(American, b. 1913, )
Mounted Policeman and Guide in Canoe
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.