Wieghorst, Olaf (1899-1988)

SOLD Olaf Wieghorst (1899-1988) - Breaking Camp

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SOLD Olaf Wieghorst (1899-1988) - Breaking Camp

  • Postcard, Mixed Media
  • C. 1959
  • 5'' x 6''
  • M1544D
Additional Information


Framed 12.5" x 14". Backside of the postcard states "Friend Jack, Thanks for your card - glad to hear you are back home - we are leaving for N.Y. the 9th and for European the 17 expect to be back late in Aug - Friend Olaf" The postcard is poststamped May 23, 1959 11 AM in El Cajon, Calif. Acquired from a private collection. It has been in the same family since the 1950s. The owner had inherited this from his parents. His father was close friends with Jack van Ryder, as they were from the same town. Olaf Carl Wieghorst (1899-1988) was a well known artist. He was born in Denmark and and was facsinated by the American West. He jumped a ship to New York City with only $1.25 to his name and did not know any English. He joined the US Cavalry and was stationed at the Mexicna border, where he learned rodeo and trick horse riding techniques. When he left the service, he worked at the Quarter 2C Ranch in Arizona. In 1923, he returned to New York City, and joined the police force and graduated in 1925. He was assigned to the Police Show Team of the Mounted Division, and he continued to paint. His first professional representation was in 1940. By 1942, he had artistic success. By 1944, he was living in El Cajon, California. He was known as a painter of horse portraits, especially equine celebrities, and his work is in many prestigious collections. Olaf's friend, Jack van Ryder (1899-1968), was also a well known artist. Jack was born on a goat ranch outside of Tucson, Arizona. At the age of 13, he hopped a train carrying cattle to Montana, and upon arriving, remained there for years working as a ranch hand and, when he could, a rodeo performer. He sketched landscapes with surprising accuracy for an untrained artist. He met Charlie Russell, the famed artist, and upon seeing Jack's work, Charlie gave Jack his first set of paints and encouraged him to try oil painting. In 1926, Jack was the leader and primary artist for a group of artists and cartographers who undertook the California map making project. After 1926, Jack had his personal style well developed. It is described as delicate and precise with a kind og hyper-realism of the fine details. Jack's work was recognized by the judges at the Brooklyn International Exhibit of Pen and Ink as the most typical and finished of the western candidates. This success was followed by displays of his work in both ink and oil at the Gainsborough and Montross Galleries in New York, a show which he left early in order to compete in the rodeo at the Madison Square Garden that night.