John Hampton

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Well into his eighties, John Hampton, one of the founders of the Cowboy Artists of America, was still painting, drawing, and sculpting the many stories of the American West. Hampton was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918, but made his way west at an early age. As a boy, he had shown an early […]

George Phippen

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George Phippen was co-founder of the Cowboy Artists of America and the organization’s first president. His formal education consisted of a little less than eight years in a one-room country schoolhouse. “I’ve had no schooling in art except what I got from friends, artists,” he said, “and I’ve been mighty lucky to have more friends […]

Pat Haptonstall

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Pat Haptonstall was born in Cedaredge, Colorado, in 1943. His natural talent and artistic eye manifested themselves at an early age. By the time he was six years old, he was already spending much of his time drawing. As a young boy, he suffered from asthma, so his parents moved the family to Prescott, Arizona, […]

Frank Polk

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Frank Polk was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908, but moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1911. His first job, at age sixteen, was in the rodeo, working with his trained burro. He later landed his first cowboy job with the Yolo Ranch at Camp Wood. His 1978 autobiography, F-F-F-Frank Polk: An Uncommonly Frank Autobiography, tells […]

Fred Harman

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Fred Harman was the most widely known living western artist when the Cowboy Artists of America was organized in June 1965. While Harman was unable to join Charlie Dye, John Hampton, Joe Beeler and George Phippen in the meeting where the CAA was officially founded, he held the special designation of “charter member.” Harman was […]

Tom Ryan

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“When Tom Ryan paints a cowboy, you know it is the real thing,” says one fellow artist. “You can tell just by looking at the figure that that man has been around. His horses are real cow horses. His men are real ranch hands. They always have just the right feel; there is never anything […]

E.E. “Bud” Helbig

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Bud Helbig’s home state of Montana nurtured his early dreams of becoming an artist and also provided a lifetime of inspiration for his paintings and bronzes. One of his early heroes was Charles M. Russell, another Montana artist. Helbig’s annual participation in the auction at the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls was one […]

Bob Scriver

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“It was the days of hair chaps, high-heeled boots, and spurs that jingled when they drug on the ground. All my friends were either cowboys or Indians. I didn’t know any other kind of people,” Bob Scriver said, describing his youth. Those early days would lay the foundation for Scriver’s later success as one of […]

Harvey W. Johnson

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Harvey W. Johnson came by his artistic talent naturally. His father was a noted sculptor, and his mother was an accomplished painter. Following in their footsteps, after World War II, Johnson studied at the Art Students League in New York City. He worked for many advertising studios and as an illustrator (often of frontier life) […]

Irvin (Shorty) Shope

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When he was still a young artist, Irvin “Shorty” Shope had the extraordinary opportunity to show his work to one of the masters of American Western art, Charles M. Russell. Like Russell, Shope lived in Montana and worked as a cowboy before beginning his artistic career. Unlike Russell, who moved to Montana as a teenager, […]