Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wildlife Art

Some years ago, when I was a teenager, our family would visit the 'old' cabin on the present property. My father had wildlife art around the cabin walls. He always had the calendars with "predicament" wildlife art. I just loved those old calendars.

The "predicament" wildlife art was usually a copy of an original art depicting a hunter or fisherman with an encounter with a bear, moose or other dangerous animal. A female bear with two cubs running from a fisherman's cabin with a large chunk of bacon and sausages with the fishermen near by watching in surprise is an example of this "predicament" art.

About twelve years ago, I saw a similar 'old calendar' that had "predicament" wildlife art the same as I remember from my teenage years. The calendar was in an antique store. The price on the one section of the calendar framed was $200.00. I had to find out who the artist was who painted this "predicament" wildlife art. The artist's name was Philip R. Goodwin.

A quick look at the artist's biography indicated that he lived from 1881 to 1935. Philip was educated at the Rhode Island School of Design, Drexel Institute, and Howard Pye's School. He loved the outdoors and earned a living as a commercial artist. His most famous commercial trade mark is the horse and rider on the Winchester Fire Arms Posters and Advertisements. Philip was a contemporary of and knew N. C. Wyeth, Charles Russell and Carl Rungius, all great artists.

My search continued to find those great old calendars or posters painted by Philip Goodwin. It wan't long, when my daughter surprised me with a framed Philip Goodwin print for a Christmas Present. The print shows two hunters near their log cabin. One hunter is coming out of the cabin entry with a fry pan and the other hunter is reaching for his rifle as a mother bear and her cub are looking their way. I really enjoy that piece of art and all the art by Philip Goodwin.

One Goodwin print isn't quite enough! My search for a second Goodwin print soon ended in a gift store that catered to outdoor and wildlife art. The print shows two campers jumping into a birch bark canoe ready to chase a swimming bull moose. I bought it!

Both Goodwin prints are masterful in composition, subject and vivid colors. They are great examples of "predicament" art and are to be placed on the interior walls of any cabin or house.


Anonymous said...

Great, brief description of this old American artist.

Julie said...

I have one of these humorous images in my cabin bathroom. It is a reproduction, screened upon a metal plate, and very durable. Here it is (top right bear image)

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