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A Careless, Strong Willfull White Man Who Had Lived the Indian Life for Many Years
signed and dated 'N.C. WYETH/-08' (lower right)
oil on canvas laid down on board
34 x 26 in. (86.4 x 66 cm.)
Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, William Penn Memorial Museum, N.C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Tradition, October 13-November 28, 1965, no. 43 (as The Scout).
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Brandywine River Museum, N.C. Wyeth Exhibition, 1972, no. 19 (as The Squaw Man).
D. Allen and D. Allen, Jr., N.C. Wyeth: The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals, New York, 1972, p. 270.
Mrs. Boyd Hunt, Tucson, Arizona.
Descent in the family of the above.
Corporate collection, Dallas, Texas, by 1985.
Lisa Dawn Schneider, New York, 1991.
Property from an Important Western Collection
The present work was initially used as a frontispiece illustration for Sir Gilbert Walker's "Who Calls?" in the September 1908 issue of Redbook.
Born in Needham, Massachusetts in 1882, N.C. Wyeth began studying art at a young age. His mother encouraged him to enroll in several art schools--Mechanics Art School in Boston, Massachusetts, Normal Arts School and the Eric Pape School of Art in Boston--before being accepted into Howard Pyle's School of Illustration in Wilmington, Delaware in 1902. "After only one and a half years of Pyle's instruction, Wyeth was appearing in national magazines such as Collier's, Harpers, Scribner's and others. His first published illustration of a bronco and rider appeared in February 1903 on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post." (J.E. Dell, ed., Visions of Adventure: N.C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Artists, New York, 2000, p. 114)
Given Wyeth's proclivity for depicting Western and frontier life throughout his career, it is fitting that the artist began his livelihood with a western-themed subject as his first publication. Still early in his career, Wyeth traveled to areas of Colorado and Arizona and was quickly immersed in the culture of the West. His months there provided him with a wealth of imagery and authentic exposure that was an ample source of material for years to come. Wyeth's enthusiasm for the West was proven by greatly detailed letters home to family and friends. In a letter dated October 29, 1904, Wyeth writes to his childhood friend Allen Leonard: "I'm in a studio in Denver and I'm painting like H--l, I couldn't resist the chance to put the experiences and sights of the past month on canvas, so am hard at it. I dare to say that I think I'm having some success with my pictures as I have in 8 days finished three large paintings." Early the following month on November 3rd, Wyeth wrote to his father: "For a little over two weeks I have enjoyed painting as I never did before. I was 'chuck-full' of genuine eagerness and enthusiasm to paint, and I think the results will show it...Of course the color in the west is magnificent and cannot be touched with paint and brush. I have made every effort to get all the brilliancy of the country without the exaggerating--I think I have done it to a certain extent. Mr. Pyle will no doubt give me good crits that will pull me out of many difficulties. This trip will no doubt be the most beneficial thing that could possibly have happened...My pictures I can vouch now are authentic and true to life." (as quoted in Brandywine River Museum, N.C. Wyeth's Wild West, exhibition catalogue, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 1990, pp. 49, 54)
This work is included in the N.C. Wyeth catalogue raisonné database that is being compiled by the Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
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New York, NY, US