Object Record

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Catalog Number 2003.24.05
Object Name Painting
Artist Woolley, Max J.
Dimensions H-24 W-20 inches
Medium Oil on canvas
Date 1985
Notes In describing this painting, Woolley wrote: "Several miles up the road [from Melville, MT] stood an old church--one of the oldest in the state. A group of faithful, dressed in their Sunday best, were congregating outside of the edifice which gave dignity to the beauty and harshness of the surrounding country. Having just heard the midweek words of Deity from the Lord's Servant, and dropping a coin or two in the collection plate, they were now ready to grapple with the problems of the day. Stepping from the building, then turning to close and lock the door, a tall figure stepped from the raised platform, nodded to several close by, then quickly walked to his horse tied to a nearby fence post. Pulling the rein that assured the horse from leaving the area, then placing his left foot in the stirrup and grasping the pommel he quickly pulled himself up and into the saddle. Reining his horse to the left and upon command the horse started to trot. Upon leaving the area and nodding to several in their mud-splashed pickups he entered the road not far from where we [the artist and his father] were parked. A tall stately man sitting high in the saddle, his left hand holding the good book, wearing a black coat, gray pants, western boots and hat with a highly starched 1929 Herbert Hoover collar, strode down the road toward us. Realizing that we were not one of his fold, yet in his polite and gracious manner he raised his right hand hold the reins, nodded a friendly gesture then clicked to his mount and hurried down the road. Seeing this man who could have been a nearby rancher, as well as the church's minister, with his distinctive poise or savoir-faire and the manner of his dress prompted me to paint 'Cowboy Preacher.' "
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