Some other individual artists passed through Buffalo Bill's orbit during these two decades, leaving little enough mark of their passing that it is hard to know what they might have meant to Cody or he to them. We need at least to notice them and hope someone might provide a fuller presentation sometime in the future. There are four who deserve mention in this context.


Henry Howard Bagg is remembered as the first professional art teacher in Nebraska. He taught at Nebraska Wesleyan College in Lincoln from 1895. He achieved some reputation as a landscape painter of the West. See More.

TE Ranch, n.d.
Henry Howard Bagg | Oil on Canvas
Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Exhibiting western landscapes in the state that Bill Cody called home before 1895, their paths could well have crossed. Cody frequently invited people to call on him on relatively short acquaintance, and inviting an artist to the TE would have been second nature to him. Alternatively, Bagg could have sought an invitation to come and paint. However it came about, Bagg traveled to Cody and out to the TE to paint. There survives no record of the visit or correspondence related to it. The paintings themselves are undated, so we do not even know when Bagg was there. His landscapes from Colorado and California are often dramatic, but these from the TE are quiet, pastoral canvases, not at all what one would expect from the ranch of the leader of the Congress of Rough Riders of the World. These paintings were in the family collection inherited by the grandchildren of Will and Louisa; they came to the Buffalo Bill Museum, with the rest of the Garlow collection, in 1951. [1]

[1] Museum of Nebraska Art, mona@unk.edu.

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A note from Robert E. Bonner.

Alma Feudel holds a distinctive place in the circle of painters who painted for Buffalo Bill: she painted, in 1916, the last portrait from life of the old showman. This portrait, in turn, figured in the earliest attempts to establish an art center at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody. See More.

She may have painted another canvas for Cody, but this is the only one that we know of for certain. It came about through personal family connections. Cody maintained a robust correspondence with a young woman named Nadeen Piatt, whom he addressed as "B. B.," or "Beautiful Baby," balancing the address with his own "B. B." signature. Nadeen was a generation younger than Will Cody, but their families had been close in Kansas, and he obviously enjoyed her friendship. Nadeen Piatt and Alma Feudel were sisters, living together in New York City. Mrs. Feudel painted and taught, but they seem to have lived a kind of hand-to-mouth existence. They hoped to use their connection with Buffalo Bill to help with Alma's painting career and their joint income. Colonel Cody did offer some assistance. Probably at his instigation, Charles Schreyvogel sent a set of photographs of Buffalo Bill and some of the Wild West Indians to Mrs. Feudel in May, 1909. Cody also invited them to come visit him at the TE ranch and paint it for him; it is not clear whether they ever made the trip. In 1909 he undertook to convince Rodman Wanamaker to buy one of Alma's paintings, and promised to buy a copy of it himself. Unfortunately, it is not clear what painting he was talking about, nor how that worked out. [1]

Buffalo Bill clearly did not need another portrait in 1916. It does not appear that he commissioned Mrs. Feudel's painting, but rather that he agreed to sit for it so she might have something of value to sell. She was apparently unable to sell it. A glance at the portrait, which shows Buffalo Bill standing hat in hand in front of some tepees, is enough to tell why there was no market. This was not the symbol of American conquest of the frontier, but an awkwardly shortened older man with a doubtful cast to his features. Only an aunt or a cousin could love this man. In 1928 Nadeen Piatt entered into correspondence with Cody Allan, the daughter of Mary Jester Allen, who was the director of the newly-established (1927) Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody. The women in Cody had apparently not known of the sisters in New York and their relationship with their Uncle Will. Cody Allan, who seems to have split her life between Cody and New York, visited them and saw the portrait and convinced her mother that the museum had to have it. Mary Jester Allen, a most energetic woman, thought the portrait could help her establish a kind of art colony in Cody, "a working studio, something, that we may save in glowing color our colorful history; get the atmospher [sic] right on the ground where history was made... You know the Colonels love of paintings, of color. I know that such a thing would please him, would carry out his ideas..." She even went so far as to imagine the portrait could be the centerpiece of a shrine to his memory, which she wanted to inaugurate on Buffalo Bill's birthday in 1929 with the announcement that the portrait would be shown in Cody. [2]

In June of 1929 the sisters entered into a contract with the Buffalo Bill Museum to convey the signed portrait in return for a sum of $1000. Since the Museum had no acquisition fund, it was agreed that the portrait would be shown at the Museum in Cody and viewers would be invited to contribute to a fund the complete the purchase. Mrs. Allen and her daughter, who represented the Museum, did not expect that there would be enough traffic in the remaining months of the 1929 season to pay for the painting, but they expressed confidence that the full price could be remitted by the end of 1930. The contract looks rather like an act of desperation on the part of the artist, relying as it did on "the kindness of strangers" for payment. It is not clear how the arrangement finally worked out. By the end of September 1929 $60 had been collected and sent to Nadeen Piatt, who continued to act as her sister's agent. In the fall of 1930 Mrs. Feudel, unable to get an answer from Mrs. Allen, wrote to the President of the Cody Family Association to inquire if she and the Museum were still in business; she wanted some further payment on the debt of $940. Mrs. Allen did send Mrs. Feudel another installment, this one a personal check for $10, in the summer of 1931, but it is unclear when or whether the artist received any more for her work. The tourist business in Cody went on hard times in the 1930s. There is a bitter irony at work here. Mary Jester Allen entered into this purchase with the same kind of reckless optimism that characterized so many of the business dealings of her uncle. She surely had no more intent to defraud Alma Feudel than the Colonel did when he paid Charles Schreyvogel in mining stocks. The facts remain that neither of them paid any kind of personal price when the painters they were dealing with got little or nothing for their work. One might conclude that when the buyers are members of the Cody family, the classic maxim might be turned on its head: Seller Beware. [3]

[1] Schreyvogel to Alma Feudel, May 29, 1909, box 1, folder 10, WH-72, William Frederick Cody (Buffalo Bill) Papers, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library (DPL), Denver, CO; Cody to [Nadeen Piatt], July 19, 190?, and Sept. 7, [1909], box 1, folder 4, WH-72, DPL.

[2] Cody Allan to Nadeen Piatt, Dec. 18 [1928], Mary Jester Allen to Nadeen Piatt, Jan. 18, 1929, box 1, folder 11, WH-72, DPL. The portrait may never have been hung in the Whitney Gallery. It carries object ID no. 118.67, but no image of it is available for reproduction.

[3] Mary Jester Allen and Helen Cody Allan to Alma Feudel and Nadeen Piatt, June 22, 1929; Cody Allan to Nadeen Piatt, Aug. 31 and Sept. 21, 1929; M. J. Allen to Alma Feudel, July 19, 1929; Alma Feudel to Ernest William Cody, Oct. 6, 1930; M. J. Allen to Alma Feudel, July 15, 1931, all in WH-72, Box 1, folder 11, DPL.

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EMIL W. LENDERS (1864-1934)

A note from Robert E. Bonner.

Emil W. Lenders, born in London in 1864, was raised in Germany, where he studied art until he immigrated to the United States around 1900. He became an American citizen in 1906, and then found work with Buffalo Bill's Wild West after the show returned from Europe. See More.

He personified the connection that Germans had come to feel with the American West. Cody encouraged him to develop his art by sketching the animals and the people of the travelling show. He became very accomplished with buffalo; Cody once presented him with a saddle carrying the inscription, "To E. W. Lenders, the best painter of buffalos in the world." Lenders in turn presented Cody with a portrait of his friend, Iron Tail, that shows a talent in that direction as well. He also painted a dramatic portrait of Buffalo Bill in a red shirt in 1908. His acquaintance with Cody did not last a long time, nor did he produce work for Cody that was intended to shape his legacy or spread his fame. He was obviously drawn to Buffalo Bill, who seems in turn to have enjoyed Lenders. He probably liked just about every painter who wanted to do a portrait of him, and this portrait presented a virile vision of the 62-year-old showman. The paintings Lenders produced for Cody never made their way to Wyoming, but became part of the holdings of the gallery at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, CO. [1]

[1] Biographical information from Lenders file at Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave.

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Robert O. Lindneux left more than a few paintings of Buffalo Bill, but a very faint trail of any personal relationship. Tradition has it that he met Cody on the grounds of the Wild West in Paris in 1889, when he was only eighteen years old and embarking on a career as an artist. See More.

Jack Rennert repeats a story that Buffalo Bill, thinking his visage as rendered in Rosa Bonheur's 1889 equestrian portrait was not as attractive as it should be, asked Lindneux to repaint the face when they prepared the poster using that portrait to advertise the show. Someone clearly did this, but Rennert admits that he cannot prove it was Lindneux, and a recent biographical account of Lindneux says nothing of it. In fact, this account indicates that Lindneux's life did not track Buffalo Bill or the Wild West. About the time Johnny Baker established his museum at Buffalo Bill's Grave on Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO, Lindneux moved to Denver and seems to have set up shop at Baker's Pahaska Tepee. While there he painted several portraits of Buffalo Bill, working from existing paintings or photographs. One of these is from the Rosa Bonheur painting, which may explain the tale Rennert told. The original was only 14 inches by 18 inches, and Lindneux's version is three times that size; Buffalo Bill is more conventionally handsome here than in Bonheur's original. Lindneux's painting is an important part of the collection at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, but Buffalo Bill had nothing to do with it. In 1928 Lindneux produced a large oil painting of Cody's duel with Yellow Hand that ignored completely the changes introduced by Irving R. Bacon and confirmed (in 1917) by Charles M. Russell. Lindneux made an enormous showpiece of the scene that is objectionable both as art and as history. After Buffalo Bill's death Lindneux seems to have worked hard to establish a proprietary interest in him, but there is little or no evidence that they had much of a relationship. [1]

First Scalp for Custer | 1928
Robert Ottokar Lindneux | Oil on Canvas
Buffalo Bill Center of the West

[1] Jack Rennert, 100 Posters of Buffalo Bill's Wild West, 11; http://robertlindneux.com; Hedren, "The Contradictory Legacies of Buffalo Bill Cody's First Scalp for Custer," 30-31. Agnes Wright Spring's short piece, "Rosa Bonheur and Buffalo Bill," The Western Horseman, April 1962, 28-29, introduces more confusion than clarity into the history of these paintings.

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