Leanin' Tree Cool Cards &
Museum of Western Arts

Leanin' Tree Cool Cards & Museum of Western Arts
History of the Museum

Leanin' Tree Cool Cards & Museum of Western Arts The Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art exhibits over 300 original paintings and bronze sculptures from the private collection of Edward P. Trumble, chairman and founder of Leanin’ Tree Inc.

Trumble founded Leanin’ Tree Inc in 1949 as a small company printing Christmas cards with a Western theme, the only company to do so at that time. Through the years, Trumble traveled widely, meeting artists painting the great beauty and history of the American West, and published their works on everyday cards as well as Christmas greeting cards. In 1974, Leanin’ Tree moved into new corporate headquarters and the Leanin’ Tree Museum was established. It exhibits the works that Trumble has collected from these artist friends over the years.

We invite you to come and view this magnificent private collection, unique in that it is the only major collection of privately held works of American Western art that is free and open to the public for viewing.

One of the museum's Exhibits:
Frederic Remington Illustrations in "Harper’s Weekly "

THE AMBUSHED PICKET — From the Painting by Fredric Remington, 1889
Long before Remington was famous as a painter and sculptor he was working as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly (1857-1927) turning out drawings of current events in the American West. His drawings were sent back to the New York by horse and by boat and train to be recreated by engravers on wood blocks that were then used for printing on the newspaper pages. The entire process from Remington’s sketch pad to a published tabloid took as much as three to five weeks. Hardly the insta-cam news reporting we’re used to today. Although it took days and days of painstaking engraving by skilled craftsmen recreating every line of Remington’s drawings on wood blocks, Remington was the name that appeared on the newspaper pages, making him the most recognized artist of his day. People on the East Coast avidly read the accounts of history-in-the-making in the great western lands.

These illustrations are of little known scenes of history: the sacred Sundance of the Blackfeet Indians, U.S. Cavalry digging trenches for the fight at Pine Ridge, General Miles leading the U.S. Cavalry into battle, President Harrison reviewing the troops, a Fort Keogh Cheyenne scout, the opening battle at Wounded Knee, a six-fathom canoe on Lake Superior, Geronimo and his band, a Spanish vaquero.

Harper’s Weekly was established in 1857 to meet the demand for news of daily life and events unfolding in the West. It quickly attained a weekly circulation of 100,000 copies. At that time the West had a population of about 2 million, there was no railroad beyond the Mississippi River, and it took 3 to 4 months to cross the West by horseback, if unimpeded by Indians, the weather, or losing the way.

Artists were hired to travel West, often with cavalry or survey parties, to make drawings in pencil or watercolor, which were redrawn on wood blocks. Larger, full page illustrations were often copied on as many as 36 small blocks by many artists, to hurry the process. They copied the details of the original drawings. When finished, the blocks were bolted together and sent to an engraver who carved away all the wood but the fine lines of the drawings. A wax impression of the block was made and a printing block carrying the reversed image of the original sketch was coated in metal in an electrotyping process.

From the Painting by Fredric Remington, 1890
Frederic Remington (1861-1909) began his career at Harper’s in 1886 when his first illustrations of cowboys appeared. By 1903 he was rapidly becoming the most famous of all the illustrators, and had established a serious career in fine art—oil paintings and bronze sculptures created at his home in Ogdensburg, New York. He regarded himself as the illustrator of the West despite the fact that many of his drawings were created from written accounts and without his having witnessed them himself. His travels in the West, however, left a strong impression on him that became the subject matter of his art throughout his impressive career.

By the time Remington died in 1909 he had written of his regret that the West was no longer the place he had traveled and illustrated during his career: "I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever, and the more I considered the subject, the bigger the Forever loomed. "

Leanin' Tree Cool Cards & Museum of Western Arts

Contact the Museum

Send Mail to:
Leanin Tree Museum of Western Art
PO Box 9500
Boulder, Colorado 80301

Building Address (not for mail):
Leanin Tree Museum of Western Art
6055 Longbow Drive
Boulder, Colorado

303-530-1442 ext. 299
1-800-777-8716 ext. 299

e-Mail: artmuseum@leanintree.com

Website: www.leanintreemuseum.com / Leanin' Tree

Hours of Operation:
Monday- Friday 8-4:30
Saturday and Sunday 10-4
Closed on Holidays

Admission and tours of the museum are free

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