About The Artist/Art

About 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 Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum.

Why such praise? Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them — all this and more has made Terpning the “Storyteller of the Native American.”

The secondary market for Terpning’s fine art editions is unlike any other. The Giclee Canvas of The Force of Nature Humbles All Men has sold for over $27,000.00 from an initial release price of $2,450.00. Ownership of one of his originals has surpassed the $1,900,000.00 mark.

Yet, for all his laurels Howard Terpning is a man of honor and humility. Acclaim is not the reason collectors eagerly anticipate the arrival of each new work. They treasure something more valuable than awards, something of both personal meaning and objective worth: a desire to keep alive the heritage and culture of Native Americans through the power of art itself.

“The American Indian fascinates me,” says Terpning. “The more I study them, the more intrigued I become. Their culture and artifacts, their horses, the way they looked … there’s always another story waiting to be told. I feel privileged to be one of their storytellers. I could paint two lifetimes without running out of subject matter. I think it’s important to tell the story of the Plains Indians because their history is our history … part of our heritage. The history of the West is the only history America has that is uniquely our own.”

Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, he first gained attention from some powerful Time and Newsweek covers. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind.

His first book, The Art of Howard Terpning won the Wrangler “Outstanding Art Book” award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Spirit of the Plains People, his second book, was released in 2001 in conjunction with a one-man show at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. A third, Tribute to the Plains People, was released in 2012 to celebrate his retrospective at The Autry National Center in Los Angeles.


June 21, 2010:
WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight”
from www.wttw.com

From the Greenwich Workshop Video Archives:
Howard Terpning: The Storyteller (1989)


The Spectators

Crossing Medicine Lodge Creek

Medicine Man
of the Cheyenne

The Bonnet Case

Offerings to
the Little People

The Trophy

Camp at Cougar’s Den

The Shaman and
His Magic Feathers
Cowboy Artists of America
1980 Oil Painting – Silver “Crossing Medicine Lodge Creek”
1980 Drawing – Silver “The Spectators”
1980 Men’s Art Council Award “Crossing Medicine Lodge Creek”
1980 Colt Award – Artists’ Choice
1981 Oil Painting – Gold “Dust of Many Pony Soldiers”
1981 Drawing – Gold “The Warrior”
1981 Western Art Association Best of Show Award “Dust of Many Pony Soldiers”
1981 Colt Award – Artists’ Choice
1982 Oil Painting – Silver “The Scouts of General Crook”
1982 Colt Award – Artists’ Choice
1983 Oil Painting – Gold “Medicine Man of the Cheyenne”
1983 Drawing and other Media – Silver “Buffalo Runners”
1983 Colt Award – Artists’ Choice
1985 Oil Painting – Gold “Apache Fire Makers”
1985 Other Media – Gold “The Storyteller”
1986 Oil Painting – Gold “Cavalry Scouts”
1986 Other Media – Gold “Wolves”
1986 Colt Award – Artists’ Choice
1987 Oil Painting – Gold “Hope Springs Eternal – The Ghost Dance”
1987 Western Art Association Best of Show Award “Hope Springs Eternal – The Ghost Dance”
1988 Mixed Media – Gold “On the Brink”
1989 Oil Painting – Silver “Major North and the Pawnee Battalion”
1990 Stetson Award (Formerly Colt Award) – Artists’ Choice
1991 Oil Painting – Gold “Prospectors Among the Blackfeet”
1992 Oil Painting – Gold “Army Regulations”
1992 Drawing and Other Media – Gold “Profile of Wisdom”
1992 CAA Award – Artists’ Choice
1993 CAA Award – Artists’ Choice
1995 Oil Painting – Gold “Crossing Below the Falls”
1995 CAA Award – Artists’ Choice
1995 Best of Show Award “Crossing Below The Falls”
1997 Oil Painting – Silver “The Bonnet Case”
1997 CA Award – Artists Choice
1998 Oil Painting – Gold “Offerings to the Little People”
1998 Gouache – Gold “Whiskey Smugglers”
1998 Drawing and Other Media – Gold “Guarding the Lodge”
1998 CA Award – Artists Choice
1998 Best of Show – Kieckhefer Award “Offerings to the Little People”
2000 Oil Painting – Gold “The Sound of Buffalo”
2000 Water Solubles – Gold “River Crow”
2001 Water Solubles – Gold “Thunder Speaks”
2002 Drawing and Other Media – Silver “Council Mediator”

National Academy of Western Art (N.A.W.A.)
1980 Oil Painting Gold “Stones That Speak”
1981 Prix De West “Moving Day on the Flathead”
1981 Oil Painting Silver “Moving Day on the Flathead”
1992 Remington Award “Against the Cold Maker”
1992 Wrangler Outstanding Art Book Award “Art of Howard Terpning”
1996 Prix De West Award “The Trophy”
1998 Remington Award “The Rivers Gift”

Prix De West Show
2007 Oklahoma Centennial Award “Lady of the House” oil

The Hubbard Art Award of Excellence
1990 Oil Painting Best of Show “Transferring the Medicine Shield”

Autry Museum
2000 John Geraghty Award – Contribution to Western Art
2001 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Ready for the Dance” oil
2004 Masters of the American West Award
“The Forces of Nature Humble All Men” oil
2004 Trustees Purchase Award
2005 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Camp at the Cougar’s Den” oil
2005 Patrons Choice Award
2006 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Sunset for the Comanche” oil
2007 Thomas Moran Memorial Award
“The Shaman and his Magic Feathers” oil
2008 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Hard Trails Wore Out More Than Ponies”
2009 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Journey to the Medicine Wheel” oil
2010 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “The Sound of Distant Bugle” oil
2011 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Among the Spirits of the Long-Ago People” oil
2012 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Traders Among The Crow” oil
2013 Thomas Moran Memorial Award “Mystery of the Underwater People” oil
2014 Thomas Moran memorial Award “Capturing the Chief’s Coat” oil

Eiteljorg Museum of American Western Art
2001 Eiteljorg Award for excellence in American Western art

State of Arizona
2003 Nominated for the Governor’s Arts Award in the Artist category.

Briscoe Western Art Museum
2007 1st Governor Brisco Legacy Award

Southwest Art Magazine
2008 Named one of Legends of Fine Art

Marine Corps Combat Artist Hall of Fame Museum
2008 Inducted

Nighthorse Campbell Indian Medical Center in Denver, Colorado
2008 Honored by Native Americans

Booth Western Art Museum
2009 Lifetime Achievement Award

American Academy of Art, Chicago, IL
2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award

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