Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939)
Cowboys Roping the Bear
oil on canvas laid on board
26.25 × 36.25 inches
signed lower right
Sold at Auction: $921,000
Condition ReportHairline cracks in sky upper left, no noticeable inpainting under UV light, surface condition good, relined.
Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
According to Harold McCracken, “It was naturally with strong mingled emotions that Frank went down to the railroad depot to get onto the stage that early morning of May 18, 1904. He had a strong sense of anticipation that much of great importance to his future lay ahead. In addition he was looking forward to the thrill of just riding all day on the old-time stagecoach through a mountain wonderland with which he had already fallen deeply in love. More important was the question of what would happen when he reached the destination at the little town of Hayden in the heart of the cowboy and cattle country about which he had dreamed continuously since leaving New York. ...
“Frank Tenney Johnson stayed with the roundup and rode with the working cowboys, as one of them, until the roundup of the cattle, branding of the calves and separating of the cattle was completed on July 11. Throughout it all he continued to write about practically everything that happened. It is an exceptional record. He also made sketches in addition to the large number of photographs. ... Frank continued to make himself sufficiently useful to be looked upon as ‘one of the bunch.’ More important, he got an intimate insight and indoctrination into cowboy life and cattle roundups that was probably equal to that of any other artist who undertook to portray these cavaliers of the American West for the benefit of future generations.”
J. Brooks Joyner, Legends of the West (Omaha, Nebraska: Joslyn Art Museum, 2006), plate 43, page 65, illustrated
Private Collection, California
EXHIBITIONS: Legends of the West - The Foxley Collection, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, November 11, 2006 - February 25, 2007