Tom Lovell was already a successful illustrator for the New York slicks and pulps–Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow springs immediately to mind–when World War II rolled around. Lovell lived in New Rochelle, New York, and Westport, Connecticut, not far from Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, Harold Von Schmidt, and other artists who made their homes a train ride from the Manhattan magazine offices and agencies that hired them. Lovell spent the war years with John Clymer, illustrating Leatherneck, the publication of the U.S. Marine Corps. But Native American life had fascinated Lovell since his boyhood and after 1969 he heeded his true calling: painting the history of the American West.
Of The Heirloom, Lovell wrote: “It has been estimated that 10,000 wagons passed over the Oregon Trail in one year. As the way grew harder and animals weakened, heavier household articles were discarded. The trail was marked by their effects that had become casualties. “Two Sioux Indians ride by and pause to sadly note the beginning of the white man’s pollution of their world, which continues to this day.”
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