Original Illustration from House Made of Dawn, by Bart Forbes
This original watercolor illustration by Bart Forbes is a surreal triptych of a Native American man seen in profile, running, with the head of a horse and a bull behind his legs in the bottom panel.
This beautifully rendered painting was featured as an interior illustration on page 92 in the 1977 Franklin Library publication of House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday.
The Franklin Library’s Original Illustration Commissions
From its founding in 1973 until its closing in 2000 The Franklin Library produced public domain classic books as well as some limited first editions, releasing them in subscription series such as The First Edition Society. Often released in parallel series including leather bound and a non-leather bound (leatherette), the books were handsomely bound and included numerous original illustrations from contemporary artists.
House Made of Dawn
American painter and illustrator Bart Forbes (b. 1939) was specially commissioned to create a series of interior illustrations for The Franklin Library’s 1977 publication of the novel House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday.
The novel is widely credited as leading the way for the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 and has also been noted for its significance in Native American anthropology.
About the Artist, Bart Forbes
Bart Forbes (born July 3, 1939 in Altus, OK) is an American painter and illustrator. He has worked for most of the popular magazines, amongst them TIME and Sports Illustrated, Ladies Home Journal, McCalls, Golf Digest, as well as a broad selection of corporate clients. His wide variety of works include postage stamps for the US Postal Service, Time Magazine’s Man of the Year article on Jimmy Carter, paintings of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, theme paintings for the PGA tournaments and club houses and paintings of the Dallas Cowboys for Jerry Jones private jet. He was the recipient of the 1986 Sport Artist of the Year Award given annually by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives. The Sports Art of Bart Forbes, a collection of his most famous sports paintings, was published by Beckett in 1998. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2017, undoubtedly the highest honor bestowed on artists in the field of illustration.
Bart Forbes is a gifted painter–illustrator who has gained great respect over a 55+ year period. He is well known for his loose painterly, yet realistic style of work which, in the 1970s–80s, were regularly reproduced to accompany stories for McCalls, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal and other popular women’s magazines. At that time number of limited edition prints were published including the Male and Female Golfers, the Endangered Species series and images of Native Americans among others.
As Forbes’ career progressed and the women’s magazines adopted a smaller size format, most often without short stories, his focus shifted to the world of sport with commissions from Sports Illustrated, Time and The National Football League. In 1987 he was commissioned by the Korean Olympic Committee to be the KOC’s official artist for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Several of those images were reproduced in a series of limited editions prints as well.
Over the years requests for large paintings necessitated that he change medium from water color to oil, but his style retained its original loose, washy quality which it still his trademark. In 2005 – 2007 TCP Sawgrass Golf Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. commissioned Forbes to do a number of mural-size paintings of legendary golf moments and players from the Players Championship Tournaments. He is currently experimenting with still life and landscape paintings, some of which are reproduced as Giclees.