Transferring the Medicine Shield (Anniversary Masterwork Canvas), Giclee on Canvas, Limited to 85, Dimensions: 30" x 45", Published 2015.
The shield was considered a medicine object among the Blackfeet people and was treated with the same great care and reverence as other medicine bundles. If the shield were to be transferred to another, it had to be exchanged in a formal ritual.
As Terpning explains the ceremony, first a smudge would be made inside the tepee. The shield would be passed through the sacred smoke four times, four being considered a magical number by Plains Indians. The recipient of the shield was painted with yellow earth over the face and hands, the face would then be streaked by drawing the fingertips downward. A red transverse band was painted across the mouth. Four drums were beaten and special songs were sung. The seller then took up the shield and dodged about, pretending to avoid blows or arrow strikes, as in a fight. At the end of the ceremony, the recipient paid the former owner with a horse.
Howard Terpning's Transferring the Medicine Shield was chosen to become an Anniversary Edition Fine Art Canvas because it is a masterpiece in the study of Native American rituals. It is a story of the harmony of the Plains People with their environment; of color and design; and of an artist with his subject. Be one of the few to own one of the finest works from one the greatest artists to ever paint the American West.
MEET HOWARD TERPNING When Howard Terpning’s paintbrush touches the canvas, there is a profound commitment behind its spirit, a vital force that drives the originality of each painting with a heartfelt purpose. The compassion, strength, and vulnerability that radiates from the canvas is not only a testament to his skills, but a reflection of the artist, and the man himself. Terpning has become one of the most lauded painters of Western art today and is considered by many a national treasure. He is amongst the rare group of artists to see his work sell for over a million dollars in his lifetime. This is not only a rating of the mastery of his skills as an artist, but of his employment of them to allow the viewer to experience the deep respect for people and nature that drives his art. Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, Terpning first gained attention through his advertising and editorial illustrations. His vision became the force behind such classic movie posters as “The Sound of Music”, “Dr. Zhivago”, and the 1967 re-issue of “Gone with the Wind”. Always a Marine, Terpning answered the call again, making combat patrols around Da Nang with a camera and sketch pad for the Corps in Vietnam during 1967, but his love of the West and Native American traditions fueled his transition to fine art. He has become known as the Storyteller of the Native American because of his devotion and respect for the Plains Indian. The late Fred A. Myers, director of the Gilcrease Museum, said of Terpning, “He is simply the best and best-known artist doing Western subjects at this point. He is among a very small group of painters of the West in the late 20th century whose art will still be hanging in museums and appreciated a hundred years from now.” His work has been exhibited around the world and collected in museums including the Autry National Center, the Phoenix Museum, and the Booth Western Art Museum, along with many of the most prestigious private collections today.
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