Sunday, May 27, 2007

"MONTANA'S OWN" By Dave Crowell


Now and then I go scrounging around in my limited archives for something I only dimly remember. That’s what led me to a 1970 self-published book written by Dave Crowell. It’s basically a list of the Montana Western artists of the time, a catalog that presents a photo of their art, a photo of the artist, and a half-page or so of description. It didn’t include any of the academics, like Branson Stevenson or Rudi Autio, or any of the abstract artists. I have no memory of Dave Crowell at all, though I must have met him. In fact, Bob had just had his heart attack so I wrote the entry for him.

What impresses me is how few of these artists stayed in the biz or are still noted today. I count about 20. I googled every name and got no hits for 28 people. Ten have died, that I know of. A few have books of their own, either that they wrote or that someone else wrote about them.

What impresses me even more is that this simple little book is selling for as much as $375 dollars (see alibris.com) if it is signed by the author and includes a couple of original sketches by the illustrators. (Ron Bailey and Fred Fellows) This little book can sell for more money than some of these artists’ work at the time!

Here’s who’s in the book:

Bill Bailey Hungry Horse
Ron Bailey Hungry Horse
Tom Balazs Polson
Lou Blaskovich Butte
Sheryl Bodily Columbia Falls
Virginia Boegli Bozeman
Dan Bull Plume Glasgow
Bill Chapman Gardner
Clarence Cuts the Rope Hayes
Clay Connick Missoula
Fred Fellows Kalispell
Loren Dolln Butte
Bob Earhart Bigfork
James Flansburg Missoula
Bill Gebhart Conrad
Bob Hall Butte
Granville Hawley Hayes
James Haughey Billings
Bud Helbig Kalispell
Sandy Ingersoll Stevensville
Ron Jenkins Missoula
Andrew Jordan Choteau
King Kuka Missoula
Gordon Laridon Missoula
Betty Magner Great Falls
Marilynn Mason Missoula
Dutch Metesh Philipsburg
Darlene Morgan Bigfork
Bob Morgan Helena
Bill Ohrman Drummond
Merle Olson Bigfork
Hazel Ostrom Kalispell
Jack Olson Bozeman
Ace Powell Kalispell
Rex Rieke Helena
A.J. Richardson Great Falls
Tom Sander Kalispell
Bob Scriver Browning
John Segesman Cascade
Gary Schildt Hungry Horse
Steve Seltzer Great Falls
Tom Schenarts Missoula
Irvin Shope Helena
Elmer Sprunger Bigfork
Frankie Stratton Missoula
Les Welliver Kalispell
Bob Wood Kalispell
Geri Wood Kalispell

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello
I just happen to run into your posting on a book by Dave Crowell titled "Montana's Own. You listed the artists found in the book. Amoung them was a Hazel Ostrum Kalispell. I have a painting by her titled "Three Guns" Blackfoot. Can you tell me anything about this artist or about the Blackfoot Indian "Three Guns"?
Thank You
Bill Holtzapple

holtz said...

Hello
I just happen to run into your posting on a book by Dave Crowell titled "Montana's Own. You listed the artists found in the book. Among them was a Hazel Ostrum Kalispell. I have a painting by her titled "Three Guns" Blackfoot. Can you tell me anything about this artist or about the Blackfoot Indian "Three Guns"?
Thank you

Deborah Collins said...

My name is Deborah Collins but my maiden name was Bailey. Ron Bailey was my father and Bill Bailey my uncle. Years ago my mother gave me a copy of this book that I have always cherished for 2 reasons. It had information about my father and the sketches. They are beautiful and he painted over them with watercolors and he signed it. I never thouth much about value but now I'm wondering should I get it insured? This is the only thing I've found on the net about him. Thank you

prairie mary said...

Hi Deborah. You ask a question that can't really be answered by someone like me. If your assumption is that the book might be valuable, my guess is that it is not worth more than a hundred dollars or so and then not unless you find the right buyer. But not many people are as likely to value the book as much as you do because it is so personal. On the other hand, with unique painting of the sketches, it probably can't be valued the way any used book would be. Probably you need to make sure it's on your ordinary homeowners insurance, but that would be enough. If it burned or something, it would be irreplaceable anyway. You might want to speak to an informed gallery owner or even consult with your insurance provider.

Prairie Mary

Anonymous said...

I believe Bob Wood is deceased and am wondering about Geri Wood Anderson - is she still in the Kalispell area. We have many originals and numbered prints by both Geri and Bob.

Thanks!

P. K. McPherson-Williams

prairie mary said...

Dear P.K,

I've been out of touch with the cowboy art world for quite a while, in particular the Kalispell scene. You might try using www.askart.com, which is an extremely helpful source of information.

Prairie Mary

Anonymous said...

Hello, Last year around twenty of Dutch Metesh's paintings were stolen from her small art gallery in Philipsburg. The paintings are beleived to be in or around the Missoula area. If you seen any of these paintings in an odd place, pawn shop or if you know of someone who bought a bunch, please let me know, I would buy them back at fair market value. I am a concerned family member, I can be reached at 406.799.1966. Thank you and thank all of you for keeping monatana art alive and beautiful!

buckinboise said...

i have three bronze's by scriver........one is cpt lewis and dog scan non.......capt lewis map maker and montana trapper....cannot find anything about map maker...any ideas or info........

Mary Strachan Scriver said...

The bronzes you were describe were probably cast by a man who bought the copyrights and cast small works by Bob Scriver late in his life. He gifted a sample of every bronze in his collection to the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. You might contact them.

Mary Scriver