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The Colonel and Old Blue

Artwork Inquiry

This multi-piece collection is a unique testament to two great Texas artists, one great Texas pioneer and one incredible Longhorn steer.

The painting is by prominent Austin, Texas artist David Sanders, entitled "Col. Goodnight Herd Crossing the Prairie Dog Town Fork Creek of the Red River." (24x36, pastel). The painting depicts legendary Texas Ranger, trailblazer and pioneer cattleman Charles Goodnight driving his JA Ranch herd through the Palo Duro Canyon. The herd is led by Charley's faithful lead steer, "Old Blue." It is truly one of Sanders' finest works.

The bronze, by native Texan Ray Renfroe (1918-1989), is entitled "Old Blue."(24x20) The piece was done in 1974 while Ray was living in Prescott, AZ, and is no. 3 of only 20 cast (only the first few were multipatina). Old Blue was born on a South Texas ranch and acquired by Charley at a young age. Goodnight trained him to be his "bell steer" to lead his herds North from Texas to Colorado and Kansas on the Goodnight-Loving trail in the 1870 - 1880’s. (Old Blue lived 20 years and died in 1890.)

As a matter of historical significance, it is interesting to note that in 1981 Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater purchased Old Blue no. 1 which he gave to Ronald Reagan as an inaugural gift for America’s 40th President.

The Shelton Smith Collection | Gallery viewings by appointment only
607 W. 10th Street, austin tx 78701 | Gallery: 512.582-0073 | Mobile: 512.517.3827 |

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