"Sentinel of the Plains" by Gerald Anthony Shippen

“Sentinel of the Plains”

Bronze editions of the 28-inch scale model, titled “Mountain Crow,” are available for purchase.

The official dedication of the “Sentinel of the Plains” sculpture by Gerald Anthony Shippen, commissioned by Forrest and Jacomien Mars, is scheduled for Saturday, July 1 at 1:30 p.m. at The Brinton Museum. The monumental-size piece was installed last fall next to the entrance of the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building at The Brinton Museum.

The dedication will include blessing ceremonies conducted by highly respected tribal elders from The Brinton Museum’s American Indian Advisory Council.

For more information please check the museum’s website at TheBrintonMuseum.org under “Events”.


Artist’s Statement

Human beings have inhabited the North American continent for over 18,000 years. If you are Native American, you may believe that your ancestors were always here. Petroglyphs and pictographs, etched in and painted on cliff walls and rock surfaces, tell the story of this continuous habitation. The Paleolithic images created by the Mountain Crow people of the Bighorn Basin were the inspiration for “Sentinel of the Plains.”

The “Sentinel” represents an iconic figure—a stone-age man—ancestral to not only the North American Plains cultures, but to all cultures around the world. Standing tall and resolute, the Sentinel pays tribute to the strength of character, tenacity and endurance of Native peoples everywhere. Reminiscent of rock carvings and paintings, images dance across the sculpture’s surface: teepees spread out over the grassy plains; equestrian warriors and stampeding bison foretell the rise of the Plains Buffalo Culture.


About The Brinton Museum

The Brinton Museum is located on the historic Quarter Circle A Ranch in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. First homesteaded in 1880, within a decade the original homesteaders (the Clark family) sold the property to the Becker family, who then sold the property to William Moncreiffe. The Moncreiffes established the Quarter Circle A Ranch and built the Ranch House in 1892. Of Scots descent, William and his brother Malcolm Moncreiffe, along with their neighbor Oliver Wallop and business partner Bob Walsh sold some 20,000 horses to the British Cavalry during the Boer War.

In 1923, William Moncreiffe sold the 640-acre Quarter Circle A Ranch headquarters to Bradford Brinton. Mr. Brinton was born in Illinois in 1880 and graduated from the Sheffield School of Engineering at Yale University in 1904. He went to work for the family company, Grand Detour Plow Company, which was later acquired by the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company. Bradford Brinton retired from J.I. Case in 1926.

Bradford Brinton used the Ranch House at the Quarter Circle A as a vacation home, spending several months each year in Big Horn. His main residence was an apartment in New York City and for a time he maintained a home in Santa Barbara, California.

An avid collector of fine art, American Indian artifacts, firearms, and books, Bradford Brinton filled his home with fine and beautiful items. He was personal friends with many artists, such as Ed Borein, Hans Kleiber and Bill Gollings, whose art decorated the Ranch House. He also collected works by Frederic Remington, C. M. Russell, and John J. Audubon.

In 1936, Bradford Brinton died from complications after surgery. His will left the Quarter Circle A Ranch property to his sister, Helen Brinton. Helen Brinton summered on the ranch in Big Horn and spent winters at her ranch near Phoenix, Arizona. She died in 1960. In her will, Helen Brinton specified that the Quarter Circle A Ranch be kept as a memorial to her brother, Bradford, and established a trust for that purpose. Helen wished that the public should enjoy Bradford’s magnificent collection of art and that the ranch land be kept in a natural state to provide sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.

Bradford and Helen Brinton left an enduring legacy of the golden era of an early 20th Century gentleman’s working ranch. The Wild West had been tamed, the vast rangelands fenced, and motorized vehicles were replacing horses. Americans were clinging to the images of hardy cowboys, noble Indians, and untamed land filled with birds and wild beasts. Bradford and Helen Brinton have helped preserve the feeling of the West at that time for all of us to enjoy today.

Incorporated in 2013, the New Museum at the Bradford Brinton Ranch launched a Capital Campaign to build a 24,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art museum building, which opened June 2015, to increase exhibition space, visitor services and storage vaults.  With our new Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building, The Brinton Museum remains committed to preserving and interpreting the Brinton lands and all of the museum’s collections in order to demonstrate their relevance to the historic past, present and future. Our collecting emphasis concentrates on American arts and crafts as well as fine and decorative art relating to the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Focus is placed on art and artists who depicted the West during these periods.


Gerald Anthony Shippen biography:

Birthplace: Lander, Wyoming (1955)

For much of childhood, I lived and attended school on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation where my friends and classmates were members of the Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribes.

Art Studies:

Harry Jackson Studios, Camaiore, Italy and Cody, Wyoming, 1976-77

Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Wyoming, 1981

Master of Fine Arts, University of Wyoming, 1984

Established: Shippen Art Studios in 1978

Sculpture Commissions:

“Bill Strannigan” portrait bust, University of Wyoming, 1984

“Ev Shelton” portrait bust, University of Wyoming, 1985

“Lucille Wright” portrait bust, Friends of the University of Wyoming Art Museum, 1985

“Gift of the Smoking Water,” Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming, 1986

“Lady Justice,” Lincoln County Courthouse, Kemmerer, Wyoming, 1987

“St. Anthony of Padua,” St. Anthony Church, Cody, Wyoming, 2013

“Robert and Joan Wallick Commemorative Fountain,” The Brinton Museum, 2014

“Birds of a Feather,” The Brinton Museum, 2015

“Sentinel of the Plains,” Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Memorial Sculpture, The Brinton Museum, 2016

Many other private and public art commissions


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here