Cowboys Roping Horses
Oil on Canvas
24 1/2 x 34 inches
Signed Lower Left
Born and raised on Birch Creek, the southern boundary of the Blackfoot Reservation of Montana, Lone Wolf was said to be one of the more colorful personalities of the Old West. In the "white man's" culture, he became famous for his illustration and commercial art skills as well as for fine art painting and sculpting of western scenes. He was also "one of the first Native American artists to paint in an academic manner and one of the first Native American professionals to utilize his own people as his primary theme" . . .(Gerdts 95)
His given name was Hart Merriam Schultz, and he was the son of James W. Schultz and Fine Shield Woman. His father was the author of many books about Indian life, including the widely read "My Life as an Indian," and Lone Wolf was the illustrator, having begun painting at the age of eleven. His sketches on buckskin of western life were quite entertaining to local cowboys with whom he worked as a range rider. He began sculpting as a child with his grandfather, who taught him how to mold riverbank clay into animals.
Lone Wolf was educated in Indian schools and his art was encouraged when he was still a youth by Thomas Moran who saw his work and gave him lessons and told him he should get further training. Charles Schreyvogel, noted western artist, gave Lone Wolf his first set of oil paints, and later support came from Theodore Roosevelt, Owen Wister, Buffalo Bill Cody, Charles Russell, Olaf Seltzer and Frederic Remington.
In 1904, at age 24, he left the reservation as his mother had died, and his father had moved to the West Coast. That same year, he completed his first watercolor painting of an Indian subject, and he also joined his father in California. Beginning 1905, because of health-related reasons, he began spending his winters in New Mexico and Arizona, and in 1909 at the Grand Canyon, Lone Wolf met Thomas Moran, who encouraged him to become a professional artist.
Following Moran's advice, in 1910 he started formal art training with attendance at the Los Angeles Art Students League. From 1914 to 1915, he studied in Chicago at the Art Institute. During this period, he illustrated more of his father's books, and one of them, Bird Woman, his father dedicated to him.
Lone Wolf traveled and painted across the West and set up tepee studios at the Grand Canyon and Glacier National Park at Saint Mary's Lake and later in the mountains of Arizona.
His style was that of Remington and Russell, and he signed his works with a wolf's face. He lived the last fifteen years of his life in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife Naoma, and he is buried on the Blackfeet Reservation.