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According to Larry Len Peterson, author of Philip R. Goodwin: America’s Sporting and Wildlife Artist, “Only two artists mastered the predicament painting where the skill to capture arrested motion was crucial to success, Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) and his mentor, Philip R. Goodwin (1881-1935), America’s greatest sporting and wildlife artist. Goodwin was born on September 16, 1881 in Norwich, Connecticut. Early on he was recognized as a child prodigy attending the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design when he was only fourteen. He soon caught the eye of America’s most famous illustrator, Howard Pyle (1853-1911), who taught such greats as Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Frank Schoonover, W. H. D. Koerner, and Frank Stick. Pyle started the Brandywine School in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania where most of the great illustrators would train over the years. Goodwin was training there as a teenager ahead of N. C. Wyeth.

“Goodwin accepted an invitation from the Russells to visit them at Bull Head Lodge in Glacier National Park in the summers of 1907 and 1910. By the time of his first visit, the young New Yorker had illustrated a dozen books—including the Call of the Wild by Jack London (1876-1916) in 1903; dozens of magazine articles; three covers of the great magazine of the day, The Saturday Evening Post; and sporting posters for The Marlin Firearms Co., The Peters Cartridge Co, and Winchester. Amazingly, he was only twenty-five years old.

“To say that the Russells were in awe of Goodwin would be an understatement. Russell, the student, learned well from his friend. From 1907 to 1910 Russell produced many of his finest paintings. As a tribute to Russell, Goodwin completed several paintings with a cowboy or Indian theme. Goodwin’s magnificent oil, When Things are Quiet (1910) [showing a cowboy with chaps lying on a hillside viewing his cattle herd], in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum was chosen in 2000 for their poster celebrating “The Year of the Cowboy.” Another fine tribute was Blackfeet Indians on the War Path that Goodwin submitted on August 24, 1908 to Gabriel and Levy, a calendar company located on Fifth Avenue in New York. He was paid $100. The setting is a game trail high in Glacier above Russell’s Bull Head Lodge. Blackfeet Indians on the War Path commemorates the great friendship between two masters of American art.

PROVENANCE:
The Artist
Gabriel and Levy, New York, New York
U.S. Playing Card Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 1915
Private Collection, Moose, Wyoming, 2001

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