DescriptionMaynard Dixon (American, 1875-1946)
Let 'er Buck! Pendleton Round Up, 1913
Gouache on paper laid on board
28-1/4 x 22-1/4 inches (71.8 x 56.5 cm) (sheet)
Signed, dated, and inscribed lower right: To J.R. Raley / with compliments of / Maynard Dixon / Los Angeles 1913
Titled upper right: Let 'er Buck
J.R. Raley, founder of the Pendleton Round Up;
By decent to the present owners.
"Maynard Dixon had just returned to his San Francisco studio in August, 1913 after completing a major mural project for Anita Baldwin's Indian Room at her Arcadia home. Anxious to return to the desert and probably urged by Edward Borein and Charles M. Russell, he decided to travel in middle September to Pendleton, Oregon and its by now famous Pendleton Round Up. Dixon planned to document activities at the round up and then explore and paint in the northeastern Oregon desert.
"At the round up, Dixon met the event's founder and guiding spirit, John Roy Raley. An attorney known for this dramatic and theatrical style, Raley established the rodeo in 1910, serving as the first president. By 1913, the rodeo was a resounding success, its logo, "Let 'er Buck," of a buckaroo astride a twisting, jackknifing bronco known throughout the country. Dixon found the round up disappointing, saying "too much professional redshirt stuff in it and Crook County not much better, "stockmen all go in autos and a good saddle horse is as seldom as an antelope." By then Dixon had become dismayed at the shifts in popular culture feeling that the automobile was starting to destroy the solitude of Western communities and had begun to empty out the stables. For him, a New West was coming and an Old West disappearing and he was uncomfortable with what was coming.
"But a telegram from his wife who had remained in Los Angeles and had fallen ill cut his trip short. When he returned to Los Angeles he found time to create Let 'er Buck, a rousing portrait of a cowboy determined to remain on a frenzied horse just as determined to get rid of his rider. Dixon presented the painting to John Raley. Although Dixon never returned to the Pendleton Round Up, his memories of what he had seen there often emerged in later iconic illustrations."
We are grateful to Donald J. Hagerty for his expertise and gracious assistance in cataloging this painting.
There appears to be tiny pinholes along edges and creases throughout, most notably along edges in white background; a few possible repaired small tears; possibly trimmed along right edge; small spots of discoloration in white background; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 37.5 X 31.5 X 1 Inches
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