'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' by Shane Wilson and Dwayne Cull
mammoth ivory, mahogany and gold nugget sculpture
(51x20x33 cm - private collection on permanent museum loan)
Now on permanent loan to the McBride Museum in Whitehorse, Yukon, this commissioned sculpture from mammoth ivory and mahogany represents the last scene from the poem by Robert Service entitled, "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," in which Dangerous Dan McGrew and the Man from the Creeks, a gold miner, exchange gunfire over the Lady Known as Lou and both end up dead, while Lou profits by pinching the miner's poke, a bag full of gold nuggets.
This sculpture was a collaboration between Shane Wilson, who carved the mammoth ivory and mahogany figures (note the gold nugget in the poke), and Dwayne Cull, who made the mahogany furniture (including the brilliant piano with individual ivory keys!), ivory sheet music and cards, and the mahogany saloon floor base.
The following are the last two stanzas of the poem, 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' by Robert Service:
Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.
These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say the stranger was crazed with "hooch", and I'm not denying it's so.
I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
The woman that kissed him and — pinched his poke — was the lady that's known as Lou.
(click here for the entire poem on Donna Ward’s Northwoods Press website or here for Robert Service reading the poem - also on Donna’s fabulous website)