Howard Terpning

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The Art of Howard Terpning

Quite simply, 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 Acad ... Read More

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A New Beginning
Limited Edition Print

Signed & numbered
Image Size:
33 x 28 in
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Medicine Man of the Cheyenne

To the Plains Indians the medicine man was a very important person. Not only did he practice practical medicine, he also relied on the natural super-stitions of the people to impress them with his abilities as a healer. Indeed, the medicine man often performed amazing feats of healing which would be completely unexplainable by today’s standards.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Signed & numbered
Image Size:
39 x 47 in
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The Honor of Being Pipe Carrier

Winner of the Masters of the American WestThomas Moran Memorial Award for Artistic Merit (2016)

To carry a pipe among members of a war party was considered a great honor. These pipes were called black-covered war pipes or black-covered medicine pipes, and were carried by members of all Northern Plains tribes. The pipe itself was encased in a cover made from trade cloth or a trade blanket, and sometimes had an eagle feather attached at each end. This warrior has removed the pipe case from his shoulder and is telling his enemies that he is a formidable foe.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Signed & numbered
Image Size:
31 x 39 in
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Spirit of the Plains

They followed the warrior’s way as proud horsemen with an appetite for competition, excellence and danger. Emboldened by bravery and with the protection of their sacred medicines, the Plains Indians would fight for revenge but welcomed the chance to test their courage.

Our ideal image of the Plains Indian warrior endures even though the full glory of his greatness has vanished. He remains an important American icon, every bit as pertinent to our past as the cracked bronze bell in Philadelphia or Plymouth Rock in New England. However, the “winning” of the American West is not a tale told of triumph, but rather of tragedy.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
21 x 27 in
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Transferring the Medicine Shield

The shield was considered a medicine object among the Blackfeet people and was treated with the same great care and reverence as other medicine bundles. If the shield were to be transferred to another, it had to be exchanged in a formal ritual.

As Terpning explains the ceremony, first a smudge would be made inside the tepee. The shield would be passed through the sacred smoke four times, four being considered a magical number by Plains Indians. The recipient of the shield was painted with yellow earth over the face and hands, the face would then be streaked by drawing the fingertips downward. A red transverse band was painted across the mouth. Four drums were beaten and special songs were sung. The seller then took up the shield and dodged about, pretending to avoid blows or arrow strikes, as in a fight. At the end of the ceremony, the recipient paid the former owner with a horse.

Howard Terpning’s Transferring the Medicine Shield was chosen to become an Anniversary Edition Fine Art Canvas because it is a masterpiece in the study of Native American rituals. It is a story of the harmony of the Plains People with their environment; of color and design; and of an artist with his subject. Be one of the few to own one of the finest works from one the greatest artists to ever paint the American West.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
30 x 45 in
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Tribal Warfare

It is misleading to believe that inter-tribal warfare was a moderately dangerous game, a quest for individual status of counting coup and stealing horses. Wars between tribes competing over land and resources were happening long before the arrival of Europeans displaced Indian nations onto rival territories.

In this Plains Indian engagement, a Crow warrior with a gunstock war club engages a Sioux flag- carrying enemy. With its swinging force focused onto its small striking edges, the gunstock club could hit with remarkable power. The danger of the club was further increased by the addition of a short spear point or one or more blades positioned near the elbow of the weapon.

Like the Sold Out “War Chief,” “Change of Command” and “Apache Scout” is a SmallWorks™ whose impact extends far beyond its size.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
16 x 12 in
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Crows in the Yellowstone

Government propaganda helped spread the rumor that the hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone kept “superstitious” Indians, who were “afraid of evil spirits,” away from this mystical and fertile land. Declared a national park in 1872, Yellowstone was the scene of a set of hostile encounters between Chief Joseph’s fleeing Nez Perce and visiting tourists in 1877. The conflict created a public relations nightmare for the fledgling park service. The rumor, which persists today, was created and perpetuated in order to counteract the subsequent bad press and to draw tourists back to the park.

There is a world of difference between recognizing the sacred nature, mystery and power of a place and being afraid of it. The Crow respected and revered what they called “land of the burning ground” or “land of vapors.” Although they lived primarily in the region to the east of what became Yellowstone National Park, the Crow camped and hunted throughout the region.

The Crow were expert horsemen. They dubbed the horse “Ichilay,” meaning “to search with,” perhaps referring to the search for enemies and game. While other Plains tribes used the travois for hauling, the Crow, from children to elders, all rode and used packhorses that enabled them to travel fast no matter what the terrain. The Crow were regarded as premier horse thieves. One of the four military tests for an aspiring Crow warrior was to sneak into an enemy camp at night, capture a fine horse and bring it back successfully.

It was then almost impossible to catch the Crow, especially if they took refuge behind the Absaroka Range in what is now Yellowstone.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
25 x 35 in
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Color of Sun

The war paint on this young Native is the color of Sun, a sacred color with divine power. To the Plains warrior, such paint was far more than a means of appearing more ferocious before their enemies; it was also strong medicine used as a protective talisman in battle. The paint’s color and design was chosen to harmonize with each individual warrior’s own purpose, dreams and visions. He would not only paint his face, but his body and horse as well.

Yet, Terpning’s “Color of Sun” is not a story of war but of this Crow brave’s harmony with the land on which he lived. This field bathed with flowers was a place Terpning had once encountered and the vision of it lodged in him waiting for the proper time. Later, when he saw this man and horse it was natural to combine the two, particularly with the horse’s head tipped down toward the flowers.

“Once I had settled on the subject for this painting, it was a matter of balancing the human and animal figures and juxtaposing them with the yellow of the flowers and the somewhat interpretive greens and browns of the foreground and background,” explains Terpning.

Howard Terpning’s “Color of Sun” has been chosen to become an Anniversary Edition Fine Art Canvas because it is a masterpiece in the study of harmony. It is a story of the harmony of the Plains People with their environment; of color and design; and of an artist with his subject. Be one of the few to own one of the finest works from one the greatest artists to ever paint the American West.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
25 x 25 in
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Council Mediator

A tribal council was, and is, an association of Native American bands or the governing body for certain tribes and are generally formed along regional or ethnic lines. In council, decisions were reached by consensus, but youth acknowledged the wisdom and experience of their elders.

The ceremonial staff with feathers both signals this mediator’s role and imbues him with the necessary gravitas to shoulder the responsibilities of the task.

The mixed media original artwork is reproduced as a museum quality giclée on a 315g, 100% cotton rag paper with a velvet surface. “Council Mediator” is a unique piece for any Terpning collector, as well as a stand-alone, commanding centerpiece for a living room or office.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Paper
Image Size:
23 x 38 in
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Do Not Disturb

Is this serious brave pondering past or future battles, planning a hunting strategy, or perhaps thinking about a young woman he is courting? Even if this young man is momentarily lost in a simple daydream, it does not appear to be the time to disturb him. Something is in the works, on the horizon, and his horse is alert.

Capturing the humanity of the Plains People–their strength, honor, beauty and freedom – and the harmony with the land that sustains their life, is Howard Terpning’s extraordinary talent. It would be impossible for him to portray such emotion and power so convincingly if he did not possess these same qualities himself.

Works of art such as Terpning’s Do Not Disturb allow us to reflect upon the values of a time gone by that we believe represent the best of who we are today. This Greenwich Workshop Limited Edition Canvas delivers that same quality art experience because it is itself a fine work of art. Created hand-in-hand with the artist, and then signed by Terpning himself, this edition of only 85 may not be as rare as the original but is a highly collectible work of art itself.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
23 x 31 in
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Coffee Coolers Meet The Hostiles

The “Coffee Coolers” or “Ration Indians” were Indians who had signed a peace treaty and consented to live on a reservation or near an agency. To the “Hostiles” these fellow tribesman had given up the warrior life in exchange for the white man’s handout. Sitting Bull expressed his contempt, “You are fools to make yourself slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hardtack, and a little coffee and sugar.”

Yet, the animosity between the Hostiles and the Coffee Coolers was, in the end, misspent energy. Once the great westward expansion began in earnest, the Plains way of life, even for those who continued to hunt and fight, was doomed.

Howard Terpning’s “Coffee Coolers Meet the Hostiles” is a magnificent MuseumEdition™ Canvas large in size and extremely limited in number. In this grand fine art edition, the two factions come together on their ancestral land, one offering the peace pipe to other. On the horizon, a storm gathers strength. Perhaps this time, together, they can weather it.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
51 x 31 in
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War Chief

“Among the Plains warriors, the war chief became a leader because of his proven success in battle,” relates Howard Terpning. “If his war party’s returned to camp victorious, he would have an easier time recruiting warriors to participate in subsequent raids. These men were very brave and fierce which is the feeling that I tried to portray in this painting.”

Miniature art is an important part of any collection and a SmallWork™ is a simple way to either start or add to your collection. Such works are often a collector’s first purchase for the obvious reason, they are less expensive. As single works of art, they can be that final elegant touch in fine décor. At the other end of the spectrum, a wall of miniatures makes for an impressive display of a collector’s unique range of style and interest.

Each SmallWork is created with the same precision as all Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Editions, signed by the artist and numbered as a collectible limited edition.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
12 x 9 in
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Telling of the Legends

Since the Plains Indians had no written language, old chiefs and medicine men passed on their wisdom, the traditions of the People and a measure of their own medicine to younger men who would become heirs to tribal authority. These chosen individuals then kept the legends alive and passed them down to the next generation.

Howard Terpning saw this scene in the early morning as dawn broke over the northern Montana. The rising sun was in bright contrast to the dark blue shadows marking the distant mountains and deep canyons. At the time he was atop Chief Mountain with George Kicking Woman, a Medicine Man of the Peigan Nation:

“Influencing every part of their lives, the Blackfeet legends included tales of the tribes’ origin, their religion, heroic deeds of their people and the evil ways of their enemies. I’ve tried to capture the mood of a sacred time,” says Terpning, “where a young man learns of this past and his future responsibilities.”

“Telling of the Legends” is a remarkable 51″w x 31″h Anniversary Edition Museum Edition Canvas. The original work of this work was sold at the Coeur d’Alene Auction in 2013 for over $1.7 million.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
51 x 31 in
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