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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0086

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[photo] [Going to the pow-wow. Indian scene, Montana]
Photo credit: J. H. Saltzer, 1993
Date: undated
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 12 x 24 in (30 x 61 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Schafer.", in the artist's block-letter hand
Verso: "Going to the Pow-Wow. Indian scene, Montana", in an unknown script hand, in pencil on the stretcher. Paper label of the Montgomery Gallery.
Provenance: In private collection, Berlin, Vermont, to 1986; sold in 1986 in an estate auction to private collection, Vermont; offered in 1987 by Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco; sold 20 August 1988 for $1000 + 10% by Robert W. Skinner Inc., Bolton, Massachusetts, as lot 210 in sale 1213 to private collection, New England, 1988.
Reproductions: 20 August 1988 sale catalog 1213, lot 210; Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #85 (color, 1987)
Citations: Skinner letter to 1988 owner, 31 August 1988
Site: Unidentified. The topography suggests the lava beds of Northern California in the area currently known as Lava Beds National Monument.
Description: In single and double file a line of native Americans on horseback, several wearing long feathered headdresses, exit into the hazy distance across a sagebrush-covered plain. Along the horizon to the right are two low rises; in the distance at the center is another rise or mesa. The horizon divides the painting almost equally into sky and plain. The sky is filled with horizontal layers of gray and white clouds with only a little blue here and there. The plains vary in color, from purplish at the horizon through browns in the middle distance, to greyish greens in the foreground. The texture of both the sky and the ground are convincingly similar to the actual appearance of the Montana prairie. The complete absence of framing elements in the composition as well as the tiny scale of the figures together emphasize the unlimited expanse of both the prairie and the sky. (From the painting, 12 September 1989)
Note: See the list of Indians in desert locales for several possibly related paintings.
Identification: Title from the verso title inscription, which being in an unknown hand, was probably not assigned by the artist. The Early California and Western Art Research index identifies the slide with the offering at the Montgomery Gallery. The Robert W. Skinner Inc. letter chronicles the history of the painting through the two Vermont collections and the Montgomery and Skinner connections.

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Nov 10, 2020, 14:31 MST Accessibility