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A .30-30 Winchester Model 1894 similar to the rifle featured in the painting will accompany the lot.

According to Goodwin biographer Dr. Larry Len Peterson, “After completing this oil in late 1909, Goodwin submitted it to the W. F. Powers Lithograph Company in New York City in January 1910. In his hand-written ledger he described it as ‘goat hunting.’ His $200 commission helped pay for his second trip to visit his friends Charles and Nancy Russell at their summer retreat, Bull Head Lodge on beautiful Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. The setting for On the Edge reflects Goodwin’s nostalgic salute to his time with Russell in the park. It was special because he rarely dated his major works. The Rocky Mountain goats are common on all of the high peaks and ridges throughout the park. During the tourist season they are generally found above timberline. Even though they are called a goat, in reality the Rocky Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) is an antelope mainly found in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, south as far as Colorado. The Virginian author Owen Wister wrote, ‘The perverted animals invariably chose the sharpest slant they could find to walk on.… If there were a precipice and a sound flat top, they took the precipice, and crossed its face on juts that did not look as if your hat would hang on them.’ Because of where they lived, for decades most hunters did not pursue them. However, once they were in the rifle’s sight, they were easily bagged because when they were alarmed, they tended to move to cover at a quite deliberate pace. Theodore Roosevelt found hunting the mountain goat somewhat challenging as it was ‘laborious rather than exciting, but still worth it just to enjoy the grandeur of the country.’ It’s easy to see why the Great Northern Railway, the Mazama Club, and others chose the mountain goat as their symbol.”

PROVENANCE
Christie’s, New York, New York, 1991
Private collection, Nevada

LITERATURE
Larry Len Peterson, Philip R. Goodwin: America’s Sporting and Wildlife Artist, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction and Settler’s West Galleries, 2001
Larry Len Peterson, Charles M. Russell, Photographing the Legend: A Biography in Words and Pictures, University of Oklahoma Press, 2014

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