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In the mid to late nineteenth-century, the frontier and its rugged heroes became the protagonists of American lore. Cowboys were popular symbols of freedom across the nation, and their seemingly romantic lives in the West fascinated Americans who were forced to remain in stifling urban centers. As barbed wire enclosed more and more of the open range and true cattle driving cowboys became a rare breed, a new embodiment of freedom landed in the frontier. In the early 1900’s, there was a new symbol of freedom found in aviation. With a newfound dominion over the skies and a legendary lordship of the open range, freedom and its many forms was central to life in the American West.
In this painting, a Curtis JN-4 Jenny has made a surprise landing in a pasture within the Teton Valley of Wyoming. Running low on gas, flying over rugged territory, the pilot decided to set down and seek replenishment from a local shopkeeper. As this unusual event is taking place some of the locals happen upon the scene. You can only imagine what the cowboy and his herd must be thinking: “Well, tarnation, look at that! Now that’s what I call, “A Horse of a Different Color!!”
Videos on Rick Herter Art Homepage copyright and shown courtesy of Michael B. Chait www.michaelbchait.com
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