Old West Art

True grit.  Cowboys have it.  Ranchers have it.  Hugh Beebower’s Old West Art has it. Hugh uses working cowboys, horses and ranchers in his images.  He scouts authentic Western locations.  The result:  Some of the best Old West art available today.

Hugh grew up in rural Pennsylvania watching Western movies.  He loved seeing Glenn Ford in “3:10 to Yuma”, Gary Cooper in “High Noon” and John Wayne in “The Searchers”.  He rode the trails with Clint Eastwood in “Rawhide” and policed the streets of Dodge City with James Arness in “Gunsmoke”.  These characters and locations created a showcase of Old West art in the young man’s mind but it would be years before he put them to good use.

In the late 1970s, Hugh and his brother Gordon opened a photo studio in Dallas, Texas.  Eventually some of Hugh’s commercial advertising clients wanted a Western look for their photos.  He finally unleashed all those old Western movie ideas stored up in his head.  He also studied Old West art pioneers like Charles Russell and Frederic Remington.  At night after shooting all day for his commercial clients, Hugh would sketch photo ideas.

Hugh thought he had some great ideas for Old West action shots, but he needed a real Western expert to help him get all of the details right.  This person needed to be a cowboy, wrangler and a movie stunt man.  He needed to be a living example of the Old West art Hugh would create.  Enter Red Cloud Wolverton. Red did it all:  he’d worked as a cowboy, supplied working horses and stagecoaches to movie crews and he’d even done a few stunts for movies.  The two met during a photo shoot at Old Tucson Movie Studios in Arizona.  Hugh needed a silvery white horse and Red had one.  Hugh could use the horse, but Red came with it.

After soaking up all of Red’s cowboy and movie knowledge, the duo began creating memorable photos like horse stampedes, backlit stagecoaches and bucking broncos.  Along the way their friendship became a work of Old West art in itself. Hugh’s commercial photography took him around the West to Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah where he met more great folks.

Using the vast store of knowledge he learned from Red, as well as his new friends, Hugh snuck in some Old West art shoots when the commercial shooting was done. Hugh considers his images to be Old West art because he uses a camera and Photoshop much like an artist uses his brush and paint to create a masterpiece.  If he can “see” it, Hugh can create the image using real life photos and blending techniques in Photoshop.  The result is an image that truly represents life out West.

In 2008 Hugh took his love of the West to a new level.  He and Red co-authored Legends of a Range Cook, a beautiful coffee table book chock full of authentic images, recipes and chuck wagon stories.  Today you can buy this photo book along with some of the best Old West art prints right here at www.beebower.com.

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