You’d never think it to look at, but the Cowboy Publishing Group office, perched on Montgomery Street overlooking the Fort Worth, Texas, skyline, has an amazing collection of Western art gracing its hallways and offices.
It has been a year since the Cowboy Publishing Group all came together into one building. Our trusty warehouse manager, Tim Gelnaw, took meticulous care in hanging and placing artwork through the new maze of office space. Every time I thought he was finished, I’d see new painting, print or bronze sculpture pop up. I was amazed and fascinated by the size of the collection. According to Tim, there are almost as many pieces still in storage. We simply don’t have space for it all.
It wasn’t until I visited the Sid Richardson Museum in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, that I realized I have been taking our expansive collection for granted. Over the holiday season, I happened to wander into the museum. What I saw were magnificent representations of Western wagon trail life painted by Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington.
While browsing through the gift shop, I gasped when I came across a print of Russell’s “The Wagon Boss.” I said to the clerk, “I see this painting every day and never really knew what I was looking at.”
She assured me what I see everyday is most likely a replica, as the original, according to her records, is secure with the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Indeed, a replica of “The Wagon Boss” hangs directly outside of the entrance to our office kitchen. I pass it multiple times a day. And the treat is, it is not the only Russell that graces our walls.
It made me wonder about the other paintings and prints I walk by every day. Some of them are signed by current and former Cowboy Publishing Group staffers. Some are simple portraits or photos. Others are grand paintings like the “Wagon Boss.”
This experience was the spark that lit a fire in my head to explore more of the pieces hanging on our walls. Keep your eyes open for more installments of my Western art journey through the halls of Cowboy Publishing Group.