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Born in Oak Park, Illinois and receiving his art education at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy of Art, Howard Terpning became one of the best known and financially successful members of the Cowboy Artists of America.|
He had an eight-year apprenticeship in commercial art in Chicago and then moved to New York City where he spent twenty five years as an illustrator, creating work for numerous publications including Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Field and Stream and Cosmopolitan. Other clients included Gold label Cigars, Trans World Airlines (TWA) and Pendleton Woolen Mills.
In the mid-1970s, he dropped commercial work and moved to Arizona where, in 1974, he began doing his first western painting, and in 1979, was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, an exclusive group of male painters dedicated to western genre.
His paintings focus on Native American people of the Great Plains during the nineteenth century and have earned numerous prestigious awards including about two dozen gold and silver medals from the CAA.
He lives with his family in Tucson, Arizona, and his daughter, Susan Terpning, also has become a successful artist.
He works in a large studio attached to his home and usually keeps a painting schedule of working all day, six days a week.
Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, p. 362
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