|Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, Terpning has painted since he was in his early 20s. He first gained attention from some powerful Time and Newsweek covers. He created advertising art and illustrated stories and articles in such publications as Ladies' Home Journal and Reader's Digest. He documented Vietnam War scenes as a civilian combat artist, which he described as a "harrowing experience." Film fans praised his (80) movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago, The Guns of Navarone, and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind. The focus of his imagery changed when Terpning moved from the East Coast to Arizona in 1977 and the years since have been devoted to his award-winning Western painting. Living in what used to be Apache country, he began studying historic photographs of American Indians, fascinated by the differences among tribes. As his respect for them increased, so did his sense of duty to portray them as they really were. A contemporary realist working in the narrative painting traditions of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, Howard Terpning chronicles the history and stories of the American Plains Indians with unusual insight and exceptional detail.
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