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 John "Jack" Dare Howland  (1843 - 1914)

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Lived/Active: Colorado/Ohio      Known for: wild animal in landscape painting-buffalo

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Ad Code: 3
John Dare Howland
from Auction House Records.
Group of Buffalo at the Edge
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Zanesville, Ohio, John Dare Howland is claimed by Colorado art historians as the state's first resident artist.  Early in his career he was a sketch artist and illustrator for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Magazine and Harper's Weekly, and after the Civil War he dedicated himself to fine art painting, with many of his subjects being buffalo, which he had seen in abundance on the Plains in the pre-railroad era of the West. 

John Howland Dare was the son of a riverboat captain, the grandson of founders of Zanesville, and had the same name as a pilgrim ancestor who crossed to America on the Mayflower. 

At age fourteen, he ran away from home and, "befriended by a fur trader who let him join the American Fur Company voyages, he traveled up the Missouri and Platte Rivers to the fur posts, and went on buffalo hunts, and traded with the Sioux Indians." (Samuels, p. 239)  He became a great favorite of the Sioux, especially for his drawings on tanned animal skins and on their tepees. "He was a friend of the Sioux Indian "Rain in the Face", who was accused of killing General Custer's brother, Tom." (Harmsen, 104).  On those trips, he survived two shipwrecks. 

A year later, in 1858, Howland went to Colorado for the first time and, seeking gold, he headed to the Pike's Peak mines but was unsuccessful.  It was said that he became so desperate for money "that he often had to earn a few pennies for food by dancing a jig for the entertainment-starved miners." (Harmsen, 104)  In 1861, as a Colorado volunteer in the Civil War, he fought in New Mexico, and rose to the rank of Captain of Scouts.  He took part in the subsequent Indian wars.  However, not neglecting his art talent, he used funds from his military duty to study for two years in Paris. There his teachers included Armand Dumaresq. 

From 1867 to 1869, he was appointed Secretary of the Indian Peace Commission with the assignment of negotiating peace with the Sioux Indians and other tribes.  Among his published illustrations, both for Harper's and Leslie's, was his negotiated signing of the 1867 Treaty at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in Barber County.  The agreement was between the Peace Commission of the United States and the five tribes of the Plains Indians: Kiowa, Comanche, Kiowa-Apache, Arapaho and Cheyenne. 

Following this time of working, traveling, writing and illustrating, he spent another year in Paris.  In 1873, he settled in Denver, and in addition to becoming a noted artist, was active in the cultural life of the growing city.  In 1886, he founded the Denver Art Club and served as President, but dissention among the members led to its dissolution the following year.

He died in 1914.  Many of his buffalo paintings are in the Colorado Historical Society in Denver.

Sources:
Dorothy Harmsen, Harmsen's Western Americana
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Robert Taft, Artists and Illustrators of the Old West, 1850-1900
William Gerdts, Art Across America, Vol. III
Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West, Vol. 1
http://www.peacetreaty.org/history.htm

Written by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ran away from home at age 14 to travel with a fur trader up the Missouri and Platte Rivers joining buffalo hunts and trading with the Sioux Indians.  In 1858, Howland went to Colorado seeking gold and in 1861, as a Colorado volunteer in the Civil War, he fought in New Mexico, and rose to the rank of Captain of Scouts.  He used funds from his military duty to study art for two years in Paris where his teachers included Armand Dumaresq.  From 1867-69, he was
appointed Secretary of the Indian Peace Commission with the assignment of negotiating peace with the Sioux Indians and other tribes.  Among his published illustrations, both for Harper's and Leslie's, was his negotiated signing of the 1867 Treaty at Medicine Lodge, in Barber County, Kansas.  The agreement was between the Peace Commission of the United States and the five tribes of the Plains Indians: Kiowa, Comanche, Kiowa-Apache, Arapaho and Cheyenne. Following this time of working, traveling, writing and illustrating, he spent another year in Paris. In 1873, he settled in Denver, CO.

Member: Denver Art Club. Collections: Colorado Historical Society; Amon Carter Museum; Denver Country Club; Joslyn Art Museum; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Denver Art
Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Brigham Young Univ.; National Cowboy & Western
Heritage Museum; National Museum of Wildlife Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Source:
SOURCES:
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
AskART, www.askart.com, accessed Oct. 17, 2007; Art Inventories Cat; Howland, John Dare, and Nolie Mumey. The Art and Activities of John Dare (Jack) Howland: Painter, Soldier, Indian Trader, and Pioneer. (Boulder: Johnson Pub. Co, 1973); Pamphlet file at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library in Washington, DC.
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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