The Ploy by Howard Terpning
A mountain man finds himself in the midst of a group of Crow warriors, which was not necessarily dangerous because the Crows, for the most part, remained on fairly friendly terms with the whites. When he gets to camp, however, he may find to his sorrow that he is missing something out of his pack. While some of the warriors divert his attention by yelling and gesturing, another is reaching in to see what he may find.
Despite their status as non-hostiles, the Crows saw nothing wrong with stealing whatever they could get their hands on, from camp goods to rifles to horses. They considered it their right to exact a toll inasmuch as the whites were invading their own rightful territory. Some Crows eventually became scouts for the U.S. Army against their enemy neighbors. Crow scouts warned Custer about the danger he faced at the Little Big Horn, but he chose not to heed them.
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.”
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