In 1903 the famed “Cowboy Artist,” Charles M. Russell, presented his nephew Austin with a copy of the boy’s adventure book Frank on the Prairie with some extraordinary enhancements. Actually, the volume already belonged to Austin, and his Uncle Charlie had borrowed it to add to its pages a series of original illustrations. This new facsimile edition of that copy, among the rarest of rare books, features little-known works of art by the artist. The prolific author of the novel Frank on the Prairie, Charles Austin Fosdick (1842–1915), who went by the pen name Harry Castlemon, was one of Russell’s favorite storytellers. Castlemon’s book, which first appeared in 1868 as part of the Gunboat Series of Books for Boys, recounts the adventures of young Frank and his friend Archie as they travel across the Old West. Clearly inspired by the story line, Russell produced eleven watercolors for his nephew’s 1893 copy. They are beautifully reproduced here in full color, along with a single pencil sketch of mounted horsemen departing a fort. As Montana art collector Thomas Minckler explains in his essay, the extra-illustrated Frank on the Prairie displays the full range of Russell’s signature subjects and themes: the regal American Indian, a pitched Indian battle of counting coup, the fur trader, an iconic buffalo hunt, the outlaw, a nighttime camp scene, a tomahawk peace pipe, and a herd of wild horses. All of these images, meticulously drawn and painted, are replicated in this facsimile version exactly as they first appeared in Austin’s personal copy of the book.Frank on the Prairie was only one of a handful of books to which Russell added illustrations during his career. It is one of even fewer to contain watercolors. Showcasing Russell’s artistry and his perspective on the American West, the volume is, in Minckler’s words, “one of Russell’s most personalized works of art.”
|Publisher:||Creative Media Partners, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.52(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Thomas A. Petrie, CFA, is Chairman of Petrie Partners, LLC, in Denver. He formerly served as Vice Chairman of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and was Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch until its acquisition by Bank of America in 2009. Petrie co-founded Petrie Parkman & Co., a Denver- and Houston-based energy investment banking firm that merged with Merrill Lynch in 2006. Petrie graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned an MSBA (Finance) from Boston University. The Colorado School of Mines bestowed on him an honorary doctorate of engineering.
Thomas Minckler, a collector, dealer, and appraiser of rare books, artwork, photographs, manuscripts, and artifacts, is the author of In Poetic Silence: The Floral Paintings of Joseph Henry Sharp.