This painting pictures one of the upper meadows beneath the Big Horn Mountains on the huge Pass Creek Ranch owned by Edwin and Fra Dana near Parkman, Wyoming. The Danas referred to the vast spread as the 2^ Ranch. It covered some 400,000 acres in northern Big Horn County, Wyoming, and included a sizable chunk of adjacent territory in southern Montana. They ran more than 20,000 head of cattle.
Fra Dana (nee Fra Dinwiddie) possessed an abiding interest in art and strove throughout her lifetime to capture elements of her world in paint. She had studied with Sharp at the Cincinnati Academy of Art in the early 1890s. She married Edwin Dana in 1896 and while she moved to the ranch that year, she enthusiastically also continued her art studies. In the late 1890s, for example, she went to New York to take lessons with William Merritt Chase, who painted her portrait, probably during his tutelage. (related image 613a)
When the Sharps moved to Montana in 1899, they renewed their acquaintance with Fra Dana. Once they established contact, the Sharps were frequent visitors to the ranch, and the Danas were often guests at the Sharp’s Crow Agency cabin. For Fra and Henry, the rendezvouses represented a welcome chance to talk about art, to paint together and to share creative insights. Fra ended up purchasing (and/or was given) a dozen or more of Sharp’s works, several of which he brought from Taos but others, such as this oil, that denoted collaborative interpretations of an autumn Wyoming landscape.
Peter H. Hassrick