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    HOWARD A. TERPNING (American, b. 1927)
    Crow Country, 1978
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 46 inches (76.2 x 116.8 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: Terpning / 1978


    This lot is accompanied by a copy of the book Terpning: Tribute to the Plains People.

    This lot is accompanied by a copy of the book, Terpning: Tribute to the Plains People.

    Howard Terpning spent more than 25 years as an illustrator, during which time he produced such iconic movie posters as "The Sound of Music," "The Guns of Navarone," and the re-issue of "Gone with the Wind." However in 1976 he left this lucrative career to devote his time to painting scenes of the American West. Crow Country was painted in 1978 and shows Terpning's fully developed artistic skills and his emerging talent as a gifted storyteller.

    Although he does not refer to himself as an historian, saying instead that he simply tells stories, Terpning has produced a powerful and evocative body of work that documents the totality of Plains Indian culture from its ancient beginnings to the late nineteenth century. As in Crow Country, his primary concentration has always been on the everyday aspects of Native American life. He shows those activities in meticulous detail with particular attention to authenticity. Terpning has traveled widely in the West, visiting many of the sites that his paintings depict. He is a student of Native American history and has spent many hours in conversation with modern day members of the Blackfeet, Sioux, Crow, and other tribes.
    "Crow Country" portrays members of the Mountain Crow, one of three primary branches of the Crow people who settled along the present day border between Montana and Wyoming in the early nineteenth century. The painting vividly attests to Terpning's ability to capture the landscape of the area in all of its richly varied details-the sun glistening on the stream in the foreground, the wisps of smoke rising from the tipis, and finally the whitish gray clouds settling on the cool greens and browns of the mountains in the distance.

    Terpning's composition cleverly combines two elements of Crow life, the young men racing away from camp are perhaps on their way to a hunt or a battle, while the central grouping of tipis in the middle ground suggest the continuity of daily domestic life. Terpning deftly combines these two elements to present a more complete view of this culture.

    Terpning has often said that his intent is to present the full story of Plains life, the excitement and drama as well as the quieter moments around the camp. He has also said that his greatest satisfaction comes when he is told by the modern day descendants of the people that he has so skillfully portrayed that he has rendered their stories and traditions exactly right. In Terpning's paintings like Crow Country, we glimpse a lifestyle and a time that has passed, but one that persists in our imaginations due in no small part to the skill and dedication of this artist.

    More information about HOWARD A. TERPNING, also known as Terpning, Howard A., Howard A. Terpning.

    Condition Report*: Original canvas is not lined and paint layer is in very good condition. UV examination revealed no visible areas of inpainting.  Framed Dimensions 41.25 X 56.75 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11,284

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