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 50 Years/50 Artworks      

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Arnold Friberg
(American, b. 1913, )
Mounted Policeman and Guide in Canoe
1960
oil on canvas, 33" x 26"
Gift of Potlatch Corporation

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (the “Mounties”) were chosen by Chicago advertising and publicity man Frank I. Cash as the symbol with which to “brand” the printing papers manufactured by The Northwest Paper Company, later known as Potlatch Corporation. The RCMP officer provided a popular and easily remembered symbol of honesty, integrity, and strength, which helped to build a solid reputation for the company’s products.

The officers’ red uniforms, which were patterned after the red coats of British soldiers, provided a means to demonstrate the paper’s ability to print color. This painting is one of around 500 illustrations commissioned by the company between 1930 and 1971, and one of 374 images donated to the Tweed Museum of Art by Potlatch Corporation in 1981. Well-known illustrators Hal Foster, Arnold Friberg, and Benton H. Clark, contributed paintings to the ad campaign, along with thirteen other artist/illustrators. Friberg, whose achievements include an Academy Award for scenic designs for Cecil B. DeMille’s 1957 film The Ten Commandments, painted over two hundred Mountie illustrations. His paintings dramatically present the wide range of duties that RCMP officers were called on to perform as western Canada was settled, most often picturing the Mountie as a peacekeeper between First Nations peoples and the interests of miners, timbermen, homesteaders and ranchers.

In 2002, the book Looking North was published, featuring 150 reproductions of these popular illustrations by all of the ad campaign’s artists. Looking North is available in the Tweed Museum Store.

 

View more images of Mounties in the Tweed's permanent collection online.

 
 
 
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