John Dare Howland1843 - 1914
Born: 1843, Zanesville, Ohio
Died: 1914, Denver, Colorado
After growing up in Ohio, John Dare Howland left home at the age of fourteen to travel west. He joined the American Fur Company and traded with Sioux Indians along the Missouri and Platte Rivers. In 1858, Howland traveled to the Pikes Peak area in search of gold but was not successful in striking it rich. He joined the Colorado Volunteers at the start of the Civil War and also served in the Indian Wars as Captain of the Scouts. After his military service, he decided to study art seriously and traveled to Paris, spending two years studying under Armand Dumaresq among others. He returned to the United States to serve as Secretary to the Indian Peace Commission from 1867 to 1869 negotiating treaties between the government and the Plains Indians tribes. During this time, Howland also worked on assignments from eastern publishers, and his artwork appeared in publications such as Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. After another study abroad experience, Howland eventually settled in Denver and founded the Denver Art Club in 1886. He became a civic leader and spent more time painting in his later years.
Howland is known as a painter of fauna with a specialty in depicting bison, which he would have seen during his time with the American Fur Company. He is one of the few artists who recorded images of the West before the railroad era. While he lived in Denver, Howland traveled to nearby states to paint and is also credited with designing the Civil War monument at the Colorado State Capitol.