Making a Hand: The Art of H. D. Bugbee
Sometime in 1947, a letter arrived in the mailbox of Harold Dow Bugbee, already a well-known and highly sought illustrator for western pulp magazines and other publications. “Sir,” it began, “I have seen several of your pictures in the Cattleman. Sure like them and I am writing you to ask if you have all of your pictures in a book—if you do—we want to buy one.”
“After seventy years of waiting,” writes Michael R. Grauer in this colorful survey of Bugbee’s life and career, “here is such a book.”
Bugbee and his family arrived in Clarendon, Texas, in 1914, from Massachusetts. He helped his father with the 1,000-acre family ranch and eventually attended the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, where he studied architectural drawing. Subsequently, he enrolled at the Cumming School of Art in Des Moines, Iowa, but left after two years when the founder of the school told the young Texan that he had learned all the school had to offer.
Bugbee avidly absorbed cowboy scenes and the lifestyle that birthed them. He filled canvases with colorful, authentic images that capture the spirit of the American West of the early to mid-1900s, especially in and near his beloved Texas Panhandle. By the 1930s, Bugbee was providing pen-and-ink sketches for magazines such as Ranch Romances, Western Stories, Country Gentleman, and Field and Stream.
This richly illustrated overview of the man and his art provides a valuable and entertaining resource for collectors and students of western and Texas art.
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Allen Amarillo American American Art American West Annual artists became began Branding buffalo Bugbee Collection Bugbee’s Canyon cattle Charles circa Clarendon Cole College color commission Company continued copy cowboy Cowboy Artist Dallas December depicted drawings Dunton early Evetts exhibition February Frank gallery Grace H. D. Bugbee H. D. Bugbee Estate Haley Hall hand Harold Harold Bugbee held Herbert Historical Museum Research Historical Society horse Hotel illustrated included Indian interest January John July June L. F. Sheffy Collection late least letter lived March Mead Mexico mural Museum Research Center November October oil on canvas Oklahoma paintings Panhandle Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum photographer Pioneer Plains PPHMRC Press probably Public Ranch region River Ross Russell scenes School sent September sketches Southwest Stock stories studio Taos Texas A&M Texas Panhandle tion Trail United University unknown visited West Texas Western World Worth writer wrote York