Bighorn Ram 302 (Trial Proof) is a powerful image, mounted against a solid blue background, which shows off the namesake of the Bighorn Mountain Range in northern Wyoming. The Bighorn sheep originally crossed into North America over the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia. The population of Bighorns in North America to peaked into the millions, and thus the Bighorn sheep entered into the mythology of Native Americas. However, by 1900 the population had crashed to several thousand. Through a reintroduction program into national parks, reduced hunting, and a decrease in domesticated sheep near the end of World War II, the Bighorn sheep was able to make a comeback. The animal continues to be an iconic image for many Native populations. The Bighorn is now the official mascot for the Arizona Boy Scouts.
Bighorn Ram (Trial Proof) 302 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
In 1983 Andy Warhol was commissioned by his friend and publisher Ron Feldman and his wife Freyda to create the series of 10 endangered species. Both Freyda and Ronald were celebrated political activists who were very active philanthropists. In 1983, they asked Warhol to create a portfolio of ten endangered species to raise environmental consciousness. Warhol fondly referred to this series as his “animals in makeup,” given the bold pop colors he uses to portray the animals as larger than life, exemplified in the Bighorn Ram FS II 302 print.