Terpning Tribute to the Plains People Paintings by Howard Terpning® Text by Harley Brown
Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art and considered by many to be a national treasure. His awards are so numerous, and so frequent, that any listing is quickly outdated. He is known as the Storyteller of the Native American because of his devotion and respect for his subject matter, almost exclusively the Plains Indian.
Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, Terpning first gained attention through his powerful illustrations on Time and Newsweek covers. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the 1967 re-issue of Gone with the Wind. But his love of the West and Native American traditions fueled his transition to fine art.
“The American Indian fascinates me,” says Terpning. “I feel privileged to be one of their storytellers. I think it’s important to tell the story of the Plains Indians because their history is our history …part of our heritage. The his-tory of the West is the only history America has that is uniquely our own.”
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 Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery and the Phoenix Art Museum. Terpning’s paintings now sell for over one million dollars.
With over 120 full color paintings, this book is the most comprehensive collection of Terpning’s work to date. The text, by fellow artist Harley Brown, provides a unique artist’s view of Terpning’s oeuvre through discussions of his color, composition, inspiration and talent.
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