Booth, T.D. after William T. Ranney. Trapper’s Last Shot. Cincinnati, Ohio: T. D. Booth, for the Western Art Union, 1850.
Based on a painting by the American artist William T. Ranney, who was well-known for his images of Texas pioneers, woodland trappers and rugged landscapes, this engraving was originally offered as a members’ premium by the Western Art Union in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1850. This organization was founded in 1847 to promote and cultivate the arts in the Midwest. The engraving was the last to be issued by the group, which published a total of three large framing prints between 1847 and 1850. It is also the last in the set to be acquired by the American Antiquarian Society. Discussions with AAS member James N. Heald last year resulted in a generous contribution from the Richard A. Heald Foundation to assist the Society in acquiring impressions of all known prints published by the various American art unions, with acquisitions to be made in honor of Georgia B. Barnhill. We already hold a complete set of prints issued by the American Art Union (New York), the Cosmopolitan Art Union (New York) and now, the Western Art Union (Cincinnati). Ranney’s image proved to be very popular with the American market. It was reissued as a lithograph by Currier & Ives in the 1850s, and as a wood engraving in Harper’s Weekly in 1867.