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VERSO
Label, Midwestern Galleries, Cincinnati, Ohio
Label, The University Club, Cincinnati, Ohio

According to Western art historian Dr. Larry Len Peterson, “Montana’s Glacier National Park has the type of views that keep postcard companies and artists in business. Philip R. Goodwin traveled there in 1907 and in 1910 to visit Charles M. Russell and his wife Nancy at Bull Head Lodge, their summer retreat on Lake McDonald. During the first decade of the twentieth century, the wunderkind illustrated two of the most famous books of the era, Jack London’s Call of the Wild (1903) and Theodore Roosevelt’s African Game Trails (1909) – along with dozens of other books, magazines, and sporting illustrations – before he was thirty years old. No artist had a greater impact on the art of Russell than his young friend from back East. While Russell savored his time with his mentor, Goodwin also greatly benefitted by photographing and sketching the park’s stunning, jagged mountains and pristine waters. They supplied inspiration and source material for art such as Hitting the Trail completed back in his studio in Mamaroneck, New York.

“One of the quintessential subjects of the sporting artist was the pack train that Goodwin knew intimately as he traveled the wilderness trails of Maine, Eastern Canada, and Banff with Carl Rungius, and especially, Glacier Country. For almost thirty years, many of his finest paintings appeared first on Brown & Bigelow calendars – the largest calendar company in the nation. At the apex of his career between 1910 and 1920, Goodwin created Hitting the Trail, which was selected for their 1916 offering. A year later, five of his pieces, including Hitting the Trail, were reproduced in portfolio form. In 1919 the image was published in yet another portfolio titled ‘Out In the West’ along with three of his most famous oils: Blazing the Trail, In Silent Places, and A Timely Catch. That same year, Goodwin’s most recognized illustration, The Horse and Rider, for Winchester Repeating Arms was completed, which became recognized throughout the world. In 1922 Marble Arms & Manufacturing Company of Gladstone, Michigan—makers of axes, gun sights, and knives—through Brown & Bigelow widely distributed a calendar that once again featured Hitting the Trail. It seemed as if the image was everywhere in America. One of the finest paintings he ever completed, this gem is a tribute to the genius of Philip R. Goodwin, rightly titled, ‘America’s Sporting and Wildlife artist.’”

PROVENANCE
The artist
Brown & Bigelow, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1916
Private collection, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

EXHIBITED
Annual Art Exhibition, The University Club, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1989

LITERATURE
Larry Len Peterson, Philip R. Goodwin: America’s Sporting & Wildlife Artist, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction and Settlers West Galleries, 2001, p. 320, illustrated

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