While researching for the story on Miles Maryott back in October, I came across a Fort Collins Weekly Courier article that intrigued me. It mentioned a painting done by Miles that was to be donated to the Elks Lodge. I wondered if the canvas might still be around. Given that the Elks Lodge has moved a couple of times (the first time due to fire), it was pretty unlikely that the painting had survived. But I figured it was still worth checking out. So I recently made it over to the Elks Lodge, now located on E. Mulberry, and lo and behold. There it was!
The newspaper article that mentioned the painting had been published on December 12, 1906, just a year and a half before that fateful day when Miles shot his best friend, William Puffenberger. It read:
Beautiful Landscape View.
A beautiful oil painting in an elegant gilt frame hangs on the wall of the Gifford Hardware company’s salesroom. It was painted by Miles Maryott and will be presented to the Elks lodge. The picture presents a mountain scene, a wooded canon [sic] with jutting rocks, high snow-covered peaks in the distance and a grassy slope in the foreground on which stands a splendid representation of a magnificent and handsomely proportioned elk with head in the air. The scene is a very attractive one. The trees seem to stand out from the canvas so true are they to nature, while the coloring and cloud effects are excellent. This is one of Mr. Maryott’s best canvases [sic] and it reflects great credit upon his skill as an artist.
Miles’ signature stands out in red at the lower right hand corner of the painting.
If you haven’t read the story of Miles Maryott yet, I’d encourage you to head over and check it out. His story is one of incredible talent and extreme addiction. Though Miles has had a book written on his life, the mentions of his time in Fort Collins are fleeting. And because of how he left town, Fort Collins seems to have chosen to forget about him as well. Until now.
And now we find that, even though Fort Collins tried to shut him out, Miles managed to leave a piece of himself behind in the form of this portrait of an elk standing thoughtfully in a small glade. Thank you, Miles. It’s a beautiful painting.