Edgar Samuel Paxson USA

4-25-1852 East Hamburg, USA - 9-9-1919 Missoula, USA

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Paxson, Edgar Samuel

Edgar Samuel Paxson spent most of his childhood in the woodlands of New York and Pennsylvania, learning to hunt and trap game with the help of his uncles. At age ten he worked as a drummer boy for new recruits during the American Civil War. His urge to explore the American frontier was fostered by uncles who had traveled west for the California Gold Rush, returning with stories of Indians, dangerous wildlife, and the harsh trek across America. Inspired by his meetings with Kit Carson and Captain Jack Crawford, he became restless to explore and by age 20 was travelling across America.

During the Spanish-American War in 1898, at age 46 Edgar Samuel Paxson led Company "G"of the Butte Volunteers into battle in the jungles of Manila.

He started researching the battle shortly after arriving in Montana, interviewing Indians who had participated in it and soldiers who had first arrived on the scene. Having built a good reputation with both American soldiers and many Native American tribes. From their interviews he made detailed journals about the equipment, attire, and physical location of each man on the battlefield.

It took Edgar Samuel Paxson six years to complete the painting which he allowed an associate to take on tour around America, charging twenty-five cents to view it.

In 1912 Paxson was commissioned to paint eight murals in the Missoula, Montana county courthouse. The murals took 16 months to complete, and still stand in the entrance hall where they were originally placed.

Edgar Samuel Paxson and fellow Montanan, Charles Marion Russell met in 1908, and Russell later visited Paxson’s Missoula studio. These two artists had an amicable relationship. In 1915, they marshaled a parade together in downtown Missoula. But the two artists are often compared, at Paxson’s expense. A careful look reveals that their styles and interests were distinct and both of their visions enrich our understanding of frontier culture.

Art Movement: American Western Art
Traveled: Phillippines, Canada
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