C. "Gerry" Wentworth, American (1932 - 1985 )
"Gerry" Wentworth spent his life capturing, in paintings
and sculpture, his personal experiences and the romance of the
Old West that he deeply loved.
Gerry was born in Great Falls, Montana, on July 4, 1932 and
seemed predisposed to be an artist. His interest in art began
when he was in grade school, stopping after school to watch
John Clark, the famous Indian woodcarver. A part time job after
school hours of swamping out a local saloon provided Gerry with
a unique and subtle exposure to the tales of the "real"
west from those who helped create it. In addition to listening
to the cowboys, he had the opportunity to study several works
by C. M. Russell that hung in the bar. When he was 15, he spent
his summers working on a ranch as a wrangler. In the off hours,
he committed to the bunkhouse wall in a series of small pictorial
scenes the feelings he had about his daily work
. At 17, he became
a full time bronco buster for the Yellowstone Park Company which
needed horses for trail rides in Yellowstone Park.
His work in the art field began in earnest about 1955 and his
skills developed steadily over the years. Gerry's skills were
largely self-taught, with only brief formal training. His exposure
to the legacy of C. M. Russell and the inspiration of Montana's
formidable scenery, rich culture, and colorful history created
a uniquely realistic and pleasingly detailed art style. In the
1960's, Gerry became deeply involved in American Indian activities
on the reservations in Montana. As a result of his dedication
and sensitivity to the culture, he was inducted into the Blackfoot
Tribe as Chief Rising Sun.
Although he was equally talented in oil on canvas, oil on velvet,
watercolor, pastels, and woodcarving, his interest was primarily
in sculpture. Gerry's sculptures reflect his intimate knowledge
of animals gained from the hard work on local ranches as a growing
boy. His love of hunting and of the history of the Old West
deepened the ability to capture nuances of the western outdoors.
Gerry prided himself on the exceptional research that he undertook
before beginning his works and would not begin a piece until
he was satisfied that the details would be accurate and historically
In 1974, Gerry moved from painting to sculpting, feeling that
work in three dimensions was more descriptive than painting.
After a period of experimentation, he settled on wax as the
best working material to allow the level of detail that he desired.
Many of his sculptures are now available in bronze, the perfect
medium to reflect the power, dignity, detail, and grace of the
scenes that he depicts. The realism in Gerry's animal figures
and the accuracy in depicting historic events are largely responsible
for broad interest and acceptance of his work by collectors
of western art throughout the United States and foreign countries.
Gerry exhibited extensively in the west at events including
the C. M. Russell Show, Phippen Art Show, and Frank Tenney Johnson
Show. He won Best of Show at the Northwest Americana Art Show,
Seattle, WA in 1981.
Gerry succumbed to kidney failure in 1985.