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A Ledger Drawing of a warrior and his horse painted and dressed in full regalia | Donald Ellis Gallery
A graphite and coloured pencil Ledger Drawing of a wounded animal | Donald Ellis Gallery

Ledger Drawing

anonymous artist
Coffeen Ledger Book
Northern Plains

ca. 1890-1910


graphite and coloured pencil on lined paper

height: 3 ½"
width: 5 ½"

Inventory # P4256-13

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Herbert Allen Coffeen (March 11, 1869, Bement, IL - August 31, 1916, Pasadena, CA), Sheridan, WY

This double-sided drawing by an unidentified Apsáalooke artist is one of many intriguing intercultural scenes found within what has come to be known as the Coffeen Ledger Book, a collection of almost cinematic frames from a classic Western frontier town. The Coffeen Ledger Book offers an alternative view of frontier history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Distinctive attention to detail exhibits the artist’s keen interest in clothing styles and cultural activities, while the appearance of urban features such as street lamps and parade grounds is possibly unique among Ledger Art from the period. The Coffeen Ledger were created on pages of a bank passbook issued by the First National Bank in Sheridan, Wyoming. The artist was likely a resident of the Crow Indian reservation located north of Sheridan close to the border of Montana. It was a common occurrence for Indigenous residents of reservations to frequent towns such as Sheridan to acquire goods and provisions.