BookPleasures.com - http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher
William E. Farr's Julius Seyler and the Blackfeet: An Impressionist at Glacier National Park Reviewed By Kathryn Atwood of Bookpleasures.com
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/3100/1/William-E-Farrs-Julius-Seyler-and-the-Blackfeet-An-Impressionist-at-Glacier-National-Park-Reviewed-By-Kathryn-Atwood-of-Bookpleasurescom/Page1.html
Kathryn Atwood

Reviewer Kathryn Atwood:  Kathryn is the author of Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue:  Click Here To View More Of Kathryn's   Reviews.


 
By Kathryn Atwood
Published on December 31, 2010
 

Author: William E. Farr

Publisher: Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 978-0-8061-4014-8

When Julius Seyler, a successful German Impressionist painter, found himself in Glacier National Park, Montana, during the summer of 1913, he encountered – and painted – some gorgeous landscapes. And some Blackfeet Indians.


Author: William E. Farr

Publisher: Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 978-0-8061-4014-8

Click Here To Purchase Julius Seyler and the Blackfeet: An Impressionist at Glacier National Park (The Charles M. Russell Center on Art and Photography of the American West)


When Julius Seyler, a successful German Impressionist painter, found himself in Glacier National Park, Montana, during the summer of 1913, he encountered – and painted – some gorgeous landscapes.  And some Blackfeet Indians.
 
William E. Farr’s new book, “Julius Seyler and the Blackfeet,” the first full-length biography of Seyler, a painter apparently doomed to obscurity by the two wars that followed his life-changing experiences with the Blackfeet, features more than 100 images, many of them Seyler’s Impressionist/Expressionist paintings of the Blackfeet he met in the Glacier Park area.
 
In 1913, when Seyler had his first of two encounters with the Blackfeet, the American west – and its natives – had been tamed.  Almost as soon as the wars with the Native Americans were over, an enormous nostalgia for the “old” west swept over Europeans and European-Americans, something Farr explains at length.  The art of Frederic Remington and Charlie Russell, the novels of Owen Wister and Zane Grey, and Buffalo Bill’s traveling shows created a longing for a not-so-distant past, as Farr explains:  “The American frontier was entertaining precisely because it was gone, buried beneath the concerns and experiences of a modern industrialized generation.” 
 
The Great Northern Railroads used this nostalgia to pump dollars into their “See America First” campaign; i.e., before Americans traveled to Europe, they should see the beauties of their own country first, starting with Montana’s Glacier National Park, the centerpiece of the campaign.  Cheated out of their land and living on a reservation outside the park, the Piegans -- the Blackfeet who had once lived and hunted in the Glacier Park area -- were now hired to give the park a Native American flavor.  Dressing once again in traditional costumes, they were used as guides, encouraged to camp in teepees in the park and to entertain guests on the grounds of the park lodge with dances and stories.
 
When Seyler encountered one native while on a trail, he was fascinated and wrote: “Immediately the Indians stories of my boyhood came to life.”  Seyler was adopted into their tribe and then painted and photographed them during the summers of 1913 and 1914. 
 
Seyler’s style was his own and difficult to categorize completely but while he was influenced greatly by the 19th century Impressionists his work is also similar to 20th century Expressionism.  His paintings are worked in very broad brush strokes and depict energy and emotion.  The occasional pairing of photograph and painting in the book (Seyler occasionally worked from photographs) are helpful in order to understand Seyler’s artistic process.
 
The two world wars which followed Seyler’s western odyssey nearly destroyed his legacy but much of his American west art survived and can be now seen in this beautiful oversized book which will appeal to anyone interested in the American west and/or in late Impressionist art.

Click Here To Purchase Julius Seyler and the Blackfeet: An Impressionist at Glacier National Park (The Charles M. Russell Center on Art and Photography of the American West)