Crows in the Yellowstone (Artists Proof), Limited, Dimensions: 35" x 25"
Government propaganda helped spread the rumor that the hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone kept superstitious Indians, who were afraid of evil spirits, away from this mystical and fertile land. Declared a national park in 1872, Yellowstone was the scene of a set of hostile encounters between Chief Joseph's fleeing Nez Perce and visiting tourists in 1877. The conflict created a public relations nightmare for the fledgling park service. The rumor, which persists today, was created and perpetuated in order to counteract the subsequent bad press and to draw tourists back to the park.
There is a world of difference between recognizing the sacred nature, mystery and power of a place and being afraid of it. The Crow respected and revered what they called land of the burning ground or land of vapors. Although they lived primarily in the region to the east of what became Yellowstone National Park, the Crow camped and hunted throughout the region.
The Crow were expert horsemen. They dubbed the horse "Ichilay," meaning to search with, perhaps referring to the search for enemies and game. While other Plains tribes used the travois for hauling, the Crow, from children to elders, all rode and used packhorses that enabled them to travel fast no matter what the terrain. The Crow were regarded as premier horse thieves. One of the four military tests for an aspiring Crow warrior was to sneak into an enemy camp at night, capture a fine horse and bring it back successfully.
It was then almost impossible to catch the Crow, especially if they took refuge behind the Absaroka Range in what is now Yellowstone.
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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