This summer Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is presenting an exhibition showcasing the artistic talent and intriguing life story of Lone Wolf (aka Hart M. Schultz), a Blackfeet Indian artist who played a significant role in capturing the accounts of the individuals and events that shaped the American frontier during the first half of the 20th century.
He was among the first American Indian artists to paint in an academic style, and is one of the most important Glacier National Park artists, according to a press release.
“Lone Wolf (Hart M. Schultz): Cowboy, Actor & Artist” opened June 21 and will remain on view through Aug. 31.
The museum is located in downtown Scottsdale at 3830 N. Marshall Way, near the Main Street art galleries and Old Town Scottsdale. It was named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2015 and in January 2016 was named “Best Western Museum” in the United States in an annual ranking by True West magazine.
The exhibition features oil paintings, rare bronze sculptures, pen and ink illustrations, illustrated letterhead and ephemera. The exhibition also features rare video footage including a recorded interview with the artist as he talks about his life and artistic inspirations.
Another interview filmed after the artist’s death with his adopted son and Arizona artist, the late Paul Dyck, contributes to the telling of Mr. Schultz’s story and his contributions to the history and art of the American West.
“Although his name is lesser-known among the icons of Western art, Hart Merriam Schultz (Lone Wolf) played no less indelible a role in capturing the accounts of people who shaped the Western frontier, as well as producing romanticized images that helped create and define a mythic West for popular culture,” stated Tricia Loscher, the museum’s chief curator and curator of the exhibition, in the release.
“Schultz considered himself the bridge between the culture of his mother’s Blackfeet people, and the European-American culture of his father. It is my great hope that this exhibition will serve to promote further investigation into Schultz’s life and artistic career, and to encourage dialogue between American Indian and Western American art historians.”
A children’s activity area provides opportunities to learn about animal tracks (essential knowledge that American Indian parents taught their children), and the sign language that allowed tribes to communicate with one another.
Underappreciated today, during his lifetime Mr. Schultz traveled in artistic circles that included titans of American art including Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Thomas Moran. His paintings and sculptures of American Indian rituals, the Grand Canyon and cowboy life could be seen in Paris, London and Italy as well as New York, Los Angeles, and the states of Montana and Arizona, where he made his winter and summer homes.
His clients included President Theodore Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill Cody, Charles Russell, President Herbert Hoover and the Santa Fe Railroad.
“We are excited and privileged to bring Hart Merriam Schultz’s art and legacy to the public,” stated Museum Director and CEO Mike Fox, in the release. “This wonderful exhibition is made possible through the support of numerous institutions and private collectors who contributed in various ways, including the Museum of the Plains Indian and Crafts Center, the Montana Historical Society, the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Adelante Foundation, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Butterfly Lodge Museum.”
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