From the Vault

22 01, 2015

Catlin as Showman

2020-01-17T14:26:24-06:00January 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

As mentioned previously, George Catlin went on several summer excursions West in the early 1830s to record the customs and characters of American Indian tribes he encountered. After 1837, Catlin the artist turned into Catlin the showman, touring the East Coast and Europe with his collection of paintings, costumes, weapons, and household artifacts. He called it his “Indian Gallery” or “Gallery Unique.” In doing so, Catlin inaugurated the elements of what was to become known as Wild West Shows. Unknown artist, The World's Greatest Amusement Institution Tompkin's Real Wild West Frontier Exhibition and European Circus, ca. 1911, Lithograph, Courtesy [...]

15 01, 2015

The Cowboy Artist

2020-01-17T14:23:58-06:00January 15th, 2015|0 Comments

It’s that time of year again – the Fort Worth Stock Show. Festivities begin tomorrow, and to gear up for the event we’re taking a look back at the roundup years of cowboy artist Charles M. Russell. MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-687, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society As a young boy, Charles Russell was fascinated by tales of the West – Indians, explorers, cowboys, and more. Young Charlie was an avid reader of dime novels and tales of the pioneering frontier. By the age of 16, his parents relented [...]

5 01, 2015

Bill and Charles

2020-01-17T14:15:22-06:00January 5th, 2015|1 Comment

Yesterday marked Charles Schreyvogel’s birthday. The young artist grew up in New York and New Jersey, but traveled to Europe where he studied at the Munich Art Academy. Schreyvogel returned weak and sickly. Although the doctor urged Schreyvogel to seek the dry, hot air of the American West, in the 1890s, the closest the artist could get to the West was William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody’s Wild West Show in New York. The traveling performance became one of Schreyvogel’s primary sources of information about Native Americans. He spent many visits sketching the actors from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows. It [...]

23 09, 2014

Happy Birthday, William R. Leigh!

2020-01-17T13:43:33-06:00September 23rd, 2014|2 Comments

Today marks the birthday of another SRM artist, William Robinson Leigh. Of the painters who gained fame as delineators of the American West around the turn of the century, Leigh is routinely cited as the most thoroughly trained. He studied at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore at the age of 14 and left for Germany a few years later to attend the Royal Academy in Munich. William R. Leigh | Bears in the Path (Surprise) | 1904 | Oil on canvas | 21 1/8 x 33 1/8 inches In 1900, after having met the American landscape artist Thomas [...]

26 08, 2014

Happy Birthday, Edwin!

2020-01-17T13:39:55-06:00August 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Today marks Edwin Willard Deming’s birthday, another artist in our collection. Born on a family homestead in Ohio in 1860, E.W. Deming grew up on the prairie lands of Illinois. As a child, Deming experienced his first encounter with Native Americans when the Winnebagoes would travel down from Wisconsin to hunt and trap nearby. Edwin W. Deming | Indians (Indian Attack) | c. 1910 | Oil on canvas | 20 1/8 x 28 1/8 inches In the late 1880s, Deming went to live with the Crow Indians near Little Bighorn River, the site of the infamous defeat of [...]

26 06, 2014

Happy Birthday, Frank!

2020-01-17T13:01:42-06:00June 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Today marks SRM artist Frank Tenney Johnson’s birthday (1874-1939). Although he spent much of his career in New York and California, Frank journeyed through Texas on several occasions, including his 1930 appearance at the annual Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth. Previously, during the summer of 1921, en route to California on one of their many automobile excursions from New York, Frank Tenney Johnson and his wife Vinnie stopped in Texas. The artist had promised to personally deliver a painting that was purchased by Frank S. Hastings, manager of the SMS Ranch in West Texas. Earlier, Frank [...]

31 03, 2014

Happy Birthday, Gilbert Gaul!

2020-01-17T12:45:50-06:00March 31st, 2014|4 Comments

Today marks William Gilbert Gaul’s birthday (1855-1919). Like another artist represented in the museum’s collection - Peter Moran - Gaul served as a special agent in 1890 for the eleventh census, focusing on American Indians in the United States. In particular, the artist observed the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations in North Dakota. The census of 1890 was the first to use automated processing methods, which reduced the amount of time involved in charting the results, from eight years for the 1880 census, down to one year for the 1890 census. Out of a population of over sixty million [...]

19 03, 2014

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

2020-01-17T12:44:07-06:00March 19th, 2014|1 Comment

“I have hade several birthdays myself some it’s a wonder I lived through but they say joy never kills an I Guess this is true caus Iv swollowed enough joy to drowned a cow on sevral occasions.” – CM Russell to Paris Gibson, June 29, 1916 Today marks Charles Russell’s birthday. By the time Russell died in 1926, he had established a career as an artist of the American West, leaving a lasting legacy in painting, watercolor, and bronze. In addition, Russell was a devoted author of correspondence, producing more than 500 letters, most of which were illustrated. Because expressing [...]

4 03, 2014

Happy Birthday, Peter Moran!

2020-01-17T12:42:08-06:00March 4th, 2014|2 Comments

Today is Peter Moran’s birthday. While his brother, Thomas Moran, has long been recognized as one of the premier painters of the American landscape, Peter Moran has received less attention, partly due to the lack of primary source material available. Like his brother, Peter was drawn to the West and traveled to that region on many sketching trips, resulting in paintings like Indian Encampment, in the museum’s collection. Peter Moran, Indian Encampment, c. 1880-1881, Oil on panel, 12 7/8 x 31 inches Overtime, Peter Moran garnered a reputation as an accomplished etcher of animals. In particular, cattle were [...]

22 02, 2014

Happy Birthday, Peter Hurd!

2020-01-17T12:39:40-06:00February 22nd, 2014|5 Comments

Today marks the birthday of Peter Hurd, born in 1904. A native of New Mexico, Hurd became a member of the famous Wyeth family after marrying the daughter of renowned illustrator N. C. Wyeth. Earning the distinction as one of the great painters of the Southwest, the artist was known for his work in the meticulous medium of egg tempera. Hurd was acquainted with Sid Richardson before beginning work on his portrait. In Sid, Peter found a colorful and amusing old friend. Although the portrait was executed in Palm Springs, CA, the painting’s background depicts Richardson’s ranch in San Jose [...]