Title: Splitting the Herd
Artist: Stanley L. Wood (1847 - 1928)
Medium: Gouache on Board
Size: 16" x 12"
How Acquired: Donated by Francis King in 1980.
Stanley Llewellyn Wood was born in Maindee, near Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1867, the son of Stanley James Wood (a cement manufacturer) and his wife Charlotte. Wood grew up in Christchurch, Monmouthshire, and traveled with his father to America at the age of 12, where his father had bought a ranch in Indian Territory in Kansas. The bodies of the former owners, who had been killed by a raiding party, were buried in the garden.
Shortly after James Stanley Wood’s death, the house was surrounded by Ute Indians. To scare them away, Charlotte had her children put on riding boots and spurs and they tramped up and down the stairs and from room to room, making as much noise as possible. The ruse worked and, believing the house to be heavily occupied, the natives retreated.
Charlotte and her family returned to St. Pancras, London. He went on to become a prolific illustrator of newspapers and magazines. As a painter he also exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was especially known for his western art and was sent in 1888 to South Dakota by The Illustrated London News, where he was able to gain an authentic view of the Wild West which he infused into his illustrations.
Wood was reputedly a fine all-round athlete, indulging in swimming, boxing and horse riding. He traveled widely.
Wood died at his home in 1928. He had been ill for some weeks and, although he could not raise himself from his bed unaided, insisted that he continue working on his final illustration with his wife and son supporting him.
Note: The Pueblo Chieftain features a piece from the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center’s permanent collection on the first Sunday of each month. This piece will be on display in the King Gallery of the Helen T. White Building during the month of August. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance at sdc-arts.org. Patrons must wear masks.