Milwaukee: Milwaukee Litho. Co., 1896. Large broadsheet, presumed 1st edition 2nd state, chromo-lithograph on heavy stock, 32” x 42” overall. Ref: Peters America on Stone pp. 286-7; Kansas Historical Quarterly Vol 14 No.4, 1946, pp. 377-385. Item #100225
A beautifully preserved first edition, second state example of Otto Becker’s iconic image of the American west, taken from the restored original painting by Casilly Adams at the request of Adolphus Bush. Considered by many historians to be the most widely viewed image of the American West since its issuance, Adams painting and, subsequently Becker’s print, endured a long and storied road prior to its introduction as perhaps the most successful advertising scheme of the 19th & 20th centuries.
Of the image, Robert Taft, KHS remarks – “A careful survey of the lithograph is enough to give a sensitive soul a nightmare for a week”. Peters – “the detail is endless, and extremely lurid, and anyone who saw this print when young will not forget it.”
Eighteen or so editions have been published in the last century however, only the first editions, bearing the date 1896 and produced by The Milwaukee Litho[graphing] Co. exhibit the superb, life-like density of color seen on this copy. The first state of Becker’s magnificent work bears his signature in the lower right. Rarely seen in this presumed second state.