The Royal Canadian
View a gallery of Mountie Images owned by Tweed.
For over 50
years, the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police has served as the symbol for the printing paper produced by the
Northwest Paper division of Potlatch Corporation.
It began in the early days of the Great Depression, when the then-struggling Minnesota Paper Company sought an advertising theme that would establish its product as strong, dependable, and
consistently able to do the job well.
Beginning in 1931, Northwest Paper Company commissioned nearly 400 paintings and illustrations, in watercolor, oil and line drawings,
which were used to merchandise the company's printing papers. The
illustrations of the RCMP in their distinctive red surge uniforms
were an instant advertising success.
In all, 16 artists painted Mountie illustrations for Northwest Paper
from 1931 until 1970, when it was determined the collection was
large enough to meet the company's future marketing needs.
Hal Foster, who went on to create the Prince Valiant cartoon strip,
was the first Mountie artist. As Foster devoted more time to cartooning
and Northwest Paper's marketing efforts expanded from illustrations
in printing trade magazines to calendars,
memo pads and broadsided, other artists
were called upon
The most prolific and best known of this group is Arnold Friberg.
Although most of his works were in oil, Friberg's first work for the company
in 1937 was in watercolor. Over the next 33 years, he sold paintings or
reproduction rights on 208 Mountie subjects
to Northwest Paper. Friberg also
is well known for his western and biblical illustrations. The latter interest
led to a mounumental painting and costume design project for Cecil B. DeMille's
film The Ten Commandments, which earned Friberg an Academy Award.
Potlatch recognized that it is not geared to be a corporate curator
of a large art collection. The Tweed Museum of Art was considered an ideal
choice to properly care for and present the collection to a wider audience
it is also located near the Northwest Paper division of Potlach Corporation
offices in Cloquet.
Between 1937 and 1970 Arnold Friberg painted over 200 Mountie subjects, making him the most prolific artist in the collection. At their 1973 centennial celebration, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police made Friberg an honorary member for his realistic and accurate illustration of the force.
For information on "Mountie" merchandise available at
the Tweed Museum Store please visit the Museum Store "Mountie" page.