Howard Terpning (born 1927) My Medicine is Strong 33 x 40in (Painted in 2000.)

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Lot 11
Howard Terpning
(born 1927)
My Medicine is Strong 33 x 40in

Sold for US$ 350,075 inc. premium
Howard Terpning (born 1927)
My Medicine is Strong
signed and dated '© Terpning 2000 CA' (lower right)
oil on canvas
33 x 40in
Painted in 2000.

Footnotes

  • Exhibited
    Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, Cowboy Artists of America 35th Annual Sale & Exhibition, October 20 – November 19, 2000.
    Corning, The Rockwell Museum, American Masterworks of Howard Terpning: Highlights from the Eddie Basha Collection, June 24 – September 11, 2016.
    Cartersville, Booth Western Art Museum, Howard Terpning: 70 Years of Art, December 15, 2016 – March 26, 2017.

    Literature
    D. Hedgpeth, Spirit of the Plains People – Howard Terpning, Shelton, The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., 2001, pp. 168-169, full page color illustration.
    M. Clawson, "A Collector's Legacy," Western Art Collector, November 2015, Issue 99, p. 42, color illustration.
    K. Buchanan, ed., American Masterworks of Howard Terpning: Highlights from the Eddie Basha Collection [exh. cat.], Corning, The Rockwell Museum, 2016, pp. 28-29, full page color illustration.
    J.D. Balestrieri, "Howard Terpning At The Rockwell Museum: The Story Behind The Storyteller," Antiques and The Arts Weekly, July 22, 2016, p. 10C, color illustration.
    S. Hopkins, Howard Terpning: 70 Years of Art, Cartersville, Booth Western Art Museum, 2016, p. 33.

    Every Plains warrior had his own personal menagerie of medicine. It could have been a stuffed bird that he wore in his hair, a small bag of beads that he wore around his neck, or any object that he attached spiritual significance to. In My Medicine is Strong, the warrior has a small hoop with feathers and ribbons in his hand that represents the continuation of life. This represents his personal medicine and he is saying a prayer to the Sun, the giver of life, as it sets at the end of the day.

    The present work represents a personal journey of epic proportions. Terpning masterfully captures the demanding physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of finding one's purpose and place in the universe. Terpning writes, 'Almost all the men came to a place like this at one time or another in their lives, either as a boy seeking his way in the world, alone and afraid, or as a battle-hardened warrior in search of spiritual renewal. Each came to his own secret place, high up and lonesome and apart from the People. He came on a quest, eager to embrace the deprivation that was demanded in order to communicate with the spirits who dwelled in silent isolation at the edge of reality. He came as a solitary spiritual traveler in need of guidance from the powers that prevailed.

    The vision quest was an ordeal of endurance that challenged both the body and the soul of the seeker. Ordinary time ceased to have meaning as the sun rose and set on long days of fasting and prayer, and through the dark, sleepless nights in the company of coyotes and owls. To those whom the spirits favored, the vision finally came as the seeker reached the crossroads of oblivion and fell into a trance in which he would receive his revelations. And when he awoke, he was chastened and changed. His spirit soared within him, and he cried out in exhilaration.

    He had communed with the spirit world and had been shown things that dealt with his destiny. He possessed new medicine and a heightened sense of himself. The knowledge gained through the vision would manifest itself in a variety of ways, from the practice of his own private medicine rituals to a renewed personal commitment to the welfare of the People. He may have seen future battles revealed in such precise detail that he know the horse he would ride and name of his enemy. He may also have been given a new spirit guide in the form of an animal or a bird, as well as a new pattern for his war paint and different symbols to decorate his shield. Visions and dreams were the portals through which power passed to the warrior from the world that lay beyond.' 1

    1 D. Hedgpeth, Spirit of the Plains People – Howard Terpning, Shelton, The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., 2001, p. 168.
Contacts
Howard Terpning (born 1927) My Medicine is Strong 33 x 40in (Painted in 2000.)
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