If you had any doubt about the story in this painting, the firearms and weapons that these Native American hunters carry are ample evidence of their intent. Great Plains grizzly bears have been extinct for over 100 years but when this species was abundant, a bear kill was a mark of great bravery and a grizzly claw necklace was a coveted trophy and prized possession. Even with the rifle, taking a grizzly down was no easy hunt since the bear could take a bullet or two and still keep coming. There are scores of Native American legends about bear and the bear track symbol on clothing and other artifacts, considered a good omen.
Terpning made sure that the bear track was accurate through his characteristic research, which in this case meant a visit with the finished painting to his close friend Bob Kuhn (who said the painting of the bear track was exactly right). The focal point of the image is the light area with the bear track. From there the eye moves up to the pinto’s white and dark markings. The riders on the light field with the shadowed pines make a study unto themselves. The large tree fallen in the foreground reinforces the angle of the bow cases and bows making for an elegant vertical composition.
Sizing & Pricing
Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée
Canvas: Limited to 125 s/n. 21"w x 25"h. $650
We are of the firm conviction that 100 years from now, Howard Terpning will be looked upon as one of the most important painters of our time. Had we made that statement 30 years ago when we first introduced his work, we would already be one-third of the way in proving that to be true.
Howard is the most renowned and honored Western artist painting today and, quite simply, a national treasure. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often that any listing would requires an updating every few months. It would include the highest prizes awarded in Western art: the National Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Prix de West; the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence; Eiteljorg Award for Excellence in American Western Art; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Autry National Center and more Gold and Silver awards from the Cowboy Artists of America than any other artist.
The secondary market for Terpning’s fine art editions is unlike any other. The Giclee Canvas of The Force of Nature Humbles All Men has sold for over $27,000.00 from an initial release price of $2,450.00. The offset-litho limited edition of Chief Joseph Rides to Surrender trades at over $15,000.00. Ownership of one of his originals has surpassed the $1,000,000.00 mark.
Yet, for all his laurels Howard Terpning is a man of honor and humility. Acclaim is not the reason collectors eagerly anticipate the arrival of each new work. They treasure something more valuable than awards, something of both personal meaning and objective worth: a desire to keep alive the heritage and culture of Native Americans through the power of art itself.
“The American Indian fascinates me,” says Terpning. “The more I study them, the more intrigued I become. Their culture and artifacts, their horses, the way they looked … there’s always another story waiting to be told. I feel privileged to be one of their storytellers. I could paint two lifetimes without running out of subject matter. I think it’s important to tell the story of the Plains Indians because their history is our history … part of our heritage. The history of the West is the only history America has that is uniquely our own.”
Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often, that to list them would require changing the count every few months. To name three would be to cite the highest prizes awarded to Western art: countless awards from the Cowboy Artists of America, the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, the National Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum. Why such praise? Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them — all this and more has made Terpning the "Storyteller of the Native American." Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, he first gained attention from some powerful Time and Newsweek covers. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind. But his love of the West and Native American traditions saw his transition to fine art. Terpning is a long-time member of the Cowboy Artists of America, which has presented him with Gold and Silver awards, "Best of Show" awards, and "Best Overall Show by a Single Artist" awards more than two dozen times. His book, The Art of Howard Terpning won the Wrangler "Outstanding Art Book" award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Cowboy Artists of America
1980 Oil Painting - Silver "Crossing Medicine Lodge Creek"
1980 Drawing - Silver "The Spectators"
1980 Men's Art Council Award "Crossing Medicine Lodge Creek"
1980 Colt Award - Artists' Choice
1981 Oil Painting - Gold "Dust of Many Pony Soldiers"
1981 Drawing - Gold "The Warrior"
1981 Western Art Association Best of Show Award "Dust of Many Pony Soldiers"
1981 Colt Award - Artists' Choice
1982 Oil Painting - Silver "The Scouts of General Crook"
1982 Colt Award - Artists' Choice
1983 Oil Painting - Gold "Medicine Man of the Cheyenne"
1983 Drawing and other Media - Silver "Buffalo Runners"
1983 Colt Award - Artists' Choice
1985 Oil Painting - Gold "Apache Fire Makers"
1985 Other Media - Gold "The Storyteller"
1986 Oil Painting - Gold "Cavalry Scouts"
1986 Other Media - Gold "Wolves"
1986 Colt Award - Artists' Choice
1987 Oil Painting - Gold "Hope Springs Eternal - The Ghost Dance"
1987 Western Art Association Best of Show Award "Hope Springs Eternal - The Ghost Dance"
1988 Mixed Media - Gold "On the Brink"
1989 Oil Painting - Silver "Major North and the Pawnee Battalion"
1990 Stetson Award (Formerly Colt Award) - Artists' Choice
1991 Oil Painting - Gold "Prospectors Among the Blackfeet"
1992 Oil Painting - Gold "Army Regulations"
1992 Drawing and Other Media - Gold "Profile of Wisdom"
1992 CAA Award - Artists' Choice
1993 CAA Award - Artists' Choice
1995 Oil Painting - Gold "Crossing Below the Falls"
1995 CAA Award - Artists' Choice
1995 Best of Show Award “Crossing Below The Falls”
1997 Oil Painting - Silver "The Bonnet Case"
1997 CA Award - Artists Choice
1998 Oil Painting - Gold "Offerings to the Little People"
1998 Gouache - Gold "Whiskey Smugglers"
1998 Drawing and Other Media - Gold "Guarding the Lodge"
1998 CA Award - Artists Choice
1998 Best of Show - Kieckhefer Award "Offerings to the Little People"
2000 Oil Painting - Gold "The Sound of Buffalo"
2000 Water Solubles - Gold "River Crow"
2001 Water Solubles - Gold "Thunder Speaks"
2002 Drawing and Other Media - Silver "Council Mediator"
National Academy of Western Art (N.A.W.A.)
1980 Oil Painting Gold "Stones That Speak"
1981 Prix De West "Moving Day on the Flathead"
1981 Oil Painting Silver "Moving Day on the Flathead"
1992 Remington Award "Against the Cold Maker"
1992 Wrangler Outstanding Art Book Award “Art of Howard Terpning”
1996 Prix De West Award "The Trophy"
1998 Remington Award "The Rivers Gift"
Prix De West Show
2007 Oklahoma Centennial Award "Lady of the House" oil
The Hubbard Art Award of Excellence
1990 Oil Painting Best of Show "Transferring the Medicine Shield"
2000 John Geraghty Award - Contribution to Western Art
2001 Thomas Moran Memorial Award "Ready for the Dance" oil
2004 Masters of the American West Award
"The Forces of Nature Humble All Men" oil
2004 Trustees Purchase Award
2005 Thomas Moran Memorial Award "Camp at the Cougar's Den" oil
2005 Patrons Choice Award
2006 Thomas Moran Memorial Award "Sunset for the Comanche" oil
2007 Thomas Moran Memorial Award
"The Shaman and his Magic Feathers" oil
2008 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Hard Trails Wore Out More Than Ponies”
2009 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Journey to the Medicine Wheel” oil
2010 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “The Sound of Distant Bugle” oil
2011 Thomas Moran Memorial Award "Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People" oil
Eiteljorg Museum of American Western Art
2001 Eiteljorg Award for excellence in American Western art
State of Arizona
2003 Nominated for the Governor's Arts Award in the Artist category.
Briscoe Western Art Museum
2007 1st Governor Brisco Legacy Award
Southwest Art Magazine
2008 Named one of Legends of Fine Art
Marine Corps Combat Artist Hall of Fame Museum
Nighthorse Campbell Indian Medical Center in Denver, Colorado
2008 Honored by Native Americans
Booth Western Art Museum
2009 Lifetime Achievement Award
American Academy of Art, Chicago, IL
2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award