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Guide to the Tom Ryan Papers
Tom Ryan Papers, 1859-2002
54.3 cubic feet (45 archives boxes, 23 flat boxes, 15 photo file boxes, 3 photo binder boxes, 3 oversized folders)
Location: 0001-0016; 0017; 0019; 0021; 0023; 0025; 0027; 0029; 0031; 0645-0654; Flat File 2/Drawer 4
Collection #: 058
Accession #: 2002.032.6
Papers and photographs of Tom Ryan, a contemporary western artist and photographer whose work documents the life of the working cowboy, especially on the famed 6666 Ranch of King County, Texas. The bulk of the collection consists of prints, negatives, slides and transparencies, most of which were taken on the 6666 Ranch. The collection contains a small amount of biographical material, including information about artistic awards, as well as Ryan's early career, military service, and family. Correspondence is mostly professional and covers his relationship with mentors Helen Teri Card of the Latendorf Bookshop, Brown & Bigelow art director Clair Fry, and insurance executive and art collector Frank Harding, as well as providing good documentation of his relationship with the owners and cowboys of the 6666 Ranch and his fellow contemporary western artists, especially those affiliated with the Cowboy Artists of America. The financial material is primarily concerned with the sale of Ryan's art, especially signed limited edition prints which were sold directly to the public, also included are a small number of publications, mostly art exhibition catalogues and brochures from shows in which Ryan participated, but also some rare Latendorf Bookshop catalogues for which Ryan probably did some photography. The reference files include both factual information and images, which Ryan collected as reference for his early historical western illustration work, including examples of over 70 vintage paperback book cover illustrations by a number of different artists.
Ryan's artwork is extensively documented in the collection, both by photographs and manuscript material. Included are some of Ryan's paperback book cover and magazine illustrations, as well as notes, sketches, and other material documenting his completed fine art work. A unique group of over 100 controlled palettes documents more than 25 Ryan paintings. Also present are early sketches and cartoons done by Ryan while in high school and the military, as well as material covering potential artwork ideas and other proposed, but not completed, drawings and paintings. Appendix 1 contains a list of Ryan's completed artwork, including alternate and variant titles when applicable, as well as the titles of proposed, but not completed, artwork. There are also a significant number of subject files on a variety of topics, among them are, art and artists, including news clippings and other material documenting numerous art exhibitions and shows; the two books that have been written on Ryan and his art; the Cowboy Artists of America, including documentation from Ryan's time as president of the organization; notes, sketches, and painted class exercises from several lectures given by famed Art Students League instructor Frank Reilly; and information about the 6666 Ranch and its cowboys.
Photographs comprise the bulk of the collection, which exist as prints, negatives, slides and transparencies. Although there is a small amount of material relating to the Cowboy Artists of America, personal photographs of the Ryan family, publicity, and rodeos, the majority of the photographs are either reference images for Ryan's artwork, or photographs of ranch life, mostly taken on the 6666 Ranch. It should also be noted that most of the artwork reference photographs were also taken on the 6666 Ranch. The reference images include movie stills that Ryan collected from a variety of western films, as well as a large number of posed and candid photographs related to artwork from all phases of Ryan's career such as book cover illustrations, completed fine artwork, general art reference and artwork ideas, magazine illustrations, and proposed pieces. The photographic prints often include notes and sketches showing how the images were to be utilized in the finished artwork. The ranch photography covers all aspects of the working life of a cattle ranch, and includes a number of photographs from the 1960s that depict ranch activities and practices that are rarely seen anymore, including the Big Gather roundup held in 1968, which included such traditional ranching practices as the use of a chuck wagon and remuda. Other ranch scenes and activities shown include, branding; cattle and horses, both corralled and free range; the 6666 chuck wagon; cowboys, both posed and at work; western landscapes; general ranch scenes; and trail drives.
Tom Ryan, whose professional career would be so closely identified with the ranching country of western Texas, was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1922. Ryan showed an affinity for both drawing and horses from childhood. He was also exposed to the illustrations of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth at an early age. At Campion High School he was the staff illustrator for the school paper, and he was known as the most artistic student in his class. Later, this artistic talent was put to good use while in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. He was able to amass over $3000 by selling small pencil portraits of his shipmates for $5 apiece. A few sketches, drawings, and cartoons from Ryan's time in high school and the military are part of the collection.
After the war he met and married his wife, the former Jacqueline Harvey, whom he called Jacquie. Using the GI Bill, he was able to pursue formal art training at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he studied with Antonin Sterba and William Mosby, and at the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied with Frank Reilly. Ryan's detailed notes, sketches, and painted class exercises from a number of Reilly lectures are featured in the collection.
While at the Art Students League he developed the technique he would use throughout his long career. First, he would get an idea, which was usually suggested be an observed incident or photograph. He would make a number of small sketches to help rough out the idea in his head. Then, if there were no existing photographs documenting what he wished to paint, he would take a series of photographs using a number of different angles and poses. Using his own darkroom he would create a large number of prints, using burn and dodge techniques during the printing to emphasize particular aspects of the photographs that were relevant to the proposed work. In some cases, when a single photograph or group of photographs was not adequate, he would cut and paste photographs or partial photographs together to create the composition he desired. In his early career, photographs and illustrations cut from magazines and western movie stills would sometimes substitute for his own photography. Once the reference images were assembled, Ryan would do a drawing in complete detail to the size of the final completed work. It is at this point that composition and design issues were worked out. Ryan then transferred the drawing to canvas by tracing it from the back.
He laid out his oil paints using the controlled palette he learned from Frank Reilly at the Art Students League, which is a method of balancing hue, value, and chroma with nine neutral shades of gray, usually laid out in a grid pattern on the palette. Over 100 Ryan controlled palettes are part of the collection. Since most of Ryan's reference photography is black & white, the colors used were from his field sketches, from memory, or from other color combinations that he considered pleasing or effective. For example, the collection includes three glass controlled palettes that Ryan created based on a 1963 life sketch of Hollywood Gold, the famed 6666 Ranch Palomino stud horse, which he used as a color reference each time that horse appeared in a painting. The actual painting process would typically take around four weeks, but could take much longer depending on the circumstances. He would sometimes leave a painting for an extended time when he lost the feel for the material, and would later return to complete the work.
In 1953, Ryan won $200 for a Best Western Book Cover contest sponsored by Pocket Books. Ryan's painting was called The Outlaw, which illustrated the cover of the Ernest Haycock novel of the same title. This began an eight-year period during which Ryan completed over 300 paperback book cover and magazine illustrations, mostly with historical western themes. However, Frank Reilly had also encouraged his students towards the fine arts and not just commercial illustration. His friendship with Helen Teri Card of the Latendorf Bookshop in New York was instrumental in Ryan's move towards the fine arts and away from commercial illustration. Ryan photographed materials for Cards book and art catalogues, and in exchange he was able to obtain engravings and prints of the American West by artists such as Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington for his personal collection. Additionally, Card provided gallery representation for some of Ryan's earliest fine art work and it was through her that Ryan met Frank Harding, who would become a major collector of Ryans work and who was a key contact in developing his relationship with the 6666 Ranch.
A trip to Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle in the late 1950s was another turning point in Ryan's life. He became acquainted with real cowboys and made a decision to move away from the historical themes that had been a staple of his illustration work and focus on documenting the contemporary west, and especially ranch life and the working cowboy. The year 1963 was probably the most pivotal in Ryan's artistic career. That was the year he submitted his first calendar artwork to Brown & Bigelow and also began his long association with the 6666 Ranch of King County, Texas. The Brown & Bigelow calendar paintings would provide the means for his work to be disseminated to a much broader audience than ever before, including his most beloved painting Sharing an Apple. The ranch provided what would become the focal point of his work, inspiring 90 percent of his work from that time forward.
In 1967, Ryan had his first exhibition at the annual Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition, having recently joined the CAA organization. That same year he also moved his family to Lubbock, Texas, to be closer to the 6666 Ranch, which had become so important to the new direction of his art. He would later move to Stamford and Midland, Texas, but proximity to the Ranch and the raw material for his art that it provided was always a major consideration in these moves. From the 1960s through the 1990s Ryan exhibited in a wide variety of one-man and group shows and won virtually every honor available to a contemporary western artist. Ryan also continued his association with the Cowboy Artists of America, serving as President of the organization 1969-1970. In the past few years the death of his wife of over 50 years and his declining health has caused a reduction in his artistic output. However, the breadth and depth of his artistic legacy was highlighted by a 2001 career retrospective at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which for the first time featured not only his paintings and drawings, but also many of the 6666 Ranch photographs that served as his source material. As Susan McGarry wrote in her 2001 book on Tom Ryan, His legacy of paintings not only documents 20th century cowboy life, it is also a profound statement about [the] indomitable spirit of men caught up in complex relationships with other men, with animals and with the unpredictable faces of Mother Nature.
1922 Thomas Aquinas Edward Richard Ryan is born on January 12 to William and Sarah Behrens Ryan in Springfield, Illinois, the eighth of nine children.
1926 Starts drawing portraits, airplanes, cowboys, and Indians.
1929 Rides horses and mules stabled at the coal mine owned by his father. Becomes infatuated with western history and lore, and begins collecting books with illustrations by Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth.
1936-1939 Attends Campion High School, a Jesuit Preparatory School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Becomes the staff illustrator of the high school newspaper. Yearbook caption is: Thomas Ryan, the Rembrandt of Campion.
1939-1941 Attends Springfield Junior College in Springfield, Illinois.
1941-1942 Enrolls in Washington University in St. Louis to study mechanical engineering. Does not tell father when he transfers to the art program at St. Louis School of Fine Arts.
1942-1945 Enlists in the horse patrol, but ends up as a radioman with the United States Coast Guard, Seventh Amphibious Fleet, South Pacific. Sees action at Moretai, the Peleliu Islands and the Leyte Gulf. Earns extra money by doing small pencil portraits of shipmates and other military personnel for $5 apiecesaves $3000 during the course of the war.
1945 Discharged from the service, he moves back to Springfield. An article on the death of N.C. Wyeth inspires Ryan to pursue art career. Meets Jacqueline Ruth Harvey, whom he called Jacquie, and asks if he can draw her picture. An early Ryan portrait of Jacquie is part of the collection.
1946 Marries Jacquie, and three children are born of the marriage: Thomas Jr. (1947), Mark (1949) and Katherine, also known as Kitsie (1958). Works for Evans Work Ad Agency doing freelance layout and illustration.
1947-1950 Sells house in Springfield and moves to Chicago to study at the American Academy of Art, with Antonin Sterba and William Mosby. Meets Erwin Bud Helbig, a lifelong friend, who later also becomes a Cowboy Artist. He returns to Springfield and freelances.
1951-1952 Ryan moves to Long Island, New York. Studies at the Art Students League with Frank Reilly. Visits Howard Pyles studio in Delaware and seeks out his students, including Thornton Oakley, who introduces him to Harvey Dunn. Visits N.C. Wyeth's studio and has his work critiqued by Harold von Schmidt.
1953 Purchases 4x5 box camera with which to photograph models. Photographs in black & white, developing his own film. Wins a Best Western Book Cover award and $200 for The Outlaw, which is used to illustrate the Ernest Haycock novel of the same name, published by Pocket Books.
1954-1962 Paints more than 300 western book covers and also illustrations for several men's adventure magazines. Exhibits historical western American subjects at Walter Latendorfs Bookshop and Gallery of Western Americana in New York, New York. Gallery is taken over by Helen Teri Card, for whom he does photography work for her catalogues in exchange for collectable engravings and prints of the American West.
1957 Moves to New Tripoli, near Allentown, in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
1957-1963 Travels with Bud Helbig in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and to Palo Duro Canyon in western Texas. Meets working cowboys and decides to focus his work on documenting the contemporary west. Paints his first contemporary western painting, Palo Duro Panorama, which his sells to Frank Harding, American Livestock Insurance Co., Geneva, Illinois, who becomes a major collector of Ryan's work.
1963 Norman Rockwell recommends Ryan to Brown & Bigelow, St. Paul, Minnesota, as a potential artist for their western calendars after seeing Ryan's work in one of Card's catalogues. Ryan calls Frank Harding, who puts him in touch with Jay Pumphrey, the general manager of the S.B. Burnett Estates 6666 Ranch, Guthrie, Texas, who invites Ryan to visit the ranch. He stays three weeks. The ranch becomes the focal point of his work, inspiring 90 percent of his work from that point. Ryan spends three to four months of almost every year observing life on the 6666 Ranch, which he extensively documents through photography. The photographs become both the inspiration and reference material for future work.
1963-1972 Submits his first painting to Brown & Bigelow, which is used in 1966 calendar. Goes on to sell six more paintings to Brown & Bigelow, including what is arguably his most recognizable work, Sharing an Apple.
1964 Works on restoration of the portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas that hang in the House Chamber of the Illinois State Capitol.
1966 Moves back to Springfield. Paints first of a series of portraits of Illinois politicians, including Governor William G. Stratton. Hears about the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) and writes to Charlie Dye. Ryan first shows with the CAA in 1967, resigns in 1979, rejoins in 1982, and is given emeritus status in 1992.
1967 Moves to Lubbock, Texas, to be near Texas Tech University for his children's education. Lubbock is also within 90 miles of the 6666 Ranch.
1968 Wins Gold Medal, Oil Painting, for Patching His Saddle, at the CAA Exhibition, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Harold von Schmidt presents award.
1968-1971 Serves consecutively as the Vice President, President, and Director of the CAA.
1969-1971 Wins Gold and Silver Medals and CAA Memorial Award for paintings and drawings presented at CAA Exhibitions. Patching His Saddle appears as a two-page spread in Life magazine advertising Marlboro cigarettes.
1972 Develops an allergy to turpentine, starts to concentrate on pastels. Chairs the Art Committee for the OS Ranch Steer Roping and Art Exhibit, Post, Texas, benefiting the West Texas Boys Ranch. Exhibits annually until 1983, when the show ceases.
1973 Moves to Stamford, Texas, because it is a more western town and is even closer to the 6666 Ranch. Becomes involved with the annual Texas Cowboy Reunion in Stamford.
1974 Creates two stone lithographs, Soakin Up and Leading the Remuda, which are sold through Marlboro's Country Store. Helps found the Stamford Art Foundation Western Art Show & Sale. Participates in a group exhibition, Artists of America 74, sponsored by Mrs. Paul's Kitchens, with the painting The Impressionable Years.
1975-1981 Participates in a variety of shows and exhibitions.
1982 Moves to Midland, Texas, because of easier accessibility to air travel for exhibitions and other events.
1983-1989 Participates in a variety of shows and exhibitions, winning a number of awards for drawings and watercolors.
1990 Participates in two-man Rendezvous Retrospective Exhibition & Sale (with Doug Hyde) of 30 paintings at the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Daughter Kitsie Drinnon opens Adobe House, Inc. to market prints.
1991-1993 Participates in a variety of shows and exhibitions. Begins participation with the Arts Assembly of Midland.
1994 Major operation for aortic aneurysm. One-man exhibition of 40 paintings at the Springfield Art Association in Springfield, Illinois, and also participates in a variety of group exhibitions.
1995-1997 Participates in a number of one-man and group exhibitions. Ryan is awarded lifetime achievement award by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, which also commissions The Remuda, a 350-foot-long mural to be installed on the Museums west facade.
1998 Wife Jacquie passes away. Ryan designed mural on the Midland County Public Library, In the New World, is dedicated.
1999 Suffers a stroke, followed by three surgeries to repair the earlier aneurysm.
2001 Cataract surgery on both eyes. One-man retrospective exhibition with over 70 Ryan paintings and 6666 Ranch photographs is held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, formerly the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
2002 Sells house in Midland, moves to Scottsdale, Arizona, to be near family.
Krakel, Dean. Tom Ryan: A Painter in Four Sixes Country. Flagstaff, Ariz.: Northland Press, 1971.
McGarry, Susan Hallsteen. Tom Ryan and the Cowboys of the 6666 Ranch. Oklahoma City, Okla.: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 2001.
The papers of Tom Ryan are arranged in eight series: Biographical, Correspondence, Financial, Publications, Reference Files, Ryan Artwork, Subject Files, and Photographs.
Series 1: Biographical (1859-2002)
This series includes a number of award and appreciation medals, plaques, and certificates given to Ryan, both for his artwork and his charity work, especially with the West Texas Boys Ranch. The proclamations for Tom Ryan Day in Springfield, IL and the State of Illinois on September 10, 1994 are also in the collection. Included are the gold medals he won for Patching His Saddle (1968), Calf Buster (1983), Visitation to Taylor Camp Country (1984), and Cow Country (1988). Genealogical material includes two versions of a family genealogy co-written by his wife Jacquie and a variety of photocopied early family letters and documents, apparently collected as research material for writing the genealogies. Personal and family history information includes Ryan's high school and American Academy of Art diplomas; some scattered material on Campion High School, including one illustration Ryan did for the school newspaper and his 1936 and 1937 high school yearbooks; some material on his children including a few of their childhood drawings and the program for son Marks graduation from dental school; and some documentation of Ryan's military service, including copies of military service documents, military newspapers, and shipboard newsletters from when he was in the South Pacific. The publicity material consists primarily of news clippings about Ryan, his work, and the various awards he received, as well as some short draft biographies and a bibliography.
Series 2: Correspondence (1938-2001)
This series includes both professional and personal correspondence documenting many aspects of Ryan's life and career. Most of the key persons in his career are represented in the collection including extensive correspondence with early friends and mentors Helen Teri Card, Brown & Bigelow Art Director Clair Fry, and Frank Harding; correspondence with Anne Windfohr Phillips Marion and Jay Pumphrey of the 6666 Ranch; scattered correspondence with 6666 Ranch cowboys such as C.A. Bromley, George Humphreys, Buster McLaury, and Sheep Morrow who posed for some of Ryans signature paintings; and extensive correspondence with fellow Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) artists, both in his capacity as President of the CAA (1969-1970) and as friends, including Wayne Baize, Joe Beeler, James Boren, Charlie Dye, Fred Harman, Bud Helbig, Robert Lougheed, R. Brownell McGrew, William Moyers, Gordon Snidow, and Grant Speed. Also present in the CAA correspondence is material on the origin of the organization; membership application letters; the controversy over the ownership, reproduction rights, and ultimate home of Ryans prize winning painting Patching His Saddle; and controversies both within the organization and with the National Cowboy Hall of Fame over control of the annual CAA exhibition and sale.
Business correspondence includes Ryan's dealings with galleries, companies, and individual customers, as well as letters pitching particular paintings; book publishers, especially with Northland Press relative to the 1971 book, Tom Ryan: A Painter in Four Sixes Country; and magazines, including negotiations for Ryan's artwork to be used as cover images on magazines such as The Cattleman and Western Horseman. The collection also includes extensive correspondence and other material from Ryan's two attempts to sell signed prints of his work directly to the public under the names Adobe House and West Texas Lithographer. Other correspondence documents the negotiations to use Patching His Saddle in a Marlboro cigarette advertisement. A number of letters also request that Ryan exhibit his paintings in a various venues, and there are a small number of letters requesting the use of Ryan images in books and other publications.
The collection includes some correspondence that addresses aspects of Ryan's art and its production. Among the topics covered are the production of lithographs and other prints; some scattered allusions to the origins of various paintings; Ryan gives his opinion to the Caprock Cultural Association in Post, TX about starting a Cowboy Art Community, stating that the popularity of artist community like Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania ends up ruining the quiet and ambiance that originally drew the artists in the first place; Christy Collins, of the Oklahoma Cowman magazine, relates a personal anecdote that she says reminds her of a Tom Ryan painting; and Ryan writes a very pointed letter to former American Quarter Horse Association head Ed Honnen defending himself against Honnen's criticism that his painting Ketch Hand does not accurately portray actual ranch practice, he discusses the use of reference photographs to ensure the accuracy of his paintings.
Personal correspondence comprises a relatively small part of this series. There are only a few letters from family members, but two of the most interesting are written by Ryan's mother and his wife Jacquie. The letter from his mother written to another relative, dated June 1954, discusses Ryan's early struggles to make a living as an artist, states that he was very discouraged at the time he won the Pocket Books cover art award, but that everything started to break his way after he won the award. An affectionate 1947 letter from Jacquie gives some insight into the sacrifices that Ryan's family had to make so he could attend the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Ryan also corresponded with several people who were purchasers of his art and also eventually became friends including Donald Bubar, Frank McKee, and David Stringfield. The collection includes many fan letters, mostly written in the context of letters ordering prints through Adobe House and West Texas Lithographer, but there are also some more interesting letters like one from Jim Cloyd, a West Texas sheriff, who both relates an interesting anecdote about an African-American chuck wagon cook who used to work on the 6666 Ranch and commends Ryan for keeping a passing way of life alive through his paintings. A fan letter from a Professor of Psychiatry mentions the importance of the cowboy as a Jungian archetype. Finally, this series includes some incidental correspondence such as invitations to exhibition openings and holiday greeting cards.
Series 3: Financial (1950-2001)
This series is comprised of material about art expenses, the sale, loan, and use of Ryan's artwork, and a small amount of personal financial information. Although there is some material on specific art expenses such as photo processing, the majority of the art expense material relates to two studio design, repair, and renovation projects, one in the early 1980s and the other in the early 1990s. Included are design sketches, plans for venting fumes from the studio, and notations expressing concern that studio lighting should accurately reflect the color values of the paint. He also discusses price estimates for a plan to sell his house and move to Haskell, TX, where daughter Kitsie lives, rather than expand and repair the existing house and studio in Midland. The material on the loan and use of Ryan's art includes extensive notes, lists of Ryan paintings and their owners, publicity materials, and correspondence concerning the 1990 exhibition of Ryan's paintings at the Rendezvous Retrospective Exhibition and Sale at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK. Also present are a variety of loan documents, price, date, and ownership lists, insurance policies, and notes for a number of other exhibit loans and image uses, including the reproduction of 44 Ryan paintings in the 1993 program for the Texas musical, which is presented annually in Palo Duro Canyon.
The largest portion of this series concerns the sale of original art and limited edition prints. Included is material about gaining proper gallery representation, as well as trips taken by Ryan to scout out various galleries selling western art, including brochures, catalogues, and some correspondence. Ryan also collected and annotated lists of prices paid for original western art at CAA and other western art sales. The notes address issues like price per square inch, awards won, and what sold and did not sell along with some commentary. Also present is a 1950 pamphlet on photographic markets, which seems to indicate that early in his career he was considering selling his photographs as well as his paintings. There is a small amount of material on artwork scheduled and sold including project cards from the portrait work he was doing for the State of Illinois in the early 1960s, lists of paintings scheduled with their projected prices, and the original envelope and check stub from his 1953 award for The Outlaw book cover painting. There is good documentation of the sale of Ryan's original artwork, both at the beginning of his career and in more recent years. Included are copies of an early 1960s Latendorf Bookshop catalogue that features a number of Ryan paintings and also includes work by Robert Lougheed. Several catalogues and sale announcements from the mid-1980s to the present document the re-sale of early Ryan paintings, which are coming back on the market as the original purchasers pass away.
There is some documentation of print production and sales projects, including Ryan's notes and other documentation on print quality, mailing and production costs, advertising, and other information relevant to the sale of limited edition prints. Also included is some information about print sales through Adobe House, which is managed by Ryan's daughter Kitsie, including a 1998 printout of the entire Adobe House website. However, the most detailed material relates to two print sales projects, Range Masters and West Texas Lithographer. The Range Masters project was a venture with fellow CAA artist Bill Owen and Western Horseman magazine to sell limited edition fine art prints. This venture, which ultimately failed because of poor sales, is documented in its entirety from the initial proposal through the final dissolution, including the business proposal, contracts, a press packet, advertisements, the manuscript for a promotional article, sales figures, and correspondence. The West Texas Lithographer project was Ryans own plan to sell signed, limited edition prints of his most popular work, Sharing an Apple, direct to the public. Extensive documentation of all phases of this business enterprise includes obtaining permission from the image copyright holder, Brown & Bigelow, printing, advertisement, sales, bank and tax records, lists of prints sold, and informal balance sheet calculations, which show this was only a marginally successful enterprise. The many letters ordering copies of the Sharing an Apple print are included in the Correspondence series under West Texas Lithographer. Promotional and advertising material highlights the use of Ryan artwork in magazine, direct mail, and other settings, primarily to sell prints of Ryan's work directly or through galleries. This series also includes some material on personal finances including rare book purchases, insurance, investments, and travel expenses. It should also be noted that Ryan has the habit of doodling monetary figures, and so stray, context-less financial calculations are found throughout the collection.
Series 4: Publications (1963-2001)
This series is the smallest series in the collection and includes art exhibition catalogues and brochures, book catalogues, as well as some other miscellaneous brochures and programs. Many of the group exhibition catalogues and brochures include Ryan paintings, but others do not. The book catalogues include the two Northland Press catalogues (1971 and 1972) that featured Dean Krakel's 1971 book on Ryan and the 6666 Ranch. Of particular interest are several rare Latendorf Bookshop catalogues, including one that is a Frederic Remington bibliographic checklist. Ryan photographed some of the illustrative photographs in these catalogues. Brochures include an elaborate, full-color 1970 National Cowboy Hall of Fame brochure touting the Winchester Membership program of which Ryan was a member.
Series 5: Reference Files (1892-1987)
This series consists of four kinds of documents, paperback book covers featuring a variety of artists and genres; factual information about western subjects; images of artwork by a number of artists and illustrators, as well as a large number of subject specific images; and reference notes, mostly of a technical nature. The collection includes over 70 paperback book covers from the 1950s and 1960s by artists other than Tom Ryan. These covers are mostly from mystery and historical fiction books, but do include some western and science fiction titles. It is often not possible to determine which artist did a particular cover, but it is clear that many different artists are represented. The covers are arranged by the last name of the book author.
Ryan collected a number of magazine articles to provide factual background for his early historical western artwork. These articles from 1950s and early 1960s true west magazines and other sources include topics such as general western history, gunfighters and outlaws, guns, ranching, rodeo, and wildlife. Also present are Life magazine series on How the West Was Won and the Civil War. A number of these articles, especially those from true west magazines are illustrated, and it is possible that these were retained for the illustrations as well as the informational content.
Another important part of the Reference Files series is Ryan's collection of images, which are typically tearsheets removed from a variety of magazines, including Arizona Highways, true west magazines and others. These tearsheets comprise what is typically called a morgue or clippings file. The images are of two types, artwork from a number of identified and unidentified artists and illustrators, and subject specific images. The artist and illustrator images feature work from many prominent artists such as, Harvey Dunn, Stan Galli, Frank Hoffman, Howard Pyle, Frederic Remington, John Singer Sargent, Howard E. Smith, Harold von Schmidt, and especially N.C. Wyeth. Also included are images from other identified and unidentified artists that Ryan has classified as being before and after 1950. Most of these images are of western scenes. He also collected images from a number of contemporary western artists, but it is unclear whether this was for reference purposes or simply to keep up with current trends in contemporary western art.
The subject specific images are mostly western themed including, buffalo, cattle, Colonial America, cowboys and ranching, furniture, horses, landscapes, Native Americans, images from articles on western movies and television programs, and wildlife. Apparently, these were primarily used as reference for Ryan's historical western artwork, but there are indications in the collection that this material was used from time to time as reference for his contemporary fine art work as well. The final section of reference files includes notes on a variety of topics. There are notes and small sketches on painting ideas, the proper color values for a particular subject, photography field notes, the best type of paint to use, color mixing, and tips for portrait painting.
Series 6: Ryan Artwork (1936-2001)
This series contains the non-photographic material relating to Ryan's artwork. It is arranged in eight sub-series, book cover illustrations, completed artwork, controlled palettes, early art and sketches, general art reference and ideas, magazine illustrations, proposed artwork, and publication usage. A work that has been titled or worked on in some way, but gives no evidence of completion, is called proposed artwork in the finding aid. The material covering ideas that Ryan apparently wanted to use at some future time is found under general art reference and ideas.
The book cover illustrations include over 20 paperback book covers featuring Ryan artwork. Virtually all of these book covers are western themed. The cover for his first book cover painting The Outlaw is included. The notes, sketches, and other material documenting Ryan's completed artwork comprise the largest sub-series of non-photographic artwork material in the collection. The photographic material relating to Ryan's artwork is found in the Photography series. The notations contained in this sub-series include stand-alone notes, notes on envelopes, and notes on file folders; many prints in the Photography series also have notations of various kinds. Topics covered include the progress and quality of paintings he is working on, sometimes expressing his frustration with how a painting is progressing; technical topics such as perspective, color, and composition; the origins and background of particular paintings and drawings including At Guthrie, Calf Buster, The Lady Gay, and The Moonlighters; scheduling problems and issues; envelope notations that address the who, when, and where of reference photos for a particular painting; and some references to other artists whose work he wants to echo in a particular work, for example, he writes that he wishes to achieve a Russell-type effect in the painting The Wagon Boss. Another aspect of Ryan's work that becomes clear both here and in the correspondence and subject files, is the re-use of variations of an idea in different media. For example, the central image of longhorn cattle from the 1960s painting Re-emergence of a Breed (a.k.a. White Mans Buffalo), was used as the design for Frank Harding's business checks in 1970, as the 1996 cover illustration for Dudley Cramer's book Pecos Ranchers in the Lincoln County War, and for the 1998 In the New World mural in Midland, Texas. Other examples are Patching His Saddle and Ketch Hand, which exist in different versions in different media. Also present are small sketches used to determine issues such as figure placement, perspective, lighting, or sometimes as a reminder of the lighting conditions that existed when a particular reference photograph was taken. Some color and media samples are also included. It should also be noted that many works covered in the collection have no documentation in addition to the reference photographs.
The controlled palettes are one of the most interesting and tangible links with the actual paintings themselves. As was noted earlier, Ryan learned the use of the controlled palette in which color values are altered using nine shades of gray paint to create a range of tonal values for each color used. Ryan usually laid his colors out in a grid using labels to designate the part of a painting for which a particular color or range of colors was to be used: grass, cattle, sky, complexion, and so on. Ryan also often put title and date information on his palettes as well as some incidental notes and sketches. Some of the palettes are quite beautiful in their own right. Although far from comprehensive, the palettes in the collection cover the four most prolific decades of his fine art work, the 1960s through the 1990s. Included are palettes from such signature paintings as Patching His Saddle and Sixty Years in the Saddle as well as more than twenty-five other works. Fifteen palettes are unidentified.
The early art and sketches show Ryan's artistic work before he was formally trained. Included is a composition book from high school with some of Ryan's earliest efforts at drawing and cartooning including two original comic strips, Dan the Cop and Joe Campion Junior, and a humorous caricature of the Pope. Artwork from his military career includes several of the shipboard pencil drawings that he sold for $5 apiece, some figure drawing, cartoons, and caricatures of shipboard life. Also included is a pencil portrait of Ryan's wife Jacquie from 1946.
There is a small amount of non-photographic material covering general reference and ideas for paintings and drawings that were apparently never started. Included are notes on potential painting and drawing ideas, small sketches, magazine tearsheets for reference, and envelopes with notations. The magazine illustration material is of two kinds, original artwork and magazine tearsheets featuring Ryan artwork. The collection includes two original drawings, one pen & ink and the other charcoal, which were apparently done as studies for magazine illustrations. The collection also includes more than 30 magazine tearsheets and covers featuring full-color and two-color illustrations Ryan did for 1950s mens adventure magazines such as Stag, Mans Magazine, Challenge for Men, Mans Conquest, and Ken for Men. These illustrations are primarily western and military in theme.
The non-photographic collection material covering proposed artwork is comprised of notes, small sketches, a pastel color chart, a sketch to test how gold inlay would work for a particular painting, and a number of notations about the times, dates, and persons depicted in the reference photographs for a particular work. Also note that a number of the proposed pieces have no related manuscript material, but only photographs, which are found in the Photographs series. The publication usage sub-series includes examples of Ryan's work used in a variety of published media including book illustrations, note cards, calendars, prints, the 1993 program for the Palo Duro Canyon musical Texas, and a number of cover illustrations from magazines such as The Cattleman, Oklahoma Cowman, Persimmon Hill, Quarter Horse Journal, Southwestern Art, and Western Horseman.
Series 7: Subject Files (1909-2002)
This series consists of subject-specific files that are not directly related to producing his artwork, but which Ryan kept for his own reference and information on a variety of topics. Many of these files include clippings from newspapers and magazines. Included are clippings and brochures on art exhibitions and shows, articles on a variety of individual artists including Frederic Remington and N.C. Wyeth, and articles on the history and business of western art. The documentation of Ryan's training at the Art Students League is among the most interesting material in the collection. Included are longhand and typed notes from Frank Reilly lectures on anatomy for artists, billboard illustration, painting the model, light and shade, perspective, as well as some other notes and illustrative sketches. Of particular interest are almost 30 painted exercises illustrating various problems in depicting light and shadow, which are intended to accompany the notes from the light and shade lecture. Several other small painted canvases of male and female heads are also part of the collection, but it is unclear what point they are intended to illustrate. Finally, the Art Students League material includes the paint stained manuscript of a western short story by Springfield, IL writer Robert L. Tefertillar entitled End of the Trial [sic]. It is unclear why this story was with the Art Students League material. Ryan may have been asked to illustrate the story while he was attending the Art Students League or Tefertillar may have simply asked for Ryan's critique of the story as a friend.
Books on Ryan and his art are covered, including the manuscript and galley from the 1971 book, Tom Ryan: A Painter in Four Sixes Country, notes, early drafts, and a galley of the 2001 book, Tom Ryan and the Cowboys of the 6666 Ranch, as well as notes on a proposed 1987 book that was never written. A Christmas Story is a Ryan written and illustrated story of a golden colt, a metaphor that crops up in several other places in the collection, which was apparently written for 6666 Ranch owner Anne Windfohr Phillips Marion and her husband, John Marion. Other topics include extensive material on the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) organization, including the time Ryan was president, such as internal memoranda, press releases and other publicity, news articles, activity announcements, exhibition programs and announcements, and CAA newsletters. Also present is material about Ryan's friend, Texas cattleman and author J. Evetts Haley, with news clippings, Haley's funeral program, and a copy of Byron Prices eulogy. The activities of the Haley Memorial Library in Midland, TX are well covered in the collection, including news articles, newsletters, invitations, brochures, and the guest books of two Ryan events held at the Haley Library. Also included is information about some of the charity and volunteer organizations in which Ryan participated such as the Arts Assembly of Midland, the OS Ranch and West Texas Boys Ranch art show, and the Stamford Art Foundation art show held in conjunction with the Texas Cowboy Reunion. News clippings and other materials cover other topics of interest such as science and medical issues, horses and horsemanship, politics, ranches and ranching, the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, TX, rodeo, and travel.
Additional topics covered in the Subject Files include, documentation of the Artists of America 74 project, in which Ryan participated, including the Art is Relevant teaching manual produced for the project, featuring a black and white reproduction of Ryans The Impressionable Years, a short biography, and a publicity packet; information about stone lithography techniques and the George Miller and Son lithography company; and exhibitions and events sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Subject files document the 6666 Ranch with information about ranch history, Marlboro cigarette ads with photography done on the ranch, articles on Hollywood Gold and other horses, and advertisements and brochures about the ranch stud horse program and horse sales. Information on 6666 cowboys includes the obituaries of former 6666 Ranch wagon boss, Marlboro cowboy and Ryan model, Carl Bigun Bradley, former 6666 Ranch foreman George Humphreys, and 6666 cowboy Royce McLaury, as well as articles written by former 6666 Ranch hand and Ryan model Buster McLaury. The subject files also include interesting and sometimes pointed opinions and observations about the National Academy of Western Art (NAWA) including critiques of NAWA exhibitions, comments about other artists and exhibition judges, opinions about which pieces should have won, NAWA/National Cowboy Hall of Fame politics and in-fighting, reasons for the NAWA/CAA split, and some comments about the importance of artistic independence.
Series 8: Photographs (1872-2001)
This series is by far the largest series in the collection. The series includes almost 9000 prints, over 17,000 negative images, and nearly 5400 slides and transparencies. Most of the photographs, with the exception of the slides and transparencies, are black and white. The Photographs series is subdivided into prints, negatives, and slides and transparencies. Topics in these subdivisions include the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA), miscellaneous subjects, movie stills, personal, publicity, ranches, rodeo, and Ryan artwork. The Ryan artwork photographs are further subdivided into book cover illustrations, completed artwork, early art and sketches, general art reference and ideas, magazine illustrations, and proposed artwork, which corresponds to the organization of the Ryan Artwork series.
Prints include CAA group photographs and a small number of photographs taken at trail rides and other events. Miscellaneous subject prints include a copy print of an early 1900s photograph taken at Ft. Sill, OK showing Quanah Parker, as well as 1997 photographs of flooding and snow in Midland, TX. The movie stills include photographs from almost fifty separate films. Ryan collected these photographs as reference for his early historical western artwork, and so most of the films are westerns. Many of the stills are from obscure films that are barely remembered today, but included are photographs from some classic films such as The Searchers, Shane, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Warlock. Among the pictured performers are Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, Gregory Peck, Elvis Presley, Barbara Stanwyck, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark. A complete list of pictured performers and film release dates is included in Appendix 2.
The personal prints include some photographs from Ryan's time at Campion High School, photographs of the Ryan family individually and in groups, friends of the Ryan family, and over forty photographs from Ryan's military service, including photographs taken in both the United States and the South Pacific. Publicity prints include photographs of Ryan accepting awards and plaques, Ryan at various exhibitions, and photographs of artists and artwork from the Artists of America 74 project, but the photos of Ryan and his painting are not included. The In the New World mural in Midland, TX is well documented through photos of the creation and dedication of the mural. Also present are a large number of photographs of Ryan at the 6666 Ranch and working in his studio, most of which appear to have been taken for publication or other promotional purposes.
The ranch prints focus primarily on the 6666 Ranch, but also include photographs from the Bird Ranch and Haley Ranch. The ranch photographs are arranged using a set of subject terms, largely based on Ryan's own terminology and subject interests from the original organization of his papers, which allows photographs with similar subject matter to be grouped together. These subject terms are, Big Gather, branding, cattle, chuck wagon, cowboy portraits, cowboys, cowboys working, fall roundup, horse shoeing, horses, landscapes, ranch scenes, remuda, roping, Ryan retrospective exhibit, trail drive, and working cattle. The images have been arranged so that the most prominent aspect is the primary term, but important subsidiary aspects of the photographs have also been noted. The best source for information about the places, persons, and activities depicted in these photographs is the container list, which include details about the photographs in each folder or group of folders. These photographs cover most aspects of working life on a cattle ranch. Pictured in these photographs are branding, cattle, the 6666 chuck wagon, portraits of cowboys, many of whom appear in Ryan's paintings, cowboys at work, horses, western landscapes, and trail drives. Also included is a group of photographs of the 1968 Big Gather fall roundup, many of which were used in the 2001 retrospective exhibit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Ryan selected this fine group of images as being some of the best of his 6666 Ranch photographs. These photographs are also important because they record the vanishing traditional method of conducting a cattle roundup with chuck wagon and remuda, rather than with ATVs and helicopters. Rodeo is documented in the prints by more than 140 photographs taken at a 1998 Midland, TX rodeo, but these are generally of poor quality and not of much interest.
The final group of print photographs are those connected with Ryan's artwork. The book cover illustration photographs feature mock-up book covers and paintings designed to be used as book cover illustrations. Also present are several prints of posed photographs taken as reference images for these illustrations. The reference photographs for his completed fine art work comprises the largest section of the artwork prints. Most of the photographs were taken at the 6666 Ranch. The level of information that the photographs provide is quite variable between paintings. Some paintings have as few as one or two photographs of the finished work, which provides almost no information about the creative process, but others feature more than 200 reference prints that were used to create the finished work. Some of the artwork reference photographs are posed while others are not. Ryan often took separate photographs for different parts of the finished work; for example, the horse, cattle, figure, and landscape will often be taken from separate photographs. A good example of this is the painting Moonlit Trail. The source photograph for the female figure is actually a photograph Ryan took at a rodeo where a teenage girl was accepting a trophy. This photograph has nothing whatever to do with the final image, where a man and a woman on horseback have a late night meeting, but the source image has been re-imagined by Ryan to fit the situation of the final painting. It should also be noted that a number of photographs are printed multiple times at different exposures, and so the number of prints indicated in the finding aid does not correspond to the number of separate images. The photographs often include notes, sketches, and other indications of how Ryan intended to use the photograph in composing the final painted image. Other photographs are taped together, sometimes to contrast two slightly different prints of the same subject, and sometimes to group different photographs together in a collage that approximated the completed painting. In some cases Ryan himself posed for reference photographs, and in one instance, for the painting Saddle Shop, he built and photographed a 3-D cardboard model of the shop to determine the proper placement of shadows and highlights in the final painting. The photographs also include work in progress images of sketches, drawings, and paintings. Branding Composition, Portrait of Cowboys at the Wagon, and Red Dirt Country are among the most intensively documented paintings in the print photographs.
The early art and sketches prints consist of prints showing some of Ryan's Campion High School caricatures and photographs of an Art Students League sketch. The general art reference and ideas prints include photographs of the artwork of others including Frederic Remington, as well as several vintage prints of Remington camping and in other outdoor settings. It is probable that these Remington candid photographs were obtained through Teri Card at the Latendorf Bookshop. The majority of the reference and idea prints consist of photographs taken of various western subjects such as buffalo, cattle, horses and western landscapes, although they also include some prints of early Dodge City, KS that Ryan apparently purchased from the Kansas State Historical Society. Some photographs in this group were taken early in Ryan's career when he lived in New Tripoli, PA. Also included are posed photographs of a full human skeleton, a hangman's rope, buffalo skulls, and rustic textures such as wood and stone. Many of these photographs seem to be early, but there are also some 6666 Ranch and other more contemporary prints in these reference images. The magazine illustration prints include one early black & white photograph of a framed drawing, several posed photos of a Revolutionary War figure, and several color prints that show clear images of several Ryan two-color magazine drawings. The photographs for proposed artwork were mostly taken on the 6666 Ranch, but these are images that were apparently never used in a finished work. The prints include some notations, but generally fewer than is the case for photographs used for completed paintings. As in the case with the completed artwork prints, there are often multiple copies of the same image.
Negatives are the single largest unit of the collection. The negatives are mostly black and white, and consist of standard 35mm, 2 x 3 , and 4 x 5 negatives. The CAA negatives include documentation of CAA sponsored trail rides and field trips, as well some photos of Ryan in the studio that were taken for a 1967 CAA brochure. The miscellaneous subjects include images of aerial maps, checks that Ryan received as payment for various awards and sales, photos of painters at work that were apparently taken for Teri Card, and flooding and snow in Midland, TX. There is are a small number of movie still copy negatives. Apparently, Ryan photographed selected movie stills, enabling him to print additional copies of these particular images. There are also a number of negatives of personal photographs including, both the immediate and extended Ryan family in groups and individually, images of the Ryan house and studio in New Tripoli, PA, and a few photos of friends. Additionally, four of the military service photographs exist as negatives. Publicity negatives include images of exhibitions in which Ryan participated, photographs of Ryan in the studio, and a group of photographs of another painters work that he shot for Teri Card in 1963.
The negatives of Ryan's ranch photographs document a larger number of ranches than the prints. Ranches included are, Arledge Ranch, Bird Ranch, OS Ranch, Pitchfork Ranch, Quarter Circle Five Ranch, Rail X Ranch, Stirrup Bar Ranch, and Triangle Ranch, as well as more than 6000 negatives taken on the 6666 Ranch. The organizational scheme is the same as was noted above for the prints. Again, the best source for detailed information about the places, persons, and activities depicted in these photographs is the container list. As with the prints, these negatives cover most aspects of the working life of a cattle ranch, but in much greater detail, because there are significantly more negative images than photographic prints. Pictured in these photographs is the branding of cattle and horses; cattle, both corralled and free range; the 6666 chuck wagon; portraits of cowboys; cowboys at work; horses; weaning calves; western landscapes; and trail drives. The negatives cover virtually all aspects of 6666 Ranch operations and geography, as well as many of the 6666 cowboys who are depicted in Ryans work including, Carl Bigun Bradley, J.J. and Mike Gibson, Bill Hemphill, George Humphreys, Buster McLaury, Porter Myers, and Lathe Withers. The negatives also include a more extensive group of rodeo images than is available in print format, including images from two Pennsylvania rodeos from the early 1960s and photographs of the OS Ranch and Texas Cowboy Reunion rodeos that were held in conjunction with art exhibitions in which Ryan participated.
Finally, there is a large group of negative reference images for Ryan's artwork. Ryan's book cover illustrations are represented by a good group of posed photographs as well as photographs of the actual cover drawings and paintings. The posed negatives include shots of Ryan's friends pretending to be gunfighters and sheriffs. Some of these negatives are identified by the name of the book for which the photographs were taken. The negatives for his completed fine art include many images of both candid and posed photographs that were used as source material for his finished paintings, as well as negatives of his paintings and drawings, both completed and in progress. The level of information that the photographs provide is extremely variable between paintings. Some paintings have as few as one or two negatives of the finished work, as compared to a painting like Branding Composition that has 400 reference negatives. Because Ryan almost always took more photographs as reference for a painting than he actually printed, there are usually more negatives associated with a particular painting than prints. However, because the negatives do not lend themselves to the kind of notation and collage arrangement that sometimes occurred with the prints, it is sometimes more difficult to see how the negative images relate to the final painting. Some of the more interesting photographs are those Ryan shot for The Lady Gay, a 1962 historical western painting full of many different characters, which he painted for Frank Harding. The negatives show that he posed and photographed more than twenty separate figures, using a variety of props, which resulted in over 60 negative images. The prints for this interesting group of photographs are also included in the collection.
Negatives related to Ryan's early sketches and artwork consist of a single negative of the photograph that he took of his Campion High School caricatures. The art reference and ideas negatives include images of western subjects, such as buffalo, cattle, cowboys, historical sites, a New York frontier town, many western landscape photographs taken on a 1960 trip, Pennsylvania landscapes and landmarks, animal skulls, and a human skeleton. The magazine illustration negatives consist of a variety of posed photographs and a few photographs of finished illustrations. Posed subjects include a bank robbery, a Revolutionary War figure, several types of soldiers, and a scene for the cover of an aviation magazine. The proposed artwork includes negatives for a number of paintings and drawings that Ryan planned to finish, but apparently never completed. Most of the photographs in this group are candid photographs taken on the 6666 Ranch, but there are also some posed photographs, such as several vignettes with a buffalo skull and photographs for a proposed Patching His Saddle sculpture. Among the most interesting are the negatives that Ryan took for the proposed painting, Beat Four Sixes, which consists of a series of photographs of the 6666 Ranch hands playing poker on a rainy day. These are among the relatively few photographs in the collection showing cowboys at leisure.
Slides and transparencies is the smallest sub-series in the Photographs series. These images consist of several types of formats, traditional 35mm slides, a few large format slides, some larger transparencies, and a small number of 4 x 5 artwork transparencies with color control targets for publication use. The CAA is represented by a modest number of slides taken at CAA sponsored trail rides in 1971 and 1991. Miscellaneous subject slides include photographs taken at a Confederate Air Force air show in Midland, TX, flooding in Midland, and some 1989 photographs of golf great Byron Nelson taken in Kerrville, Texas. The collection also contains a small number of faded color transparencies of movie stills from unidentified western films. The personal photographs includes a group of transparencies from a Ryan family farm and lake vacation in the 1950s, and a posed picture of Tom, Jr. in a baseball uniform. Publicity images include two slides of Ryan and cowboy entertainer Red Steagall.
Ranch photographs include images from a variety of ranches including, Bird Ranch, Borger Ranch, Haley Ranch, Johnson Ranch, Spade Ranch, and the 6666 Ranch. The organizational scheme is the same as for the prints. Again, the best source for detailed information about the places, persons, and activities depicted in these photographs is the container list. Notable among the subjects depicted are photographs of rancher and author J. Evetts Haley on his Texas ranch, one of Ryan's favorite painting subjects, Buster McLaury, posing on his horse, the Big River Party at the 6666 Ranch, and a few distant images of cowboy poet Baxter Black at the Spade Ranch 100th anniversary celebration. Some slides include notations about the subject and lighting conditions depicted in the photograph.
Completed artwork slides and transparencies include both reference photographs and 4 x 5 color transparencies of several Ryan paintings including, Barrel Racers on the Circuit, Nestled, Noontime, and Office in the Pasture. Color slides of other Ryan paintings are also present in the collection, but some of these are quite faded. Most of the reference photographs are candid shots taken on the 6666 Ranch, but also included are posed photographs such as those taken for Ryan's Portrait of Cowboys at the Wagon painting. Some paintings are very sparsely represented, but other paintings such as April Cowboy, Red Dirt Country, Torn Chaps, and The Wagon Boss have extensive reference slides. The general art reference and ideas material is very modest and includes mostly landscape photographs with a few cattle and horse photographs. Magazine illustrations are represented by a single faded color 8x10 transparency of a Ryan magazine cover illustration. The proposed artwork slides cover only a handful of projected works, but do include a roll of film that he shot when gathering ideas for the 1992 National Academy of Western Art exhibition. On that single roll he found ideas for two proposed pieces, drawings of a Mexican cowboy and a horse head.
Bradley, Carl "Bigun"
Card, Helen L. (Helen Luise)
Dye, Charlie, 1906-1973
Haley, J. Evetts (James Evetts), 1901-
Harman, Fred, 1902-1982
Krakel, Dean Fenton, 1923-
Marion, Anne Windfohr Phillips
McGrew, Ralph Brownell, 1916-
Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911
Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911
Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
Ryan, Tom, 1922-
Ryan, Tom, 1922- Office in the Pasture
Ryan, Tom, 1922- Patching His Saddle
Ryan, Tom, 1922- Portrait of Cowboys at the Wagon
Ryan, Tom, 1922- Sharing an Apple
Ryan, Tom, 1922- Sixty Years in the Saddle
Snidow, Gordon, 1936-
Speed, Grant, 1930-
Von Schmidt, Harold, 1893-
Wyeth, N.C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945
American Academy of Art (Chicago, Ill.)
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)
Brown & Bigelow
Campion Jesuit High School (Prairie du Chien, Wis.)
Cowboy Artists of America
Frank Reilly School of Art (New York, N.Y.)
National Academy of Western Art
National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Ranching Heritage Center (Lubbock, Tex.)
United StatesCoast Guard
Cattle branding-Texas-King County
Cattle herding-Texas-King County
Cattle ranches-Texas-King County
Pastels (Visual works)
World War, 1939-1945-Caricatures and cartoons
Bird Ranch (Tex.)
Haley Ranch (Tex.)
OS Ranch (Tex.)
Pitchfork Ranch (Tex.)
Quarter Circle Five Ranch (Wyo.)
Rail X Ranch (Ariz.)
Spade Ranch (Tex.)
Triangle Ranch (Tex.)
6666 Ranch (Tex.)
The Tom Ryan Papers was processed by Jonathan Nelson in 2002. The material in the collection relating to Ryans artwork, the photographs, and some of the correspondence was well organized when received. The rest of the collection was largely disordered. The overall collection arrangement was created during processing, taking into account original order to the extent practicable. Shortly after the original accession was processed, Ryan donated his entire library, as well as some additional archival material, to the Dickinson Research Center. Because this new material was of the same type and source as the recently completed original accession the decision was made to integrate the new material into the original collection. These additions added approximately four cubic feet to the collection and this disturbed the original box numbering scheme. Eight boxes were added to the early section of the container list, while two large sections in the middle and end of the list had no additional material. This resulted in the box numbering discontinuities, which are seen in the container list.
The Tom Ryan Papers is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission of individuals pictured, artwork and published literary work copyright holders, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.
Tom Ryan Papers, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.