Wednesday, September 26, 2012

L. A. Huffman, Mrs.White Elk & The Ring, Part II

This is as close as I'm going to get to a finished product until this Saturday evening, September 29th, in Miles City at the Custer County Art & Heritage Center's 37th Annual Exhibit and Auction. If you are interested in seeing the difference between the artist proof and this one, you can find the first one in my previous post.

Some information has been passed to me by Joan Hantz, who works and teaches at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana. I wanted to know more about Mrs. White Elk before the Quick Finish so that as I'm working to finish it I have something to talk about. Joan kindly provided with this:

Census records for June 30, 1888
White Elk, 36 years old
Shaving Woman, wife, 31 years old.
Crooked was their son and he's listed as being 13 years old.
Magpie Woman, Mother in law, 71 years old.

Census records for 1896
White Elk, 44 years old and now registered as Jule White Elk.
Shaving Woman (Mrs. White Elk), 39 years old and registered as Anna.
The son Crooked did not appear in this census.

Records indicate that White Elk was still living in 1914. He was born in 1849. No records indicate a birth or death for Mrs. White Elk.

Jule White Elk fought at the Battle of the Little Big Horn (1876) at age 27. He was a member of the Elkhorn Scraper Society. He also fought at the Battle of the Rosebud, aka The Battle Where the Girl Saved her Brother. This battle occurred just days before the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

I owe a debt of gratitude to a number of people: Kevin Layton and Mark Browning at the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City. The story of how Mrs. White Elk and how this photograph came to be are little bits of history I can enjoy for a long time. I thought that the story needed to be told in my way, and both Kevin and Mark were very accommodating.

Gene and Bev Allen are folks I've known for many years. I consider them patrons. It was through them that I first learned of L. A. Huffman, and also sold me my copy of  the L. A. Huffman book. The source for the early signature was a blind stamp - a metal stamp which was used to indent the signature in the photographic paper or card stock on which the photograph was mounted. They also related to me some of the history of the man himself which I did not know. Gene and Bev also provided me with a scan of the lower portion of a Huffman carte de viste as well, which I've used as some of the text on my piece of art.

Michael Lee, a local photographer that I met some months ago, provided me with the copy of the photograph that I'm going to be affixing to the envelope after much trial and error. I wanted this to be on heavy photo stock, and reproducing the image that I had permission to use is not the easiest task. The image I had was a photograph of a photograph, so the image was a second generation image already. Thank you again Michael for all that you did.

I'm as ready as I'm going to be for the Saturday evening event.

A large Thank You to all of the folks I've mentioned, and those I haven't as well!



  1. Beautiful! I love how the letters have pictures within their shape.
    Have fun Saturday!

  2. How lovely! Loved reading about the piece you are working on. It was nice to find a comment from you on my blog - I have been neglecting that one lately. Have about used up most of my old pictures but occasionally can come up with something. Right now I am enjoying this gorgeous autumn we are having here in Michigan! Hope your event this weekend is wonderful! Carol

  3. Wow! I arrived here via Seth Apter's blog and am amazed by your wonderful work. Those envelopes are just so beautifully detailed and exectuted.