“Because of her, our culture is deeply rooted, permanently preserved. Her documentary on canvas is a legend of pioneer life in western Oklahoma. She put her bucket down where she was and painted life as she saw it, making a record of her time and place.”
Augusta L. Corson Metcalfe was born in Kansas and moved with her family to Oklahoma at the age of six. She was herding cattle for her parents by the age of eight and later herded cattle for hire at seventeen cents per head per month. It was while she was herding cattle that she began practicing drawing cattle brands, horses, cattle, and dogs. She was a single mother at the age of 27 and raised cattle, horses, and foxhounds and finally took first prize in an art contest at the Oklahoma City Fair in 1911. Nan Sheets arranged a one-woman art show for Augusta in Oklahoma City in 1949 and a year later LIFE Magazine printed two full color pages of her work and famous people such as Thomas Edison, Harry Lauder, and General Douglas MacArthur were among her fans. Augusta lived for 75 years on the same homestead near Durham, Oklahoma, and her paintings vividly depict and preserve the pioneer life she knew.
Augusta Metcalfe was world-renowned as the “Sagebrush Artist,” the “Prairie Painter,” and the “Grandma Moses” of Oklahoma.
Metcalfe came to No Man’s Land in Indian Territory with her parents in 1886, south of Durham, Oklahoma.