The Art of Howard Terpning

Howard Terpning, Author, Elmer Kelton, Author Bantam $60 (160p) ISBN 978-0-553-08113-8
Terpning's most effective paintings of the Plains Indians have an unaffected simplicity and quiet strength. Too often, however, the Arizona-based artist purveys a romanticized view of Native Americans striking noble poses. His gift for storytelling enlivens many of these pictures, such as a study of Cheyenne vision-seekers keeping a vigil in the hope that a spirit-guide will appear. Other works have ethnographic value, like the portrait of a young Cheyenne girl undergoing a ceremonial initiation into womanhood, or a depiction of Arapahos doing the Ghost Dance, a desperate mystical ritual intended to make the white man go away and the buffalo herds return. This lavishly illustrated album also features numerous historical paintings, including scenes of the Army's pursuit of Geronimo and other Apaches in 1886. In his engaging text, Kelton, a journalist and chronicler of the American West, discusses various tribes' origins, symbols, customs, child-rearing practices and the status of women. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992
Release date: 08/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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