The word bronze can mean a couple different things. It can mean the color of your skin after basking in the summer sun. It might also be referring to the color of a medal received by a third place finisher in the Olympics. Then again, it could mean a fabulous sculpture created by Bob Scriver. It's the last definition Glacier County is excited about.
In December of last year, David Withers' sister, Pegge Dallum, made a decision to donate a fabulous bronze sculpture she had in her possession. She hadn't quite made up her mind where to donate the bronze, but she did have a couple ideas. One of the places she was thinking about was the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. Dallum was just about ready to start the paperwork for the Great Falls museum, when another option came to mind.
What about donating it to Glacier County? After all, she used to live here and still has family ties in Cut Bank. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea. This time when she started the paperwork, it was to donate the bronze to Glacier County.
The bronze is entitled “Too Late for the Hawken.” It depicts a fur trapper who has obviously been surprised by an Indian on horseback. The Indian, with his spear-like javelin in hand, is ready to impale the trapper. It is obvious the trapper, whose rifle is in plain site, will not be able to reach his weapon in time to save his life. The piece is magnificent and much like all the other creations designed by Scriver gives incredible attention to detail.
Scriver, a world-renowned sculptor, is credited for creating thousands of outstanding bronze sculptures. The pieces vary in size from tabletop to full-size and each one is remarkable in its own right.
Much like Dallum, Scriver had deep roots in Glacier County as well. He was born in Browning in 1914 and lived and worked there most of his life. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and for 17 years shared his love of music by teaching it.
In 1951, Scriver changed careers and became a taxidermist, opening up his own business in Browning. It wasn't long before his talents and abilities as a taxidermist made him well known throughout Montana. It was this foundation that ultimately led to his calling as a sculptor in 1956. For the next 34 years, Scriver would continue to sculpt, receiving worldwide fame for the fabulous pieces he shaped.
His life ended in 1999 at the age of 84, but his work is timeless and will continue to be shown in galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout North America. Scriver's work truly speaks for itself and explains why he has been called “American's foremost living sculptor of the west.”
“Too Late for the Hawken” has been certified at $15,000 by Cut Bank attorney Darrell Peterson. “This is a pretty major piece,” said Peterson. He agreed Glacier County was lucky to have been the recipient of this fantastic piece of work. Peterson knows what he is talking about as both he and his office have a number of Scriver bronzes, making him a good authority on their worth and beauty.
Peterson said a number of Scriver pieces are currently on display at the Montana Historical Society Museum in Helena. With more Scriver pieces in storage than they currently have room to display they have begun preparations to construct a new showroom designated specifically to Scriver bronzes. It is estimated this exhibit will hold approximately 1,100 pieces crafted by Scriver.
If you didn't think Glacier County was fortunate to receive this generous gift before, here's betting you do now. Glacier County would like to offer a huge thank you to Pegge Dallum for this wonderful donation. It is proudly on display at the Glacier County Historical Museum.