Henry H. Cross, one of the leading painters in his day of the American West,was also a hunter, prospector and frontiersman. Born in New York State, twice he ran away with the circus before traveling to Europe to study painting, then seeking adventure in the western U.S.A. In 1901, William F. (”Buffalo Bill”) Cody, with whom Cross had scouted and prospected, wrote him a letter, “ I begin to think you are part Indian and part buffalo.” Cross enjoyed a long and trusting friendship with Cody, and was a close acquaintance to Sitting Bull. The legendary Sioux S. Grant, King Edward VII of England, the Mormon leader Brigham Young, and numerous scouts and frontiersmen also sat for him.

Cross was particularly noted for his ability to depict animal action. His commissions included tow by very wealthy men - Marcus Daly, “Copper King of Montana” and Elias Jackson (”Lucky”) Baldwin, millionaire owner of a 60, 000-acre California estate - who wanted him to capture on canvas the magnificent beauty of their prized race horses. In 1888 Cross, then a widower fell in love with Baldwin’s young cousin Lenore Hauk; the two were married five years later, when Lenora was twenty-four, and Cross was fifty-six. The Crosses settled at Valparaiso, Indiana, where they raised two children and became prominent citizens. Later they moved to Chicago, Illinois, and in 1906 J.G. Moulton, the Chicago art dealer, began to represent Cross’s artwork. The artist’s final commission, financed by the millionaire art collector T.B. Walker or Minneapolis, began in 1908 and continued until Cross’s death in April of 1918. During this period, Cross produced more than one hundred paintings.

Today, these paintings form part of the large collection of H.H. Cross paintings owned by the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody, Wyoming also houses a number of Cross’s works. Cross’s contributions to the art of the American frontier has been recognized many notable publications. The Chicago Tribune ran a reproduction of Cross’s portrait of Lincoln for many years in honor or the President’s birthday. Also, Time Magazine featured four of Cross’s portraits in a January 19, 1953 article that formed part of the series “Who’s Who Among Frontier Painters?” and Time-Life Books in 1981 ran an 1873 painting by Cross of Sitting Bull’s camp in the Big Horn Mountains of Montana as the center-fold of “The Threatened World of Sitting Bull”. LGI Digital & Fine Art Printing is proud to release a selection of IRIS® Giclée Editions by H.H. Cross.