Cover Art Description:
An icon of the West, the mountain man fascinated American audiences in the mid-nineteenth century. Among the chroniclers of this exotic figure was William T. Ranney. Born in 1813, Ranney was a recognized portrait painter as well as an artist of considerable talent who painted over two dozen western scenes, icluding A Trapper Crossing the Mountains (1853, oil on canvas, 29" x 17", courtesy Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky). In his article, Peter H. Hassrick looks at Ranney's efforts to promote the mountain man as a representational figure in a national art.
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