American Masterworks of Howard Terpning: Highlights from the Eddie Basha Collection offers a rare opportunity for public audiences to view major paintings from one of the largest privately-held art collections in the United States. Howard Terpning has achieved a rare status among contemporary painters of the American West and is recognized by collectors, aficionados of western art, and his fellow artists as a true master. His paintings reflect a knowledge and appreciation of the history, culture, and religion of the Northern Plains Indians. Terpning depicts elements of our collective American history, but harnesses a contemporary style that brings them to life for a modern audience.
Howard Terpning is sometimes called the “Storyteller of the Native American.” His realistic paintings are among the most sought after and acclaimed images ever produced of Native American traditions, customs, and history. Terpning has been honored with retrospective exhibitions at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, CA, as well as the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana.
© Terpning Family Limited Partnership, LLLP. All Rights Reserved
Terpning has been an artist for most of his life. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy of Art. He worked in commercial art in Chicago before moving to New York City, where he had a successful career as an illustrator for popular magazines and movie posters.
In 1977, Terpning moved to Tucson, Arizona, to document Native American culture and the America West. Two years later, he was elected to the National Academy of Western Art and, by unanimous vote, to the Cowboy Artists of America. He has been a member of the CAA ever since; choosing to go emeritus in 2003. His work has been recognized by his peers with numerous gold and silver awards, and he has received more Best of Show awards than any other artist. Perhaps even more telling, however, than all his awards and accolades is that he has been accepted by the Native people to whom his work is a lasting tribute.
Terpning is not just a talented artist but also an engaging story teller. A strong narrative is embedded in each of his paintings as they present the universal human struggle for survival. Implicit in this exhibition is the plight of the Northern Plains Indians. Terpning poignantly captures the images of individual strife while highlighting the tragic disappearance of a collective way of life. His focus is not solely on the historical accuracy of his paintings, but on sensitively rendering the stories of the Northern Plains Tribes.
The symbiotic relationship that existed between Eddie Basha and Howard Terpning deviated from the classical model of patron and artist. There existed a genuine friendship between the two men, both fully vested in their respective roles supporting the creative process. This unique pairing resulted in some of the finest examples of representational painting by a contemporary artist that have been preserved within one of America’s most notable collections.
Learn more about the Eddie Basha Collection at eddiebashacollection.com
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