Ted Drummond

Theodore H. "Ted" Drummond (1908-1993) was a versatile Nevada artist who not only specialized in drawing and printmaking, but also sculpture in wood—all on a decidedly western theme. Drummond was featured in many exhibitions in Reno before departing for Los Angeles in 1943.

Nevada historian Russell Elliott, in his foreword to The WPA Guide to 1930s Nevada: Nevada Writer's Project of the Works Project Administration, states that Ted Drummond "does woodcarving and etching." If one wishes to learn more about the artist's years in Nevada, a tedious search through the "Arts and Artists" columns of Lillian Borghi in the Reno Evening Gazette between 1938 and 1943 is necessary.

Drummond received his formal art education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where he studied with noted watercolorist James T. Harwood (1860-1940). He arrived in Reno in the early 1930s, and with his wife, Juanita, raised a son, Gary.

An ardent supporter of the University of Nevada, Drummond drew editorial-style cartoons that were frequently featured on the front page of the Nevada State Journal, many of which promoted current campus events. "Ride That Mustang!" appeared on October 30, 1937—the university mascot, a wolf, waves a football helmet as he rides a bucking bronc.

This multifaceted artist said, "Nevada presents an inexhaustible source of subjects—although one who has actually lived the events pictured can appreciate better their value." Drummond owned water rights on property near Mesquite in Southern Nevada, which afforded him a range on which to ride and an opportunity to rope and brand, activities the likes of which were recorded in meticulously rendered etchings and drypoint prints. Montana cowboy painter Charles M. Russell comes to mind when examining Drummond's work, down to the cow skulls both included in the lower corners of their images.

As Drummond left Nevada at the height of World War II, he suggested in a newspaper interview that he thought he could help in the war effort by studying mapmaking at the University of Southern California.

An artist of many interests, Drummond later took up painting and pastels. He caught the attention of executives at Walt Disney studios who offered him a job, which he declined. Drummond went on to a thirty-five-year career with the United States Department of Interior where he served as administrator of that department's museum. He also designed the official seal (with a bison) for the Department of Interior that is still used today.

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