Curt Mattson

Curt Mattson

Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West Artist Curt Mattson.

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Curt Mattson
Born 1956, in Fullerton, California; lives in Cave Creek, Arizona

“WHAT I DESIRE for the art I create,” says Curt Mattson, “is a piece that is compelling and artistically challenging, that will grab viewers’ attention and not let them go.” Mattson succeeds, due in part to a lifetime of involvement with one of his favorite subjects—horses—especially Western cowboys’ mounts.

Born in California, Mattson comes from a long line of horsemen. His family trained and showed horses, and he worked on ranches stretching from California to Alberta, Canada, a thorough education in all things related to horses. His grandfather made saddles and riding gear; he taught his grandson the craft and encouraged him to create sculpture “in order to tell stories of the buckaroo.” In 1988, Mattson acted on his grandfather’s advice, turning to sculpture as a full time occupation. His decision has been rewarding. Artistically successful, he feels honored to share the work he loves with others.


Notable Awards and Achievements:

2012    American Artists Professional League, George Gach Memorial Award
2011    National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, Gold Medal Sculpture (also 2010, 2009, 2007)
2009    National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, Best of Show (also 2007)
2008    American Artists Professional League, Leonard J. Meiselman Memorial Award for Traditional Sculpture (also 2006)
2008    Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Cyrus Dallin Award for Best Sculpture
2007    American Artists Professional League, Frank C. Wright, Jr. Gold Medal of Honor
2007    National Western Art Exhibition and Sale, Festival Choice Purchase Award
2006    Phippen Museum Western Art Show, Cowboy Artists of America Founders’ Award            (in honor of the founders of Cowboy Artists of America)
2005    Phippen Museum Fine Art Show, Phippen Family Award, Best of Show, First Place Sculpture

The Allied Artists of America, Inc.  ~ Elected Member
The American Artists Professional League ~ Fellow
The National Sculpture Society ~ Elected Professional Member

Gallery Representation:
The Biltmore Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
The Hayden Hays Gallery at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado


A Cut Above
2014, bronze, edition of 9, 8 ½ x 7 x 5 ¼ inches

The story comes from the book Boss Cowman by Ed Lemmon, which takes place in Nebraska in 1877. The rider is Tom Lawrence and the horse is Blue. Tom had trained Blue to recognize his Bar L brand. When Bar L cattle were in the roundup pool, Lawrence would bet Blue could be ridden into the herd and, with only a neck rope, would cut out only his cattle. Lemmon said Blue would crane his neck to look at the left side of every cow to see if it carried the Bar L brand. He has not only done well in training his horse, he has won the bet!