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Richard G. Bowman, who was a collector of Delano’s work, wrote, “Gerard Curtis Delano occupies a special place in Western art history, alongside those who found the challenge of a lifetime in observing and painting the American West firsthand, and specialized in depicting the American Indians. We can define stages between the late 1800s and the present in paintings and sculptural renditions of the Indians. When we consider these from the vantage point of the last decade of the twentieth century, Delano begins to loom large as the successor to Remington and Russell.”

In the early 1920s, Delano began getting assignments for magazine illustrations depicting the West. He returned from Colorado to an East 57th Street studio in New York where magazines like Colliers and Cosmopolitan started to carry his work. “It was during this period that Delano absorbed influences from several great teachers who had a bearing on the evolution of his career. We learn from his autobiography that he studied at the Art Students League with Frank DuMond, and at the Grand Central School of Art with Harvey Dunn and N. C. Wyeth.”

In 1933, as the Great Depression began to affect the country, Delano returned to Colorado to begin his fine art career while still pursuing the world of illustration. “Delano’s break came within a few years, when, in 1936, he signed the contract with Street and Smith Publishers for the series of stories and drawings, ‘Story of the West.’ … The end of the ‘Story of the West’ series in 1940, seemed to mark a turning point in Delano’s life. At last he was able to fulfill his great desire to concentrate on easel painting.”

The artist
Henry Sellers McKee, West Islip, New York, 1959
Private collection, by descent

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