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, July 19, 2007


For a while now I haven’t taken a friendly walk through the Western art mags, so I thought I’d give a catch-up tour today. Southwest Art: Fine Art of Today’s West (July, 2007), Art of the West: For All Fine Art Collectors (July/August, 2007) and Wildlife Art, The World’s Foremost Wildlife Art Magazine (May/June, 2007).

First some logistical orientation. Most disciplines that lean heavily on culture can be sorted from “low” to “high.” For instance, “low” religion is folk, maybe superstitious, informal, rural, inspired rather than learned, not usually wealthy. “High” religion depends upon education (theology, a “learned” ministry with graduate degrees), wealth and architecture (beautiful furnishings, expensive supplies), and high status in the larger society. All up and down the scale it is possible to accumulate enormous power, to be vulnerable to corruption, or to be captured by the status quo, habits and assumptions that haven’t been challenged for a long time, and the interests of a class of people who derive power from believing that the way things are is the way things ought to be.

Art is very much like that. It can be spontaneous and charming, like grandpa’s whittling, mom’s scrapbooks and the kids’ refrigerator art. It can be as mammoth and intimidating and globally famous as European masterpieces. And then there’s art of the American West. Cowboy art, some assume. The panorama landscape, think others. And a few love charismatic animals of every kind and continent.

For a long time Europe and the closed “academies” that controlled the big shows dominated American art. Then the focus shifted again, thanks partly to some intense characters and partly to war in Europe that pushed some of them to New York City. Then we had Pollock and deKooning and all that shocking abstract stuff. (It’s surprising that all this “modern” art is so old now.) American Western art formed partly in reaction to that, both the snobbery and the puzzlement of figuring out out why anyone would want a painting of “an explosion in a shingle factory.”

Going naively and happily along their own trails, some artists used fine European technique to describe a striking new world, maybe Taos and environs. The living was cheap, shacks were available, the subject matter was intriguingly anthropological. Farther north the clearance of the prairie was underway and artists sat in for photographers, until cameras were ready to pick up the story.

More recently, there were a few ways to save the ranch: rodeo, writing or painting. These WERE cowboys so they painted their own world. Eventually they banded together into the Cowboy Artists of America. All the founders are dead now. There was a major renaissance when the east coast magazine illustrators joined up. They’ve dropped the second “A,” maybe because some of the best artists of the American West are now Chinese, classically trained. They mix yurts and Chinese peasants in with their tipis and Mexicans.

Actually, the Society of Animal Artists formed a little earlier than the CAA. They were sports illustrators at first, calendar artists and so on. They came out to the West to look for animals and backgrounds -- pick up some ideas. Then the natural history history types, the ecologists and buffalo huggers took an interest.

With this as our map “rose,” let’s walk along.

Southwest Art says it is paying tribute to sculptors in this issue, and puts a splendid bronze eagle gripping a salmon on the cover. (The patina helps indicate this is a “bald” eagle, which fishes rather than catching mammals like a golden.) As usual, much of the emphasis in all the articles is about the artists: where they grew up, how they got the bug, how they educated themselves, what they feel about it all. But there are two interesting articles that hinge on materials: one about sculptors working in stone at the Purple Door Studio (I love the photo of the group all wearing their respirators) and one about a couple, Allen and Patty Eckman, who have taught themselves paper casting, lately going to a style of shredded, fringy paper that lends itself to fancy dancers with ribbons swirling or horses with manes flying.

The featured bronze artist is Ken Rowe, who did the eagle on the cover. He came to portraits of animals through taxidermy (one classic path in the West) and --to my eye -- is pretty damn good. Joe Brubaker is a mixed media guy, a California academic fabulist who begins with a wood figure, then goes to ... somewhere in his mind. It’s haunting and means to be.

Advertisers tend to be galleries that pick up on the main stories, rather like fashion mags, but there is always abiding the same scatter of “real” cowboy artists, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time optimists, and historic paintings -- historic both in subject matter and in terms of when they were painted. My own love is always the strong color-work (I don’t even care whether you can tell what is, so long as the colors are wonderful) and there is a lot of it in this issue, some of it with pastels rather than oil paint. Melinda Hall uses it to be witty; Tony Saladino makes it schematic.

The real capper, saved for last, is a dandy: a marble portrait of an octopus, both formally patterned and realistically organic, fifteen feet tall and thirty-five feet long -- not intended for the average sitting room. By Bela Bacsi (there are accents on the first e and the second a), it won the Gold Medal for Sculpture at the California Art Club’s 96th annual Gold Medal Exhibition. Southwest Art makes an Award of Excellence at this show, which went to Brian Blood for a Carmel landscape.

Art of the West is a more modest enterprise, Minnesota rather than Denver based. It is more classically “Western” with scenery and guys on horseback. The painting is not quite so adept, but there is an article on one of the true greats, Maynard Dixon, a man who really sets the high mark for Western painters. Another article is about David Drummond, an elvish-looking fellow who paints Lake Powell and iris in watercolor in a way transcendently pure. He attributes this to a previous career in astrophysics, specializing in optics.

The back page in this mag goes to Bill Frazier, the only attorney in Montana who really knows art. He speaks common sense and practical wariness for both artist and customer. This time, remarkably, both he and Allen Duerr and Thomas Tierney, the publishers, were saying, “Beware of sharks.” Today’s enthusiasm for parking money in artwork has been “blood in the water” for a lot of fast talkers and grifters. Believe them!

Wildlife Art is the most low-rent and this issue’s cover really looks it. One would expect it on the rack next to True West. With the cover off, it would be harder to distinguish from the others. There’s that Terpening again, not so much a man as an industry. A nice lady sculptor of Cowboys and Indians, J. R. Eason. A guy (Bob Boomer) who does Indians in wood. B.C. Nowlin who has developed a shimmering style of Indians just leaving. Don Weller: immaculately skillful watercolors of cowboys on horses. Karen Cooper who works on (gulp) not quite black velvet, but black sanded paper which comes out about the same. Susan von Borstel who paints on slabs of stone. You’ve gotta have a gimmick.

The editorial comment is from Keith Hansen, who just LOVES horses but has nothing to contribute the wrenching controversy over horse slaughter in the US. What about old, broken, blind horses? Oh, look over there at that cute little colt! (He’s on the California coast.)

In summary, Southwest Art is the highest on the sophistication ladder. Art of the West frankly takes the burghers’ point of view in a pitch for good commerce. (They publish “Artfacts Newsletter” bimonthly, including auction info, bios, and so on -- the same stuff you could get from a website like “” but handy if you’re a geezer who hates keyboards.) Wildlife Art is riding drag, a little dusty, but someone’s gotta do it.

Keep them dogies movin’!

Saturday, July 14, 2007




In the Fifties there were a great number of small sculptures meant for tourist souvenirs. One of the very first was a seated musketeer. A horse with an ashtray attached sold very well. A bear against a tree trunk was wired as a lamp. A mountain goat and a cougar stretched out along the ground have shown up on the Internet auctions. A two-piece hunting scene shows the hunter coming over a boulder but the other side shows a grizzly rearing by the mountain goat he just shot. (This has been cast in bronze.) The list below doesn’t specify these pieces.

1953: Whitetail Buck (Single deer, 1/5 scale)

1956: Large Bison Skull (Two more were made later: a smaller one and a bolo-sized one, which is also cast into the door handles at the CMRussell Museum in Great Falls.)

1957: No More Buffalo (Indian series -- old warrior with spear)
On the Lobo Trail (horse and rider series)

1958: Bellowing Bull (small figure)

1959: On the Prowl (small grizzly)
Ace (portrait of Ace Powell)
Grizzly in Trap (large grizzly, seated)
Hunting Party (pack train)
Say That Again and I’ll Knock your Block Off (2 separated cubs)

1960: Ideal Galway Bull (Commission, head only)
Lone Cowboy (1960 cowboy)
Buffalo Hunter (horse and rider series)
Boss of the Trail Herd (horse and rider series)
Standing Grizzly (large, upright)

1961: Transition (Blackfeet series: old Indian, woman and child)
Last of the Warriors (the old man from Transition, alone)
Pronghorns in Action (three pronghorns leaping)
Frontier Scout (horse and rider series)
Arlene (portrait bust of Arlene Lightfield)
Jay (nude portrait of Jeanette Scriver, his second wife)
Trophy Rams (3 rams, one legal, one very nice, one amazing)
Pullin’ Leather (horse and rider series)
Buffalo Calf (small, with cow)
Four o’Clock in the Morning (cowboy about to saddle horse)
Return of the Blackfeet Raiders (Blackfeet series: 4 warriors on horseback)
Reynard’s Brood (fox with kits)

1962: Reclining Bighorn (small figure from diorama)
(None of the other diorama figures were copyrighted to be sold as individual castings.)

1963: Boss of the Trail herd (horse and rider series)
Fighting Elk (2 bulls, one cow, in a tangle)
Casual C.M. Russell (1/5 scale portrait)
Enemy Tracks (2 Blackfeet trackers on horseback)
Price of a Scalp (2 warriors & horse, in battle)
Mary’s Horse (portrait of head of Mary Scriver’s horse)
Pet Fawn (grandchilden Michelle and Lane with a fawn)

1964: Real-Meat (2 Blackfeet hunters and buffalo)
The Buffalo Runner (One of the hunters plus buffalo cow & calf)
The Attacker (just the hunter)

1965: Angry Grizzly (Small grizzly rearing)
Aces High (a card game gone wrong -- a diorama)
Starving She-Wolf (she crouches into moose horns)
Lunging Lobo (the companion male to above)

1966: Buffalo Cow and Calf (small pair)
U.S. Marshall (A revision of a Heikka sculpture)
El Bandito (a matching bad guy)
Into the Wind (a cluster of Canada geese landing)
Coyote (study for museum full-mount)
Fritzie (commissioned portrait of a pet)
Homestead diorama for the Hill County Museum in Havre, MT.

1967: Heroic sized portrait of Bill Linderman Hall of Fame
Life-sized welded steel bison for Great Falls High School
Sheepherder (seated with dog)
Liver-Eatin’ Johnson (portrait of the historical figure)
Tintype (portraits of Bob and Mary Scriver, in costume)
Walking Moose (small)
Christ Head (a study bust for the head of “Eli, Eli”)
Eli, Eli (traditional corpus for a cross)
Chaillot (a study bust of the model for Jesus, Maurice Chaillot.)
R. Walter on “Why Worry?” (Commission -- polo player)
When You Need a .45 (a longhorn right behind a man on a horse)
Dusting Bull Buffalo (small, mopping his head in the dust)
Going Home (fox carrying pheasant)
The Mighty and the Many (Moose on ice brought down by wolves)

1968: Saturday Night in Cowtown (2 cowboys shoot at drummer’s feet)
Mountain Sentinels (mountain goats)
Mountain Goat (portrait)
Ram Looking Back (small, mountain sheep)
Walking Bull Buffalo (small bison)
Jackrabbit (study for museum mount)
Bobcat (study for museum mounta0
Watchin’ the Back Trail (horse and rider)
Butch (commissioned portrait of a pet)
No Hoss for a Lady (humped up horse)
Mother (portrait bust of his mother)
Dad (portrait bust of his father)
To See Eternity (romanticized bust of his daughter)
Pieta (the traditional tableau of Mary and Jesus)
The Wolfers (2 guys)
Silent Death (owl grips rabbit)
Fighting Dalls (small, heads rammed together)
Parade Indian (man in buckskins with horse wearing gear)
Montana Blizzard (Our 5-horse remuda)
The King (small version heroic portrait of Linderman at Cowboy Hall of Fame)
The Contestant (informal Bill Linderman fastening chaps)
Beatin’ the Slack (large calf-roper)
Layin’ the Trap (large team roping)
Headin’ for Home (large barrel racing -- Ann Weathered)
An Honest Try (large bull riding -- Bill Cochran)
Let ‘er Buck (large saddle bronc)
Reride (Large fallen bronc)
Headin’ for a Wreck (large bull-dogging)
Paywindow. (Linderman on a bronc)
Ten Seconds Flat (calf roper signalling “done”)
Twistin’ his Tail (small bull dogger)

1969: Opening of the Sacred Medicine Pipe Bundle (an accurate portrayal of the ceremony with portraits of those who were Bundle Keepers at the time)
Welded Steel 12 foot high “Rustler” for CM Russell High School
Lone Cowboy 1880 (A remake of the popular Lone Cowboy)
Brangus Roping Calf (Portrait of Topsy)
Mexican Bull-Doggin Steer (Portrait of Turvey)

1970 Heart attack

1971 Portrait of Chief Joseph.commissioned by Marquita Maytag
Freckles Brown on Tornado (double portrait)
Tornado (Portrait)
Brangus Bucking Bull (portrait of White Lightning)
Saddle Bronc (Portrait of Jack, our harness horse)
Bareback Bronc (portrait of Playboy)
Twister (bucking bull)
Spinner (bucking bull)
Hooker (bucking bull)
Not for Glory (large pickup men)
Steer Jerker (large single rider roping)
Bullrider’s Best Friend ( rodeo clown)

1972 Rodeo Entry (Bobbie Wirth, rodeo queen)
The Cowboy’s Working Quarter Horse (portrait of Printer’s Devil)
National Finals (Saddle bronc with rider)
A Short Trip (Descent bucking off the rider)
Two Champions (large bareback bronc with rider)
Rodeo’s Most Dangerous Game (Chuckwagon races)
Gold medal designed for Cut Bank, MT Chamber of Commerce to present to the U.S. Olympic basketball team.
The Producer (Oral Zumwalt on Rainbow)

1973 Heroic-sized statue of Jim Shoulders commissioned by Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The Champ (portrait of Jim Shoulders)
Heroic-sized sculpture of Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea commissioned by the Fort Benton Community Improvement Association to do as a Montana Bicentennial Project.
Commemorative medal for Dempsey/Gibbons World Heavyweight Championship fight.
Life sized bust of Harold McCracken to present at his retirement on his 80th birthday by the Trustees of Buffalo Bill Historical Center.
Bust of Phil Lynde commissioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association

1974 Bust of Larry Mahan for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

28 original sculpts for reproduction by the owners:

for Rex Breneman:

Warrior’s Pony
The Lookout
The Golden Dragon
Bronco Head
No Meat
King of the Crag
Horse Wrangler
Rocky Mountain Ram

For Glacier Bronze: Darrel Peterson:

Sign Reader
The War Cry
The Way Home
Scoring High

For Paul Masa:

4 Steer
Red Fox
The Fawn
Buffalo Birds
Prairie Picnic
Nature’s Children
Rangeland Kiss
Morning Warm-up
Pigeon Brave

for Stremmel Galleries, Inc.:

Two Seconds to Go
Friend or Foe
An Early Arrival
Kicking High

for The Outlaw Inn, Kalispell, Mt.:

The Outlaw

for Robert Warden:

When I Was a Kid

1975: “An Honest Try,” the book
Buffalo Bill Cody heroic-sized commission for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.
5 1/2 foot circular plaque of Buffalo Bill commissioned for the apex of the Whitney Gallery building at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.
Bust of Eric Harvie for the rotunda of the new museum, commissioned by the Riveredge Foundation in Calgary.
Heroic-sized version of “Transition” commissioned by the Pacific Northwest Indian Center in Spokane. Cancelled when the institution collapsed.
Rodeo’s Classic Event. (bronc riding)
Belt Buckle for Phillip Morris Marlboro commissioned as a Bicentennial promotion.

Heroic statue of Jim Shoulders commission which was destroyed in fire.
Bust of Montana Senator Burton K. Wheeler. a commission
Montana trapper and a belt buckle commissioned by the Montana Historical Society to raise funds to buy the C.M. Russell painting “When the Land Belonged to God.” Raised $96,000. Edition of 100 sold out in 29 days.
Elk statue commissioned by Dean Krakel II for his book, “Season of the Elk.”
Heroic statue of Charlie Russell commissioned by the CMR Museum in Great Falls.
Bust of Dean Oliver commissioned by Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
Buffalo Bill (3 sizes)
Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea and Pomp (1/2 lifesize)
Attack on the Wagon Trail
Mounted Trapper
When One Shot Is Not Enough
Howling Coyote
Range Mother
Otters at Play
War Sign
Spring Cow and Calf
Watching the Herd
No Room for Two
Ranch Fillies
The King of the Prairie
Horned Owl on Stump
Bob Cat
Ground Squirrel #1
Prairie Partners
Ground Squirrel #2
Herd Bull
Hereford Bull
Just Sleepy
Prairie Bull
Rodeo Bull
Six Bits
Bob Scriver, Sculptor (Bust self-portrait)
Easy Does It
Cold Maker
40 Below on Snow Shoes
Fluffy Owl
Johnny Appleseed (the legendary character with a saucepan on his head)
The Holy Woman (The most sacred figure from the Sun Ceremony with her attendants)
Untitled geese, ducks, swans and owls

The Explorers at the Marias
Captain Lewis and Dog Scannon, commissioned by Lewis & ClarkTrail Heritage Foundation, Inc.
Bust of Casey Tibbs commissioned by PRCA

Grandfather Tells of the Horse (old man speaks to children)
On the Trap Line (man setting a trap)
At the Beginning (a lone man on a rock)
Before the Horse (family with a dog travois)
The Way it Was (an old woman is seized by death AKA “I am many”)
Coming of the Elk-Dog (an astonished group)
The First Horse (three men try to subdue a Barb)
A Warrior’s Prize (a man has a rope on a rearing horse -- Zuke posed)
The Buffalo Decoy (a man disguised runs for the cliff)
The Buffalo Horse (a man on horseback leads his fast horse)
Yellow Wolf, Setter of Snares (a famous trapper)
The Hide Scraper (a bent woman scrapes a buffalo hide)
Firewood (a bent woman brings a bundle of sticks)

Blackfeet Family Portrait (separate busts)
Old Man (the grandfather)
Kip-Ah-Talk-Ee (the old woman)
White Quiver (a famous warrior)
Pitamakin (Running Eagle, a woman warrior)
Timmy (a child, actually Timmy Cree Medicine)

Three Courtship Scenes (sequence of three vignettes)
At the Spring (first approach)
Prairie Romance (conversation)
The Proposal (a gift)

Owner of the Lodge (the patriach sits on his couch with his pipe)
Hand Game (players and spectators)
Waiting for the Dance (woman in shawl)
Dance Contest (two pieces: drum group and dancers)
Little Brother Goes Swimming (kids bareback on a horse)
The Horse Race (two horses with riders)
Standing Alone (a warrior is picketed in place to fight to the end)
Winter Scouts (two horseback men are muffled for winter)
Straight-Up Bonnet with Boss-Ribs (man wearing Blackfeet bonnet with trailer-- the “boss ribs”)
The Split-Horn Bonnet (seated man with powerful headgear)
The Fast Blanket (man on horseback signalling)
To Take a Scalp (The victim is on his stomach whle the victor saws away)
War Pony (a fine pony, painted and equipped)
End of the War Trail (Tree burial with grieving woman)
He-That-Looks-at-the-Calf Meets Captain Lewis (historical group)
Trade Goods (vignette, 2 Indians, horse and trader)
Onesta and the Sacred Bear Spear (legendary character)
A Warrior’s Vow (sun dance piercing ordeal)
Dance of the Beaver Women (Beaver Bundle ceremony)
The Story of Miscinskee (Bob’s personal badger lodge dream)
Tailfeathers Woman and Morning Star/Scarface (Blackfeet legend)
The Raven Speaks (spiritual guide brings a gift)
The Beaver Lover (origin myth of the Beaver Bundle)
Secrets of the Night (a night horse herder is visited by an owl)
Napi Teaches Them the Dance (a trickster story)
Four Winds (originally created to be a gavel end)
Let the Curs Yap (illustrating a cautionary tale)
Life’s Stream (mother and child with buffalo calf)
Legends of the Blackfeet (an abstract pillar -- might be smoke)
Rodeo’s First Event (bronc)

Winchester Rifle” commissioned by Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Winchester Rifle.
Belt buckle of a grizzly head for the Montana Fish and Game.

Four belt buckles,for the Lewis & Clark Festival Committee, Cut Bank, MT, Chamber of Commerce:
Explorers of Marias
At Camp Disappointment
Near Cut Bank, Montana
Lewis Meets the Blackfeet

Two belt buckles and sculpture, commissioned by Northwestern Bank, Helena, MT.
The Cowboy
The Prospector
Sculpture of “The Prospector,”
Sacagawea for Marguita Maytag
PRCA logo bucking horse (small).
Bridger bust and two frisky colts, commissioned works.
Bust of Corrie, commissioned by.Leonard F. Llewlleyn, her husband.
Johnny Bench, renowned baseball player and catcher.commissioned by Cincinnati Reds
Everett Bowman, RCA roper, commissioned for the new Professional Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs..

Hugh Bennett, first Secretary of the Turtle Rodeo Association commissioned for the new PRCA outdoor sculpture garden at Colorado Springs.
One-and-one-half sized bucking horse of the PRCA logo commissioned by the PRCA Museum.
Dale Smith and Poker Chip commissioned portraits.
One-and-one-half sized portrait of Bill Ward on Sea Lion commissioned for hill in front of the PRCA Museum.

Three one-fourth life-sized pieces commissioned:
Tail Stander
Hard Way to Get Off
Calf in the Way

Five rodeo pieces commissioned by the National High School Rodeo Association depicting rodeo events of the early 1900’s
1919 Saddle Bronc
1918 Wild Horse Race
1917 Single Steer Jerking
1916 Bull Dogger
1915 Steer Rider

One-third life-sized statue of Descent, famous bucking horse, commissioned to be placed on Descent’s grave.
Calf Tangle
A Bad Draw
Hang in There, Cowboy
First Event
Main Event
Final Event
The Broken Rein

1982 “No More Buffalo” the book
Battle of the Prairie 1/5 life-sized
Too Late for the Hawken 1/5 life-sized

Steve and Phil Mayre, Olympic gold medal skiers, portraits commissioned by White Pass Alpine Ski Area.
World Champions (Mahre twins)
“Gold Medal Knees (Steve),
"Going for It" (Phil)

Belt Buckles:
Fort at Fort Benton
Riverboat at Fort Benton

Del Gish
To the Victor
Christ the Teacher (2 sizes)
Prince of Peace
Paul’s Bull
Sagebrush Bronc
When Cutting Was Rough.

Belt buckles:
First sight of the Great Falls of the Missouri
Portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri

Max (Max Baucus)
To Ride a Bull
To Ride a Bronc
HTS Rancher (portrait bust of Harold Thaddeus Scriver, Bob’s brother)
Spanish Barb commissioned by Breyer for their plastic collectible horse series
Spanish Barb ponyhead
Grizzly sketch
Six-point bull,”
Nature’s Beef: Bull head,”
Nature’s Beef Bull Bison #1
Nature’s Beef, Bull Bison #2
Johnny Appleseed
The Orphan
Race to the Rendezvous
Bridger - Mountain Man
Bat Wing Chaps
Coffee Break

The Threat
The Trial
Moonlight Hunter
Pronghorn ‘85
Go for It, Cowboy
The Outlaw
I’m Sheriff Here, Now Git!

Belt Buckles:
Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea
Sacajawea and Pom

An Honest Try one and one-half life-sized for Kansas City Board of Trade Building.
Explorers at the Portage, with Lewis, Clark, York and Scannon. (heroic-sized for Great Falls)
Billy ‘86 (Mountain goat)

Wells Fargo Cargo

Equestrian Teddy Roosevelt. Commissioned by Boone and Crockett for their ranch outside of Dupuyer)
Heroic-sized guardsman with eagle commissioned by Montana National Guard. Not completed.

Scriver Museum belt buckle for the high school rodeo champion.

Counting Coup

Sculpture version of Hornaday’s diorama of the last bison (commissioned in order to finance the restoration of the diorama.)
Tall Tales to Tell (Outfitter pack string)

A Budding Buckaroo
Silence is Safety
The Exalted Ruler (commissioned to help buy the CMRussell painting.)

Part of the Job

Ready for Battle
Movin’ On (Indian woman with travois and dog)

1996: Heart By-Pass Surgery

His First Real Arrow

Heroic-sized portrait of Mike Mansfield -- barely begun

1999 Death on January 29


as preparation for full mounts

1951 Whitetail Deer (White Tail Buck)
1956 Mountain Sheep (Bighorn Ram)
1956 Customer’s animal (Javelina)
1956 Black Bear
1959 Grizzly (Standing Grizzly)
1961 Caribou -- no specimen (Winter King)
1961 Cougar (Deerslayer)
1961 Mule Deer (Mule Deer Buck)
1961 Bison Bull (Herd Bull)
1961 Elk (Bugling Elk)
1961 From a customer’s animal (Ovis Dalli)
1961 Pronghorn (Prairie Buck)
1965 Charlie (Lunging Lobo)
1965 Charlie’s Lady (Starving She-Wolf)
1967 Moose (Walking Moose)
1968: Mountain Goat (Mountain Goat)
1968: Bobcat (Bobcat)
1966 Coyote (Coyote)

Horse & Rider series
intended for Ukrainetz

1957 On the Lobo Trail (geezer on horse with buckled legs)
1960: Pullin’ Leather (bucking horse with fence)
1960 Lone Cowboy (cowboy on ground by horse’s head)
1960 Buffalo Hunter (with his horse and Sharps)
1960 Boss of the Trail Herd (in hair chaps with lariat)
1961 Frontier Scout (in buckskins)

groups of small animals
(All done over the winter of 1961-62)

1. Whitetail deer coming down to a stream to drink.

2. Packtrain just leaving the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Background by Les Peters.

3. Mule deer at a mountain spring with a cougar lurking above.

4. Grizzly trying to get at a marmot.

5. Black bear and cubs encountering a porcupine.

6. Moose in the moonlight along a beaver dam.

7. Bison on the prairie with pronghorn antelope and other animals.

8. Elk harem with the male bugling.

9. Forest fire with cremated elk.

10. Mountain sheep high in the mountains.

11. Mountain goats along the cliff face.


1966 U.S. Marshall (A revision of a Heikka sculpture)
1966 El Bandito (a matching bad guy)
1967 Sheepherder (seated with dog)
1967 Liver-Eatin’ Johnson (portrait of the historical figure)
1967 Tintype (portraits of Bob and Mary Scriver)


1968 To See Eternity (A portrait of Bob’s daughter, Margaret as she was dying of cancer)
1967 Eli, Eli (A “corpus” or body of Jesus as he was dying on the cross)
1967 Head of Christ (A study of the head of the corpus with Maurice Chaillot posing)
1967 Chaillot (A bust of Maurice Chaillot as himself)
1968 Pieta (The traditional mother and son after Jesus is taken down from the cross)
1983 Christ the Teacher (A commission by Carroll College that was never completed.)
198? The Prince of Peace (Jesus sitting and overlooking the land, to be placed on the top of a World Peace Center which would contain a museum of all Bob’s works.)

The Rodeo Series:
(The main pieces are pictured and described in Bob’s book, “An Honest Try”)

All copyrighted in 1968
“Headin’ for a Wreck” (Bull-dogger)
“Beatin’ the Slack” (Calf roper)
“Headin’ Home” (Barrel racer)
“Paywindow” (Bareback bronc)
“Let ‘Er Buck” (Saddle bronc)
“Reride” (Saddle bronc)
“Layin’ the Trap” (Team roping)
“An Honest Try” (Bucking bull)
“The King” (Linderman with saddle)
“The Contestant” (Linderman buckling chaps)
“Brangus Roping Calf” (portrait)
“Ten Seconds Flat” (Calf roper)
“Twistin’ his Tail” (Bull-dogger)
“Mexican Bull-Doggin’ Steer (portrait)
“Buckin’ Horse” (portrait)

All copyrighted in 1971
“Freckles Brown on Tornado” (double portrait)
“Brangus Bucking Bull” (portrait)
“Tornado” (Portrait)
“Twister” (Bucking Bull)
“Spinner” (Bucking Bull)
“Hooker” (Bucking Bull)
“Bareback Bronc” (portrait)
“Steer Jerker” (Bull-dogger)
“Bullrider’s Best Friend” (Rodeo Clown)

All copyrighted in 1972
“Rodeo Entry” (Rodeo Queen)
“A Cowboy’s Working Quarter Horse” (Portrait)
“National Finals Rodeo”
“A Short Trip” (bronc)
“Two Champions” (bronc)
“Rodeo’s Most Dangerous Game” (Chuckwagon race)

All copyrighted in 1981
“A Hard Way to Get Off”
“Calf Tangle”
“A Bad Draw”
“Calf in the Way”
“Hang in There Cowboy”
“First Event”
“Main Event”
“Final Event”
“Tail Stander”

All copyrighted in 1983:
“Del Gish”
“Sagebrush Bronc”
“When Cutting Was Rough”

All copyrighted in 1984:
“To Ride a Bull”
“To Ride a Bronc”

Copyrighted in 1985:
“Go for it, Cowboy.”

Also: many commissioned bust portraits.

The Blackfeet Indian Series
All ought to be pictured in “No More Buffalo,” the book.

1957: No More Buffalo

1961: Transition
Return of the Blackfeet Raiders

1963: Price of a Scalp
Enemy Tracks
The Last Warrior

1968: Parade Indian

1976: Opening of the Sacred Medicine Pipe Bundle
Buffalo Runner with Cow and Calf
Attack on the Wagon Train
War Sign
Cold Maker
40 Below on Show Shoes
The Holy Woman

1977: Grandfather Tells of the Horse
On the Trap Line
At the Beginning
Before the Horse
The Way it Was
Coming of the Elk-Dog
A Warrior’s Prize
The Buffalo Decoy
The Buffalo Horse
Yellow Wolf, Setter of Snares
The Hide Scraper

Blackfeet Family Portrait (separate busts)
Kip-Ah-Talk-Ee (old woman)
White Quiver (warrior)
Pitamakin (woman warrior)
Timmy (child)

Three Courtship Scenes (sequence of three)
At the Spring
Prairie Romance
The Proposal

Owner of the Lodge
Hand Game
Waiting for the Dance
Dance Contest
Little Brother Goes Swimming
The Horse Race
Parade Indian
Standing Alone
Winter Scouts
Straight-Up Bonnet with Boss-Ribs
The Split-Horn Bonnet
The Fast Blanket
To Take a Scalp
War Pony
End of the War Trail
He-That-Looks-at-the-Calf Meets Captain Lewis
Trade Goods
Onesta and the Sacred Bear Spear
The Holy Woman
A Warrior’s Vow
Dance of the Beaver Women
The Story of Miscinskee
Tailfeathers Woman and Morning Star/Scarface
The Raven Speaks
The Beaver Lover
Secrets of the Night
Napi Teaches Them the Dance
Four Winds
Let the Curs Yap
Life’s Stream
Legends of the Blackfeet


Gold medal designed for Cut Bank, MT., Chamber of Commerce to present to the U.S. Olympic basketball team. 1972
Commemorative medal for Dempsey/Gibbons World Heavyweight Championship fight. 1973
5 1/2 foot circular plaque of Buffalo Bill commissioned for the apex of the Whitney Gallery building at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 1975
Montana trapper and a belt buckle commissioned by the Montana Historical Society to raise funds to buy the C.M. Russell painting “When the Land Belonged to God.” Raised $96,000. Edition of 100 sold out in 29 days. 1976
Belt buckle of a grizzly head for the Montana Fish and Game. 1979

Four belt buckles, for the Lewis & Clark Festival Committee, Cut Bank, MT, Chamber of Commerce: 1979
Explorers of Marias
At Camp Disappointment
Near Cut Bank, Montana
Lewis Meets the Blackfeet
Two belt buckles and sculpture, commissioned by Northwestern Bank, Helena, MT. 1979
The Cowboy
The Prospector
Belt Buckles 1982
Fort at Fort Benton”
Riverboat at Fort Benton
Belt buckles 1983
First sight of the Great Falls of the Missouri
Portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri
Belt Buckles 1985
Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea
Sacajawea and Pom
Scriver Museum belt buckle for the high school rodeo champion. 1989


Charles M. Russell for a competition 1958
Bill Linderman for the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City 1967
Welded Steel Bison for Great Falls High School 1967
Welded Steel Rustler for Russell High School in GF 1969
Jim Shoulders for the Cowboy Hall of Fame 1973
Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea, and Pomp for Fort Benton 1973
Buffalo Bill Cody for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center 1975
Charles M. Russell for CMR Museum in Great Falls 1976
PRCA Logo bucking horse for their museum in Colorado Springs, 1980
Bill Ward on Sea Lion for Colorado Springs, 1980
Descent 1/3 scale for the grave in Oklahoma City 1981
Earl Old Person 1/2 scale for Browning Indian Health Service Hospital 1982
An Honest Try 1 1/2 scale for Kansas Board of Trade 1986
Lewis, Clark, York and Scannon for the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation in Great Falls 1986
Teddy Roosevelt half size for Boone & Crockett ranch outside Dupuyer 1988
Composite Lewis and Clark statue in fiberglass for the Lewis & Clark Overlook museum in Great Falls 1998

HUMAN PORTRAITS, Friends and Family

First Easter Bonnet (Charmaine, Bob’s granddaughter) 1958
Ace (portrait of Ace Powell) 1959
Arlene ( Bust of Arlene Lightfield) 1961
Jay (full-length nude of Jeanette Caouette Scriver, Bob’s second wife) 1961
Pet Fawn (grandchilden Michelle and Lane with a fawn) 1963
Tintype (Bob and Mary Scriver as old-timers) 1967
Chaillot (Bust of Maurice Chaillot, brother-in-law) 1967
To See Eternity (Bust of Margaret Scriver DeSmet Paul) 1968
Pieta (Hélène DeVicq & Maurice Chaillot as Mary and Jesus) 1968
Mother (Bust of Ellison Westgarth Macfie Scriver) 1968
Dad (Bust of Thaddeus Emery Scriver) 1968
Bob Scriver, Sculptor (self-portrait bust) 1976
HTS Rancher (Harold Thaddeus Scriver, Bob’s brother, bust) 1984

No More Buffalo (Eddie Big Beaver as an old-time Indian) 1957
Transition (Chewing Black Bone, Mae Williamson, and an unidentified schoolboy) 1961
Earl Old Person (full figure, half-sized) 1982
Opening the Mediciine Pipe Bundle (Charlie Reevis, Mary Blackman, George and Molly Kicking Woman, Louis and Fish, Louis and Plenty Treaty, Dick Little Dog, Joe Gambler, Jim Whitecalf, Jr.,


Casual C.M. Russell (1/5 life size full-length)1963
Bill Linderman (various sized, with the saddle) Heroic version in 1967.
Robert Walter on Why Worry? 1967
Freckles Brown on Tornado 1970
Jim Shoulders (Heroic full-figure) 1973
Harold McCracken (bust) 1973
Phil Lynde (bust) 1973
Larry Mahan (bust) 1974
Eric Harvie (bust) 1975
Senator Burton K. Wheeler (bust) 1976
Charles M. Russell (heroic) 1976
Dean Oliver (bust) 1976
Casey Tibbs (bust) 1977
Corrie (bust, Mrs. Leonard F. Llewelleyn) 1979
Johnny Bench (full figure) 1979
Everett Bowman PRCA Roper (bust) 1979
Hugh Bennett, first Secretary of the Turtle Rodeo Association (1980)
Dale Smith and Poker Chip (1980)
Bill Ward on Sea Lion (one and one-half sized) 1980
Steve and Phil Mayre, Olympic gold medal skiers (full figure, 3 sculptures) 1982
Del Gish 1983
Max Baucus (small bust, quick draw) 1984

Two small nudes: one standing, one lying on stomach

Monday, July 09, 2007


Monday, July 09, 2007


As you may have noticed, I’ve become interested in the Arts Journal blog called “FlyOver Country” ( and have been growling at Joe Nickell, who is in Missoula and therefore doesn’t realize there is anyone on the eastern side of the Rockies and thinks there is no other arts blogger in the state, totally overlooking “The Eye of the Beholder,” arts blog for the Great Falls Tribune. ( In my opinion she has the most elegant logo in the newspaper of any I’ve seen, though it’s not the same as her banner. Maybe I don’t know what’s going on in other places either (like Missoula), but I have a half-century history with GF.

The comment I’ve reprinted below is not a response to a post by Joe Nickell, but rather by his fellow blogger, Jennifer Smith, inviting a report on the scene where the reader is. This is my report to her.


Montana is said to be a town with a main street 500 miles long. Another version of the same thing is that the arts here are a mile wide and about a quarter-of-an-inch deep. In short, in order to get enough critical mass to talk about the arts here, one must just about necessarily talk about the whole state at once.

Yet, the paradox is that visual art is very much Balkanized. The two university towns have their own little circles, the three or four mini-cities (Great Falls, Kalispell, Billings, Butte) and the two valley refuges of wealth and culture (Livingston and Hamilton), each have their own idea of what good art might be, their own icons, and their own aspirations.

What I know best is the sector called "Art of the American West," meaning "art that sorta reminds you of Charlie Russell." In a thinly populated state like this one, it is less represented by the few galleries and museums than it is by auctions (the one in Great Falls on Charlie's birthday in March or the Western Art Rendezvous in Helena in August) and magazines, especially "Southwest Art" and "Art of the West." Because Western art is often taken to be a record of history in the West (Remington and others came to notice by suppling art to go in newspapers before there were photographs) the Montana Historical Society magazine also serves, though at one time it came to notice that it had sunk to "pandering" to certain speculators and since has had a policy forbidding living artists. (This policy is not enforced in their museum.)

A strange ambivalent symbiosis connects Western art collectors in other more "high-rolling" places back east or in the Southwest and people who live in Montana. Partly the situation is that the collectors live in population centers where they make enough money to buy a little prestige-enhancement and the artists at least pretend to live in-country where the subject matter actually exists and the cost of living is a little lower.

But in Helena just a few blocks away from the Historical Society is the Holter Museum, contemporary, frisky, and willing to venture ideas about the future. They accept Native American art, but not "Cowboy" art. They are also much friendlier to contemporary writing and such phenomena as ceramics.

Across the state in Livingston is a genuine Renaissance man, Russell Chatham, son of a noted California impressionist. He has run a fine bistro, a publishing house, a gallery, a fine arts press, and so on -- while befriending the wild movie types who have bought ranches around there. He paints landscape in a romantic, atmospheric, yearning way that finances all his other interests and makes book covers so fabulous that I'm sure they've contributed to the success of Jim Harrison's novels. Missoula knows him as a man who attends the Montana Festival of the Book as a publisher. His art? Eh.

There is a Montana Arts Council, whose executive grew up on a grain farm outside Great Falls and who once worked for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, and whose president (also female) is a Blackfeet Indian. They spend a lot of time thinking about money and hardly glance at "cowboy art." The past president (male) is an "art lawyer" who constantly tries to coach both artists and community about common sense business practices. Art law in the state is very weak, which encourages buccaneers.

I've been here, off and on, since 1961, and am still surprised by what turns up or turns around.

End of comment.

I’m going to take this discussion to my other blog, to clear the way for backed-up posts I want to make here, so you might want to migrate with the subject. I get incensed when people who purport to know all about “what’s on the ground” when they don’t, but one can hardly blame them if no one fills them in, especially when so much of what goes on in a place like Montana started to happen before they were born. It’s a circle -- they ignore us, so we ignore them. When it comes time to raise money -- ouch.
Posted by prairie mary at 3:54 PM 0 comments
Labels: arts
Sunday, July 08, 2007


This is from www.slog.the “The Stranger” is a Seattle newspaper, I assume an alternative paper, which I haven’t ever read.

Know Who I Like Reading?

Posted by Jen Graves on June 11 at 18:15 PM

Joe Nickell, the Missoulian writer who is part of a new blog on ArtsJournal called Flyover: Art from the American Outback. Nickell writes at the heart of his subjects (chiefly music), he’s mellifluous in print, and, in person, he has a hell of a way with old-timey shirts.

The blog is a group portrait of art in smaller cities by arts journalists of all kinds. It’s exactly the sort of thing I wish had been around (Nickell and co. invented it several months ago) when I was writing about art in Denton, Texas, and in Tacoma, where my boss once asked me whether the dancers at the ballet also sing while they’re performing.

These writers have tough jobs, jobs with high highs and low lows, jobs where cynicism is not an option. Read them. Throw in your comments.

Poor Joe Nickell, I read his blog for the first time through Arts Journal, which comes to me as an automatic daily newsfeed and which often points me to really useful stories. But, as is often the case when one expects one thing and gets another, I was upset because I thought that Joe would be writing about Montana arts, the whole state, but he sticks to Missoula. Missoula is NOT flyover country -- it’s a destination for global hipsters. What he’s picking up is the hem of Seattle, not the robes of the prairie.

But Joe’s only been there ten months and his specialty is music, so he must be forgiven for not understanding what the arts in Montana really are. He could start his research -- should he be interested -- by contacting Arlynn Fishbaugh, the executive for the Montana Arts Council. (Her background includes being staff for the Metropolitan Opera -- I haven’t asked her whether she has any “Bubbles” Sills stories.) But even Arlynn and the MAC have little consciousness of the 500 pound gorilla in this state, which is the legacy of Charlie Russell.

I jabbed Joe with a sharp stick in the comments for “Flyover Country” saying the Montana art world needs some REAL criticism, distinguishing good art from schlock. The response was not “ow” but “huh?” His assumption seems to be that he never writes about the annual March Russell Auction so therefore he never writes about art schlock. But he mistook me (and I did a bad job of commenting) because in my opinion and that of expert others, the auction often includes fine examples of American Impressionism which simply have Western subject matter. The point I was chasing is that most of the people who attend the auction and the complex of accompanying auctions where the schlock is most often found (the Russell auction itself is formally curated/juried) can only tell good art from bad by looking at the name of the artist and knowing how much money it is thought to be worth. (This is why bad art sells better if it’s priced high.)

That flashed past Joe like a pursued fox. But I regret using the term “schlock.” It means tawdry, inept, poorly done -- which is too much of a pejorative for a genre that has steadily improved and took a major leap with the newest influx: classically trained realistic painters from China. (They show regularly at the Western Art Rendezvous coming up in Helena. It’s really a kick to stand close enough to small groups of them to hear their chatting in Chinese. Can it be called eavesdropping if you can’t tell what they’re saying?) But even these fine artists, who make all the self-taught cowboy painters look desperate, are rather prone to “schmaltz,” which means over-sentimentality. The core of East Coast illustrators who galvanized the Cowboy Artists of America had the same combination of fine technical skill with a sort of sweet vignette sensibility drawn from the short stories they enlivened in slick magazines.

“What’s not to like?” many of my friends would ask. Well, I dunno. I have this sort of crazed romantic idea left over from my undergrad training in theatre: stuff about the heart of human meaning, a distinctive vision of the world, and all that.

Joe’s background sounds also romantic but more from a later generation than mine, the one that found their soul in music, oddly parallel but not the same as Bob Scriver’s “swing” generation. Bob’s kind of music got the soldiers through WWII. I think Joe must be from the Vietnam Era.

Those people don’t respond to sharp sticks, so I will try -- as here -- a little more courtship and networking. Part of my reaction to Joe is really about Missoula. On this side of the Rockies we see them as the home of snobbery, xenophobia, and fancy drugs. For the music freaks, it’s much closer to George, the fount of hip music. (The name is a play on the location in the Columbia Gorge. It’s an ampitheatre rather than a dive.)

The “pitch” for flyover country is that it is about the arts in “small cities,” but too many Montana small cities appear to be beneath notice here. Somebody send Joe Nickell some gas money.
Posted by prairie mary at 12:05 PM