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An original bill of sale from the Biltmore Salon dated 1931 will accompany the lot.

According to Dr. Larry Len Peterson, “As noted in The American West Reimagined, of the 700 Indian portraits she completed, this is Leighton’s finest. After the death of Chief Joseph in 1904 and Geronimo in 1909, Blackfeet Chief Two Guns White Calf was the most famous Indian in America. Because of his striking figure, he was a model for numerous artists who often ascribed their paintings of him to different tribes. In 1925 Leighton and her husband Edward rented a cabin in Glacier National Park close to Charlie Russell’s summer retreat, Bull Head Lodge. While there, she not only painted Two Guns White Calf and other Blackfeet Indians but also decorated the Russell’s famed 1925 Bull Head Lodge privacy screen with a beautiful scene of the mountains towering above Lake McDonald. An art critic for the Los Angeles Evening Herald on February 27, 1926 wrote, ‘The first to bring to galleries here the strange, wild charm of Glacier National Park for an entire exhibit, Leighton has a masculine sweep and strength to her brush, and few men painters can outdo the virility of her sunbathed peaks and wind-winnowed snowfields.’ The Blackfeet adopted her into their tribe and gave her the name ‘Anna-Tar-Kee,’ which meant ‘beautiful woman in spirit.’ For several years she served as vice-president of the California Art Club and at the club’s 1936 exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum, was awarded ‘first cash prize,’ while club president Frank Tenney Johnson accepted an honorary first prize. In 2015 legendary art dealer Bob Drummond wrote, ‘They [McDonalds] had a wonderful mansion on the edge of Coeur d’Alene Lake – I am told, Leighton came to Coeur d’Alene for two weeks to finish the commission, and hung it over their fireplace for many years.’”

PROVENANCE
Mrs. Agnes J. McDonald, Spokane, Washington, 1931
Private collection, by descent
Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 1995
Private collection

EXHIBITED
Biltmore Salon, Los Angeles, California, 1931

LITERATURE
Larry Len Peterson, The Call of the Mountains: The Artists of Glacier National Park, Settlers West Galleries, 2002, p. 143, illustrated
Larry Len Peterson, The American West Reimagined: Gems from the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, 2021, pp. 211-12, 227

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