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Shaman and His Majic Feathers

Artwork Inquiry

Howard TerpningCAA

( b. 1927 )
Giclee s/n (6/85)
40X60

The title of shaman was given to a person within a tribe who had powers beyond the limits of human understanding. The shamans were remarkable not only for their extraordinary powers, but for their ability to control them. The Native people of the American plains accepted these powers as proof of supernatural blessing, both of the shaman and of their tribes.

It was not uncommon for a shaman to give a public demonstration to inspire wonder and awe in his audience. In The Shaman and His Magic Feathers, a shaman has invited a small group of his tribesmen to witness his magical abilities. Away from the camp, the shaman has built a small fire and blessed it with sage and juniper. Before the approaching storm arrives, he will use his powers to float the feathers in the air above the flames, where they will hang for as long as he wishes. Like a modern-day shaman, Howard Terpning uses his artistic powers to create a scene electric with awe and excitement. The original of this beautiful painting recently sold for over $1.3 million at the Autry Center’s Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale.

Artist Bio

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."

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.

He lives with his family in Tucson, Arizona, and works in a large studio attached to his home, usually keeping a painting schedule of working all day, six days a week. His daughter, Susan Terpning, also has become a successful artist.

Organizations: CAA, NAWA, OPA

Biography Courtesy of Askart.com

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