Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Film About Allen Tupper True

Allen Tupper True

Denver-born artist Allen Tupper True (1881-1955) joined Howard Pyle’s class in May 1902 and his abundant letters home are a rich source of information on Pyle and his students and their lives in and around Chadd’s Ford and Wilmington (they’re also a great complement to True’s classmate and studiomate N. C. Wyeth’s letters to his family).

Now (and for some time past, perhaps) an hour-long documentary called “Allen True’s West” is available on Colorado Public Television’s website. The quality isn't great, but a DVD can also be had.

The film showcases True’s later career as a muralist and touches only slightly on the “Pyle years” (and it’s not without its errors: enrollment to the Howard Pyle School of Art - not the “Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art” - wasn’t limited “to only twelve students” - and Pyle resigned from McClure’s Magazine before the plan to have True join him as an assistant could be realized. Also, it’s implied that Pyle took a cut of the fees his students received for published work, which is incorrect.) Even so, it’s well worth watching and learning more about True’s life and art, which have gotten relatively little attention.

George Harding, Gordon McCouch, Thonton Oakley, N. C. Wyeth, Allen True, and (seated) Howard Pyle, circa 1903

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