LOT 232

Charlie Dye


Morning in Cow Camp

MEDIUM: Oil on board

DIMENSIONS: 30 x 48 inches

Signed/CA lower right; Accompanied by: pencil study


SOLD FOR: $46,800.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

Private collection, Texas

This exceptional Charlie Dye painting, showing one of his classic cowboy camp scenes, has been shown as both Morning in Cow Camp and A Morning on Round-up, though neither title appears in the 1981 book on the artist, Charlie Dye: One helluva western painter, which includes a full account of all his major paintings taken directly from his studio journals. Of the 257 listed works in the book, only eight measure 30 by 48 inches, which was the largest size Dye ever painted. Of the eight, several are in private collections and have never been published or exhibited. One title that seems to fit this scene is the 1966 painting The Roundup Map, which would align with the story in the picture as cowboys scribble a makeshift map in the dirt before starting their day. Regardless of the title, this Dye painting features a full scene with many of the artist’s favorite subjects: rugged cowboys, cattle horses rigged up and ready for a ride and the camp cook in the background finishing up breakfast.

Dye’s works have shades of Charles M. Russell, which makes sense given his own history with the famous artist: he saw some of Russell’s work in a magazine while recuperating in the hospital after a horse fell on him. He would go on to work as a cowboy, but Russell’s vision of the West never left his mind. Later, as an illustrator in New York City, Dye’s work took a noticeable deviation—they were more Norman Rockwell than Charlie Russell. A later trip west, though, reminded him of his roots and he began to once again gravitate to all things cowboy. In the summer of 1965, he was in the Oak Creek Tavern in Sedona, Arizona, with Joe Beeler, Johnny Hampton and George Phippen as they began to lay out the foundation of the Cowboy Artists of America.

“Charlie Dye painted Western and cowboy art and he painted it damn well,” writes Paul Weaver in One helluva western painter. “His experience may have paralleled that of some other Western artists—his boyhood of cowboying in the West, his early career as an illustrator in the East—but some special mix in his genes and environment produced one of the most individual, cantankerous, honest, give-’em-hell painters of his time. This was a real tell-it-as-he-saw-it guy. He had the respect of his peers in the art world, the gallery people who represented him, collectors, his roping buddies in the sheriff’s posse, golf pals and just about everybody else he came in contact with on a person-to-person basis.”


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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

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