LAURENCE COFFELT PAINTING DONATED TO THE MUSEUM
The museum nas been the recent recipient of an oil painting titled "The Mustangers" by Laurence Coffelt (1910-1976). The gift was given by David Lowe who received the painting from the widow of Galen F. Morley. He felt the painting should be hung where more people could enjoy it. Galen F. Morley was an avid student of the Flint Hills Region and authored a book on the grasses of the Flint Hills. This was the last painting in his collection.
Laurence Coffelt rememberd first-hand stories of the cowpokes who endured the hardships of trailing cattle in the merciless sun, eternal dust and wind, and the bawl of thirsty cattle sensing water ahead. He remembered their stories of night-herding restless cattle in thunderstorms and caring for motherless calves, most times with only an occasional cup of cold coffee.
It was from those memories and from seeing the cattle driven to and from the Flint Hills at the little town of Cassoday that Laurence had the firm conviction that one day he would paint those scenes on canvas.
Even then, Laurence was sketching cattle, horses and cowboys on anything handy and, not having any formal art training, his only textbooks were prints of paintings by Western artists. Because of his acquaintance and close association with working cowboys, his work is very authentic in every detail.
Coffel't paintings cover a wide scope of Western life, from the vanishing breed of the old time cowhand to the modern day cowboy and rodeo contestant.
Individual collectors and lovers of Western art from corporations and businesses in more than half of the 50 states have purchased his paintings and sculptures.