explains Howard Terpning. “This rendezvous takes place at Pierre’s Hole (now known as the Teton Basin), which is identified by the hills in the background. Much of the men’s leisure time was spent playing in games of all sorts, with cards being one of their most popular pastimes. Showing both the gaming participants and their spectators enabled me to do studies of an assortment of characters. Although some of the natives may not have understood the game itself, they were undoubtedly drawn in by its excitement.” Any true Terpning collector will be drawn to this stunning large format MasterWork™ image. Deal yourself into this winning hand before it’s too late!
Originally from Eastern Montana, the Crow Indians ranged far and wide by the 1870s. Parties of warriors would travel as far as the Rockies to raid rival tribes, hunt buffalo or chase off newly arrived settlers. This group of Crow inspects the remains of an unfinished, long-abandoned cabin they have encountered on one such journey. Such an intrusion would have been discovered on their own grounds long ago.
You know a painting is special when it’s the piece in an exhibition that the collectors just stand in front of for a long period of time and simply don’t say word. And, they keep coming back to do it again and again. If interrupted, they’ll return to it, intent on having the opportunity to enjoy a great work of art.
And in case we hadn’t picked up on that at the Masters of the American West art show this past February, the phone calls coming in to ask us, “When are you going to release it as a Fine Art Edition?” were certainly another clue that demand would be high for this particular giclée canvas.
The winner of the 2011 Thomas Moran Award for Painting, Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People is a magnificent work. Terpning begins with a simple common premise; the grandeur of nature can be sacred. He relates that emotion not by creating a landscape painting, but by focusing on the reverence these men have for what they see. The petroglyphs show that this is an ancient understanding. These men knew it to be so in their time, just as we do today. Their silence, as they take in the wonder about them, is not unlike that of the collectors we saw view this work for the first time.
“Petroglyphs on rock formations indicate that the visitors are in a spiritual place,” describes Howard Terpning, “a place blessed by the long-ago people. Numerous locations like this exist throughout Montana and Wyoming, sometimes high on a mountain with a spectacular view of Mother Earth. For centuries, Indian people have made the journey to these sacred places to give thanks for their blessings and to pray for success in hunting and in battle. Today, they continue to visit these sacred places as their forebears did, leaving small pieces of trade cloth and handmade objects decorated with beads or feathers as gifts for the gods.”
Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People is available as a Fine Art Canvas. At 33” x 35” it is an impressive work that will majestically fill any large space. Our carefully crafted giclée canvas will give you the experience of owning this great work of art for significantly less than the price the original captured in February. Also available is a more moderately sized and wonderfully priced Fine Art Giclée Paper. Both editions, truly faithful reproductions of the original, are signed by Howard Terpning and numbered.
Collectors who waited too long to commit to last Fall’s The Legend of Geronimo missed out on what is a beautiful (and now hard-to-come-by) canvas or paper edition. Don’t wait too long and miss out again!
It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. ¯Apache Saying
Two hundred Apache scouts served with the army in its final campaign against Geronimo in 1885 and 1886 and were largely responsible for its success. So why would Apaches become scouts for the Army to track down fellow tribesmen?
First, it has to be understood that disunity and blood feuds that separated the different Apache groups played a large part in recruiting Apaches as scouts. And certainly the regular pay was an incentive. But to an Apache, being well-armed and doing a warrior’s work ¯ using their tracking and fighting skills that they learned and knew since childhood ¯ was better way than the cramped confinement of reservation life.
Like the Sold Out at Publisher, "Change of Command," "Apache Scout" is a SmallWorks® who’s impact extends far beyond its size.
If you had any doubt about the story in this painting, the firearms and weapons that these Native American hunters carry are ample evidence of their intent. Great Plains grizzly bears have been extinct for over 100 years but when this species was abundant, a bear kill was a mark of great bravery and a grizzly claw necklace was a coveted trophy and prized possession. Even with the rifle, taking a grizzly down was no easy hunt since the bear could take a bullet or two and still keep coming. There are scores of Native American legends about bear and the bear track symbol on clothing and other artifacts, considered a good omen.
Terpning made sure that the bear track was accurate through his characteristic research, which in this case meant a visit with the finished painting to his close friend Bob Kuhn (who said the painting of the bear track was exactly right). The focal point of the image is the light area with the bear track. From there the eye moves up to the pinto’s white and dark markings. The riders on the light field with the shadowed pines make a study unto themselves. The large tree fallen in the foreground reinforces the angle of the bow cases and bows making for an elegant vertical composition.