Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Ace Powell (1912-1978)

Photograph courtesy of Jay Moynahan.

Asa L. Powell was born in Tulerosa, New Mexico, in 1912 and lived near Kalispell, Montana, until his death on January 25, 1978. "Ace Powell, the son of a cowboy and a teacher, was raised in Apgar, Montana on the south end of Lake McDonald. His father was a stable boss, guide, and packer in Glacier National Park. At the age of ten, he was a working wrangler. He went to high school in Browning and attended Montana State University. "Ace worked as a cowboy, breaking and wrangling horses east of Glacier Park. As a boy, Powell had watched Charles Russell paint in Bull's Head Lodge in Apgar. In 1938, after a few private art lessons, Powell became a self-taught artist, sketching and painting what he knew best, the cowboy and the Indian with their horses in the region around Glacier Park. He also wrote and illustrated a book in 1965 entitled, "The Ace of Diamonds", containing his recollections and anecdotes. The following is quoted from an article that appeared in Art West Magazine, Spring 1978, entitled "Don't Shake Hands With The Devil, Or He'll Pull You Into Hell" by Van Kirke Nelson. "Ace said this of himself, that I have "been more fortunate than most, helped and have been helped, painted some great paintings and some terrible paintings. There were times when I thought the price I was charging was close to larceny -- so I have never regretted someone else making a dollar on my paintings as I'll get it back from them next time. I've shaken hands with the devil -- perhaps more than most, but the good Lord has seen fit to keep me around for a bit longer."

View high resolution images of works by Ace Powell when available.