Classic Covers: Native Americans

With a lineup of artists such as Fredric Remington, N.C. Wyeth, W.H.D. Koerner and, of course, our beloved J.C. Leyendecker, our history of Western art is second to none. We’re proud to show the art of the Native American.

Indian Fishing – N.C. Wyeth

Indian Fishing by N.C. Wyeth
Indian Fishing
N.C. Wyeth
July 18, 1908

A Post cover by N.C. Wyeth from 1908 is eloquent in its solitary contentment. There is something uplifting about the young Native American in this peaceful, yet all-important pastime. Wyeth’s (1822-1945) first commission as an illustrator, we’re proud to say, was of a bucking bronco for a Post cover of February 1903. Wyeth’s cover art for the Post and sister publication, Country Gentleman magazine, ran the gamut from cowboys to rugged lumberjacks to a colorful Santa Claus.

Indian Chief on Horseback – Charles Hargens

Indian Chief on Horseback by Charles Hargens
Indian Chief on Horseback
Charles Hargens
August 22, 1936

Rich with color, the “Indian Chief on Horseback” that appeared on the August 22, 1936 cover was by an artist named Charles Hargens. This is such a stately example of the Native American, I was surprised to find that Hargens’ covers also ran the gamut: from a skiing scene in 1939 to a rather comic small-town sheriff running from snowballs in 1921.

Indians on Horseback – Paul Strayer

Indians on Horseback by Paul Strayer
Indians on Horseback
Paul Stayer
The Country Gentleman
November 1, 1929

An equally stunning example is “Indians on Horseback” from a 1929 Country Gentlemen. It’s a great example of action, from the flying hair to the dust under the horses’ hooves. I was sorry to find that this is the only artwork we can claim by Paul Strayer, but it is a beauty.

Indian on Horseback – Frederic Remington

Indian on Horseback by Federic Remington
Indian on Horseback
Frederic Remington
December 14, 1901

In 1901 the technique for cover color was as yet rather unsophisticated, but this example of an Indian on horseback was by renowned Western artist Frederic Remington. Remington (1861-1909) reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt. Like Teddy, he was born in New York, but lived for the rugged Western life, and was the kind of man who hunted grizzlies. This is our only Frederic Remington cover.

Indian Guide – Remington Schuyler

Indian Guide by Remington Schuyler
Indian Guide
Remington Schuyler
February 25, 1922

Remington was the first name of artist Remington Schuyler, and a 1922 cover called “Indian Guide” is, we assume, meant to be ironic. The Native American in full headdress consulting a map of “Indian Trails”? Ironic or not, this beautifully attired Indian is a treat.

Indian Sunset – J.C. Leyendecker

Indian Sunset by J.C. Leyendecker
Indian Sunset
J.C. Leyendecker
March 17, 1923

There is something about the sun setting in the West. We couldn’t decide on which of these two sunsets to show, so we’re doing both. “Indian Sunset” by J.C. Leyendecker is from 1923 and an unusual example of Leyendecker’s over 300 Saturday Evening Post covers.

Painted Pony – W.H.D. Koerner

Painted Pony by W.H.D. Koerner
Painted PonyW.H.D. Koerner
Octoer 24, 1931

The beautiful “Painted Pony” by W.H.D. Koerner is from 1931. Koerner (1878-1938) was known as the “America Artist of the West,” and understandably so. He did five Saturday Evening Post covers. Like Wyeth, he studied under Howard Pyle.