Commemorating the centennial of Lon Megargee’s western masterpiece with an ultra-limited edition cowboy hat and three new artworks created in celebration of the original.
An ultra-limited-edition cowboy hat created to celebrate 100 years of Lon Megargee’s iconic painting, “The Last Drop from His Stetson.” Each comes in a custom-designed commemorative box, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and set of 8×10 postcard prints of the original painting as well three new artworks commissioned to celebrate the anniversary.
A century ago, Lon Megargee debuted what may be the most famous cowboy painting of all time. Called “The Last Drop from His Stetson,” it depicted a kindly cowboy kneeling to give his horse a drink of water from his upturned hat, and it went on to become an icon of the Stetson brand, and a hallmark of cowboy culture.
To further celebrate the anniversary, we’ve commissioned three acclaimed contemporary artists—Logan Maxwell Hagege, Bella McGoldrick, and Thomas Blackshear—to reimagine Megargee’s original painting in their own style. The new artworks will live alongside the original in the Stetson company collection, and each Last Drop 100X hat comes with a folio containing 8×10 postcard prints of the original and three new works, all elegantly packaged in a custom-made commemorative box.
“I’ve been a fan of Lon Megargee’s artwork for many years. I actually own one of his pieces, so this is a dream project for me.”
Acclaimed Ojai, California-based oil painter Logan Maxwell Hagege draws continual inspiration from the people and wide-open landscapes of the American West, creating hauntingly beautiful images that combine a stylized realism with a vagueness that invites the viewer to fill in the blanks. “I’ve been a fan of Lon Megargee’s artwork for many years. I actually own one of his pieces. So this is a dream project for me,” he says.
Hagege chose to present his interpretation of the scene from a different perspective, one that allowed him to incorporate more elements of the desert environment: “I wanted to pay respect to the original, but also make it my own, so I changed the angle of the cowboy and the horse, and I added some elements that I love about the West: the big skies and clouds and sagebrush and hollyhocks. I thought it was important to keep some elements the same—like the Tom Mix hat.”
“I included the female hand to bring a bit of me and a bit of modernity to it. I think that’s what gives it the personal touch.”
Known for her hyper-realistic reinterpretations of the everyday, Australian artist Bella McGoldrick stripped Megargee’s painting down to its essential elements, reimagining it completely for today’s world, replacing the cowboy with a modern woman on the move, alongside elements that nod to the West without depicting it directly.
“I included the female hand to bring a bit of me and a bit of modernity to it. This is actually the first I’ve included a human into a drawing [and] the first time I’ve done a hand. But I think that’s what gives it the personal touch. I wanted the hand holding the hat.” Incidentally, the hat happens to be a Stetson Skyline, with a signature silk lining featuring Megargee’s original composition.
“Megargee came out of the Golden Age of Illustration, from 1900 to about 1945. They had a different understanding of painting—more masterful.”
Colorado Springs-based Thomas Blackshear is one of the most celebrated artists of the modern West, known for his dramatic and powerful portraits of Native Americans and Black cowboys. Here, Blackshear reenvisions Megargee’s original composition—of a cowboy kneeling to give his horse a drink from his upturned hat—as a portrait of strength, depicting the cowboy standing rather than kneeling, facing the viewer head on. Also, he says with a smile, “there are a few things I’ve changed color-wise.”
Blackshear was originally trained as an illustrator, and over the past several decades has built a body of work that is among the most celebrated in the Western genre, fusing a modern realism with a reverence for the time-honored techniques of the past. “Megargee came out of the Golden Age of Illustration, from 1900 to about 1945,” he says. “They had a different understanding of painting—[it was] more masterful. You can tell he uses as few brushstrokes as possible to create this image. I tried to capture some of that feeling.”