The Blackfoot people referred to the Rocky Mountains as the backbone of the world. From the foothills of Rockies to the East extend the Great Plains. To the West, the Rockies ultimately drop off into the Pacific Ocean. Add in the amazing length of the Rockies from North to South and it is not hard to see that from the Blackfoots limited perspective at that time, they weren t that far off the mark. There were trails that went across and over the Rockies at various places. In all probability they were originally game trails that were then used by man. This painting represents such a trail being used by three Blackfoot Warriors.
When we called Howard to let him know that we were thinking about pub-lishing “Trail Along the Backbone,” he mentioned that the original is part of the collection of the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA. Howard was honored with the Booth Museum Lifetime Achievement Award. The Booth houses the largest permanent exhibition space for western art in the United States. Their collection also includes three other Terpning originals, “River Crow,” “Legend of Geronimo” and “On the Brink.” Take the time to learn more about the Booth at www.boothmuseum.org.
With so many of Terpning s originals in private collections, it is only through museums such as the Booth Museum of Western Art or The Greenwich Workshop s Fine Art Editions program that a wider audience is able to enjoy the paintings of this great American artist.