JERRY GOROSKI is the consultant appraisar to whom I refer inquiries about Scriver bronzes. He is formally trained and certified to do assessments and knew Bob Scriver as well as working for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. His gallery is called "Open Range Art."


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Scriver Bronze Donation
Cut Bank, MT •

Former resident donates valuable Robert Scriver bronze to local museum.

[Photo at the Pioneer Press website]

BY LINDA BRUCH for the Cut Bank Pioneer Press
Thursday, February 23, 2006 8:48 AM MST

The word bronze can mean a couple different things. It can mean the color of your skin after basking in the summer sun. It might also be referring to the color of a medal received by a third place finisher in the Olympics. Then again, it could mean a fabulous sculpture created by Bob Scriver. It's the last definition Glacier County is excited about.

This Robert Scriver bronze, with a certified value of $15,000, has been donated to the Glacier County Historical Museum by a former Cut Bank resident. Pegge Dallum, the sister of David Withers, first thought she would donate the bronze, which is entitled “Too Late for the Hawken,” to the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, but then decided it belongs in Glacier County.

In December of last year, David Withers' sister, Pegge Dallum, made a decision to donate a fabulous bronze sculpture she had in her possession. She hadn't quite made up her mind where to donate the bronze, but she did have a couple ideas. One of the places she was thinking about was the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. Dallum was just about ready to start the paperwork for the Great Falls museum, when another option came to mind.

What about donating it to Glacier County? After all, she used to live here and still has family ties in Cut Bank. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea. This time when she started the paperwork, it was to donate the bronze to Glacier County.

The bronze is entitled “Too Late for the Hawken.” It depicts a fur trapper who has obviously been surprised by an Indian on horseback. The Indian, with his spear-like javelin in hand, is ready to impale the trapper. It is obvious the trapper, whose rifle is in plain sight, will not be able to reach his weapon in time to save his life. The piece is magnificent and much like all the other creations designed by Scriver gives incredible attention to detail.

Scriver, a world-renowned sculptor, is credited for creating thousands of outstanding bronze sculptures. The pieces vary in size from tabletop to full-size and each one is remarkable in its own right.

Much like Dallum, Scriver had deep roots in Glacier County as well. He was born in Browning in 1914 and lived and worked there most of his life. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and for 17 years shared his love of music by teaching it.

In 1951, Scriver changed careers and became a taxidermist, opening up his own business in Browning. It wasn't long before his talents and abilities as a taxidermist made him well known throughout Montana. It was this foundation that ultimately led to his calling as a sculptor in 1956. For the next 34 years, Scriver would continue to sculpt, receiving worldwide fame for the fabulous pieces he shaped.

His life ended in 1999 at the age of 84, but his work is timeless and will continue to be shown in galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout North America. Scriver's work truly speaks for itself and explains why he has been called “American's foremost living sculptor of the west.”

Too Late for the Hawken” has been certified at $15,000 by Cut Bank attorney Darrell Peterson. “This is a pretty major piece,” said Peterson. He agreed Glacier County was lucky to have been the recipient of this fantastic piece of work. Peterson knows what he is talking about as both he and his office have a number of Scriver bronzes, making him a good authority on their worth and beauty.

Peterson said a number of Scriver pieces are currently on display at the Montana Historical Society Museum in Helena. With more Scriver pieces in storage than they currently have room to display they have begun preparations to construct a new showroom designated specifically to Scriver bronzes. It is estimated this exhibit will hold approximately 1,100 pieces crafted by Scriver.

If you didn't think Glacier County was fortunate to receive this generous gift before, here's betting you do now. Glacier County would like to offer a huge thank you to Pegge Dallum for this wonderful donation. It is proudly on display at the Glacier County Historical Museum.

Friday, February 10, 2006

SOUTHWEST ART, February, 2006

SOUTHWEST ART: Fine Art of Today’s West, Feb. 2006

A flip-through. You need your own mag so I won’t get into trouble for scanning.

This is the “Tenth Annual Landscape Issue,” so no wonder I really liked it! The only thing I like better than landscape is land! But relax, there is the usual quota of 19th century Native American images, much as it makes NA’s sigh into their coffee cups.

Terpening: p. 32. “Protectors of the Cheyenne People” sold for $478,000. (Settlers West Galleries’ Great American West show -- total sales more than $1.l million. 75 of 109 available works sold. Also Robert Griffing’s “At the Water’s Edge” went for $42,000; “Distant Smoke” by Roy Andersen went for $35,000; and Bob Kuhn’s “Curiosity Fed the Cat” sold at $21,000.) p. 81 “Captured from General Crook’s Command,” “Plunder from Sonora,” and “Camp at Cougar’s Den.” These are Greenwich Workshop Giclees. p. 160 Another “Protectors of the Cheyenne People” and an ad for a book. Pour on the gas! These people are not afraid of overexposure!

Birds: P. 33 a little flock in brush, a bronze at the Karin Nwby Gallery.

Cafes: p.37 Two by Leslie Sandbulte, lovely satires of a “Tea Party” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” P. 66. Linda Keyser Smith does something similar with “The Chill Is Gone,” a fur-embellished lady who appears to be thawing over a greenish drink. P. 68 Andre Kohn is not sure this one is a lady: “Martini, Dirty, Two Olives.”

: p. 76, an urban one by Michael Shankman, from up high, prob’ly SF judging from the tilt of the street. p. 90 I particularly like this Michael Shankman SF corner dive storefront. Also, the p. 93 juxtaposition of old and new in “New Mission.” p. 140 Carol Hopper’s “Sunset at Tuscany Stables.” p. 155 Wiliam Haskell’s “End of Season,” a classic front porch.

Expressionist and almost abstract landscapes:
p. 80 “Soft Tabs by Christopher St. Leger. It’s Houston at night. Much as people may mock glass envelope skyscrapers, this vision is transcendent. Actually the whole issue is just crammed with gorgeous, nearly abstract, fauvistically colored paintings. I love them all. (I also love the Western homesteads done realistically.)

Condos, clubs, resorts and fancy hotels are advertising in this mag. Looks like there’s still a lot of money in the “New West” lifestyle.

The paintings of Nick Kosciuk are NOT landscapes, so I’m not sure how they got in this issue, but they ae remarkable. There’s a whole article explaining his paintings of “Angels and Orphans” from Eastern Europe. Children with monarch butterfy wings perched on windowsills, or with haloes -- holding out hands without stigmata -- or just curled together defensively. On p. 140 a girl on one foot in front of a blackboard that says “mama.”

Connie Borup in Utah is a whole ‘nother story, making mosaic and carved screens of ordinary leafy branches and sometimes showing through them the landscape or just the sky.

p. 120 Elaine Holien throws orange, sienna and purple togther, adds a slash of blue and calls it a landscape -- which it is.

p. 141 Ad for Dave Powell whom I must mention since I’ve known him since he was a button. He’s in Cowboy Artists of America now. His “Pa,” Ace Powell, would be proud.

p. 151 Gregory Reade’s powerful bronze called “Chain of Success: Mentor.” I’m not sure what it’s about, but it’s beautiful. I’m also not sure why people have stopped making bronzes -- at least I see far fewer in the mags and shows. Maybe the proliferation of a lot of second rate stuff when casting became cheap and easy due to silicon slurry investment? Maybe the effort and expense of even cheap sculpture? Or is the problem with knockoffs and counterfeits?

Friday, February 03, 2006


From the NYTimes: “New York State has imposed a moratorium on new commercial colleges in the state, in the face of explosive growth in their enrollments and increasing reports of problems.” These schools are consuming more than $100 million in state aid. With so many young people believing that they’d better find a way to make a lot of money quickly, schools other than the academic are promising results. These schools include art schools. Art as business.

For a long time “abstract” has almost defined expensive art -- the Picasso/Pollock complex. But all the time, in the background, representational art has gone along on its own track -- both as illustrations in magazines and in the field of Western art. Many of the most famous Western artists are in fact illustrators from an earlier time. Howard Terpning is predicted to be the first living Western artist to be paid a million dollars for a painting. Though he sells in the hundreds of thousands of dollars now, a million is still a little optimistic. He has also “home schooled” two daughters into high-priced artists.

With Western art auctions handling something approaching sixty million dollars a year and such news as Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington selling for 21.3 million dollars, the attention of many people is attracted. The image of the impoverished artist wavers a bit. Painting doesn’t seem so hard -- maybe a few lessons. Not much expensive equipment needed. You can do it at home on your own time. Just paint what you see, right?

In academic circles it may still be hard to find teachers and courses that are more than theory and experiment suitable for abstractions. But there ARE commercial art schools that teach a person to paint realistically with sophistication. In fact, Terpning originally studied at the American Academy of Art, which was founded by an advertising man named Frank Young in the early 20th century specifically to train commercial artists who could do layouts and so on. Young charged low tuitions because he needed the talent to be there to do advertising work, his main income.

By the time Frank Young had passed on and his school had been passed down through the generations, the tuition was four or five thousand dollars a year. But then the school was sold to someone who was interested in the school as his profit base: the tuition went to $13,000 a year. The tuition is now $27,000 a year. And they get it. There is no academic degree now, but the school has realized that if they include a minimal number of math and lit classes, they can qualify for receiving student loan money from the government. Hello, New York!!

Down through the ages, would-be artists have gotten their educations by attaching to a “master” and following him (usually male) around in a studio or atelier until they’ve learned the basics -- maybe even done some of the prep and background work for the master. But now many successful artists are not entirely willing to accept apprentices. The more popular pattern is the painting workshop in some attractive spot where the students pay a lot of money for an accomplished artist to teach them for a few weeks. Some artists spend as much money scouting locations and making arrangements for housing, etc., as they do actually painting and teaching, but they clear hundreds of thousands of dollars. And maybe they pick up some good customer or gallery contacts.

Another model is that of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art. ( For $400 a year you can attend open, uninstructed studio sessions with live models. Instruction is in addition, maybe $20-$25 per student per session for ten weeks. This approach is recommended by Brian Minder (blog at with examples of his painting). Brian is a civil engineer part of the week in order to pay for being an artist the rest of the week. He is totally opposed to going into debt, having seen too many people crash and burn.

Brian’s hero is a painter named Richard Schmid, who is sometimes presented as a Western artist. Schmid -- in a world where many artists think only of their income -- has been generous with his help and support for artists at the Palette and Chisel, which has created a kind of “school” or “group” that paints together and keeps up with each other. Brian names Clayton Beck, Dan Gerhartz, Nancy Guzik, Rose Frantsen, Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon, Ken Cadwallader, Romel de la Torre. No tuition was involved. (Note women are included.)

In addition, Schmid has written a number of books, one of the most significant being Alla Prima: Everything I know About Painting (ISBN: 0966211715). A used copy of this one will sent you back $300 on, but artists say it is a key source of advice. There are also Schmid books on landscape and on nudes and many artists do DVD’s (rather than tape cassettes) that are demonstrations. I’ll append an account of the annual Schmid Auction in Bellvue, Colorado, where he used to live. It’s a benefit for the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department that raised $265,000 last September. (He lives in New Hampshire now.)

But there are not enough Richard Schmids to go around all the anxious and aspiring wannabe artists who run up huge debts at commercial art schools without any promise at all that they will be able to earn a living, much less pay back the thousands of dollars. The more who read about the money a Schmid or Terpning can make, the more who fantasize about their own future, the more the field is crowded with competition. Despite their dreams and hard work (and not all work that hard) in the end they may need to assume a new identity or emigrate to a new country or take bankruptcy.

Bob Scriver and I used to talk about the two kinds of artists. One sort loved being an artist and had the studio, the costume and the palaver all ready to go. You might say they were “all hat and no painting” after the cowboy who was “all hat and no cattle.” Painting, to them, was a kind of lifestyle. The other kind just wanted to paint -- didn’t care where or how so long as they were warm and fed. These are the ones who eventually are worth a lot of money.

Art today is often judged by its price -- the public seems to believe that a painting that auctions for a lot of money is a better painting than one that doesn’t meet its withholding price. In the past, valuing art was put into the hands of authorities -- professors and professionals who spent time reflecting upon and defending aesthetic standards. The danger then was that the view became narrower and narrower until art began to asphyxiate in the repetition and tight boundaries. Eventually, that triggers a counter-phenomenon like the wild explosion of energy and experiment at the beginning of the 20th century.

This is the way Minder’s reflections go: “The problem is that everybody thinks that they are the “One,” that they have a chance at greatness. There is no humility and very little of the idea that you may love the arts and even be competent in one of them, but you still have to step aside for others who are more talented. Or that you may have to make sacrifices in the material world to satisfy what uplifts you spiritually.”

This is from Art of the West magazine, Jan/Feb. 2006:

Art lovers from throughout the country spent a record-setting $265,000 on paintings and sculptures at the 10th Annual Richard Schmid Auction in Bellvue, Colorado, last September. Proceeds from the auction help to suport the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, which depends entirely on donations to protect the homes and people in more than 100 square miles west of Fort Collins.

The one-day event culminated in Schmid’s Whetstone Brook oil painting selling for $80,000. Another of his paintings, Roses, sold for $20,000. Other top-selling artists included Schmid’s daughter, Molly Schmid, Nancy Guzik, Rod Salter, Nancy Seamore Crookston, C. Michael Dudash, and Joseph Todorovitch. They joined 137 other artists who participated in the live and silent auctions.

’This is America at its best,’ Schmid said as he watched the art auction. ‘It is amazing how the power of art can unite a community.’

Wes Rutt, president of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, said, ‘Our record-setting results confirm that this event has become one of the most anticipated and well-attended art auctions in the West. Since our fire department receives no tax dollars, it is Richard Schmid, the talented artists throughout the country, their generous patrons, and everyone who attends the auction who deserve credit for making our volunteer fire deparment one of the best in the state.’

The fire department will put the net proceeds of more than $129,000 towards the purchase of a fire truck that can spray fire-retardant foam on homes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Temporary Blogger Standdown

The blogger has had to regroup and take a few days of “stand-down” to retool. In simple terms I’ve just been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, which means a major change in habits and a huge jump in the attention that has to be paid to eating and exercising. I’m making big charts -- then revising them. I’m supposed to take daily blood pressures, twice-daily blood sugar readings, and a half-hour of walking or the equivalent. (What IS the equivalent to a half-hour of walking?) But it’s working. My blood sugar sank from 200 (very high) to 100 (tolerable) in 24 hours. It’s like cotton candy melting out of my brain. I feel better and I didn’t even realize I didn’t feel good.

Being my father’s daughter (my father believed the world could be saved by Popular Mechanics and self-help books), I had at hand some books to guide me. I’ll list them in case you need something similar. I got them from Hamilton remainders online, whose inventory changes all the time. Maybe there’s something new and better by now.


“THE GOOD NEWS EATING PLAN for Type II Diabetes” by Elaine Magee. John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
“THE GOOD CARB COOKBOOK: Secrets of Eating Low on the Glycemic Index” by Sandra Woodruff. Penguin Putnam, 2001.

Some time ago I read an article that claimed if a person who had gone slightly to seed in late middle-age or early old-age really got with the program, ten years could be restored to their health. All the years of not drinking/not smoking should count for something.

But there is nothing to be done about my posture from hunching over a keyboard all these years -- well, unless I got hip to podcasts!