Robert Elmer Lougheed (1910-1982) Scattering the Bell Riders 36 x 66in Painted in 1970.

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Lot 60
Robert Elmer Lougheed
Scattering the Bell Riders 36 x 66in Painted in 1970.

Sold for US$ 106,250 inc. premium
Robert Elmer Lougheed (1910-1982)
Scattering the Bell Riders
signed and inscribed with artist's device 'Robert / Lougheed / CA' (lower right)
oil on canvas
36 x 66in
Painted in 1970.


  • Provenance
    The artist.
    Collection of Harry A. Lockwood, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1970.
    Collection of Robert "Bobby" Hillin, Sr., Midland, Texas, 1974.
    Sale, Texas Art Gallery, Dallas, Texas, September 17, 1983, lot 57.
    Acquired by the late owner from the above.

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Cowboy Artists of America: Fifth Annual Exhibition, 1970.

    G. F. Ellis, Bell Ranch As I Knew It, Kansas City, Missouri, 1973, pp. 48-49, illustrated.
    D. Hedgpeth, New Western Images: The Hillin Collection of the Cowboy Artists of America, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1978, pp. 4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 46-47, illustrated.
    S.H. McGarry, Honoring The Western Tradition: The L.D. "Brink" Brinkman Collection, Kerrville, Texas, 2003, pp. 126-127, illustrated.
    D. Hedgpeth, R. Lougheed, Robert Lougheed: Follow the Sun, Vail, Colorado, 2010, pp. 18, 22-23, 25, 30, illustrated.

    We wish to thank Bill Rey of Claggett/Rey Gallery for his kind assistance in cataloguing this lot. He has prepared the following essay:

    Robert Lougheed first visited the historic Bell Ranch in Northeastern New Mexico in 1960 while on assignment for National Geographic. This glimpse into a Western way of life resonated with Bob deeply and eventually led him and his wife Cordy to move from Connecticut to Santa Fe. Bob spent much time painting, sketching and photographing life on the Bell Ranch, and this research was invaluable. The Bell Ranch defined his major studio works in the late 1960s, which Bob exhibited in the annual Cowboy Artists of America show and sale at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. The creative truth in these major works such as The Bell Remuda, The Bell String on the Move and the present work, Scattering the Bell Riders is apparent. They are historic records of the land, the men and the animals of the American West. Bell Ranch foreman, George Ellis, commented that he could name every horse in the paintings as Bob had captured the unique characteristics of each one.

    Robert Lougheed's love of horses was evident throughout his life. Growing up on a farm in northern Ontario, Canada, near Massie, Bob's daily life as a child was filled with all the energy a working farm can create. What became a defining connection with Bob was the relationship the farmers had with their heavy horse teams. The bond of the animals working together with their handlers created a passion and respect to accurately capture the animals in their work and their rest. As a child, Bob sketched all aspects of the farm and its animals. He chased horses everywhere. He went through his life, whether it be Canada, Connecticut, Alaska, Hawaii, Alabama, the American West, St. Croix, Mexico, England or France, drawn to the horses—the work they did and the people they did it for. This love and empathy for horses is apparent in his life's work. It can be said that Scattering the Bell Riders, The Bell Remuda, and Ten Miles to Saturday Night are his finest of the genre, but Scattering the Bell Riders, for many reasons, is Robert Lougheed's 'magnum opus'.

    Western scholar Don Hedgpeth writes of Scattering the Bell Riders: "It is a powerful image—a wagon boss and ten cowboys horseback on a high mesa in the early morning magic of a New Mexico sunrise. You can feel the chill in the air and hear the cold whisper of wind in the surrounding sage. Saddles creak and spur rowels rattle and ring to the rhythm of the stomp and snort of fresh horses eager to be away to the work they were born for. This is not a composition conceived in an artist's imagination. This is cowboy reality sans the sentimentality that so often plagues portrayals of the West in fine art, fiction and film. Scattering the Bell Riders is Bob Lougheed's honest, heartfelt homage to the cowboy".1

    1 D. Hedgpeth, R. Lougheed, Robert Lougheed: Follow the Sun, Vail, Colorado, 2010, p. 18.
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