Howard Terpning was born in Oak Park, IL on Nov. 5th, 1927. He loved to draw as a child and by the age of 7 he knew in his heart that he wanted to be an artist. When he was 15 yrs. old, he spent a summer in Colorado fishing and camping and it was at this time that he developed his love of the American West and the Native American cultures. However as life often does his love of art was put on hold when he joined the Marines for a short stint in China after WWII.

When he returned home, he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts for 2 years which was made possible by the G.I. Bill. After graduating from there, he then honed his skills for another 6 mos. at
the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He was then hired as an illustrator and eventually worked on a free lance basis illustrating magazines and movie posters. He had completed over 80 movie posters including The Guns of Navarone, Cleopatra, Doctor Zhivago, The Sound of Music, The Sand Pebbles, and the 1967 re-release of Gone with the Wind.

In 1967, Terpning left his commercial art career and headed to Vietnam as a civilian combat artist. He was invited by the Marine Corps to document the war by living with the Marines for one month.
He ended up in Da Nang, South Vietnam and went out on patrols with the marines. He came home being "profoundly changed" after this experience and painted 6 paintings that are now displayed in the
National Museum of the Marine Corps.

He eventually tired of his commercial illustration work and decided to start painting full time that of his love of the American West and the Plains Indians. He ended up moving out to Arizona to devote his life to the painting of these interests. Since then he has received up to 42 awards for his paintings. His work has been described as realistic but primarily representative instead of formal. A lot of his artwork is hanging in museums where he is world renown. In 2006 at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, his painting "Search for the Renegades sold for over 1.4 million and "The Stragglers" sold for just over 1 million.

Howard Terpning has now come full circle in being able to express his love of a world that he had discovered at the tender age of 15. His beautiful paintings speak for themselves as the depict the rich culture of the American West and the Native American's of the Plains.

Howard Terpning : Shield Of Her Husband

Howard Terpning : Medicine Man of the Cheyenne

Howard Terpning : Holy Man Of The Blackfoot

Howard Terpning : Where Spirits Dwell

Howard Terpning : Sunday Best

Video Howard Terpning

LINK The Art of Howard Terpning


Responses to "Howard Terpning - American painter of the Plain's Native Americans"

  1. Darren says:

    Excellent post White Wolf. His artistry is stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Kimberli Offet says:

    Thanks again for a beautiful post! I so look forward to reading & viewing your post. They are food for my spirit!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! Absolutely Amazing paintings

  5. em says:

    If you enjoy these paintings by Howard Terpning, you should know that there will be a special exhibition of his original art at the Autry Center in California in February 2012. For more details, see Terpning's "Search for the Renegades" ( recently went for more than 1.4 million dollars at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction.

  6. Absolutely beautiful and so realistic

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