Western Art News

A new book ex­plores the life and ca­reer of Joe De Yong, a lit­tle­known artist who stud­ied un­der Charles M. Rus­sell.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Even in Western cir­cles, it’s not likely many peo­ple have ever heard of Joe De Yong. His works never com­manded the same pres­ence or prices as his con­tem­po­raries, and be­cause of that he has been lost to the ages. A new book aims to bring him and his work to a new gen­er­a­tion.

Joe De Yong — A Life in the West, by Wil­liam Reynolds, avail­able now through Ala­mar Me­dia, ex­plores De Yong’s life and ca­reer and weaves a fas­ci­nat­ing story about his de­ter­mi­na­tion and grit in the face of ad­ver­sity. Born in 1894, De Yong wanted noth­ing more than to be a cow­boy, and later, af­ter meet­ing silent film star Tom Mix, a Western artist and il­lus­tra­tor. But at the age of 19 he was stricken with cere­bral menin­gi­tis, leav­ing him to­tally deaf. In

1914, dur­ing his re­cu­per­a­tion, he be­gan a cor­re­spon­dence with Charles M. Rus­sell, who was moved by the De Yong’s pas­sion and tal­ent. In 1916, he would be­come the only pro­tégé Rus­sell ever had. They were united in art but also the au­then­tic­ity of the West, which was trea­sured by both artists.

Through Rus­sell, De Yong would go on to meet other greats such as Ed­ward Bor­ein, May­nard Dixon, Will James and Will Rogers. These in­tro­duc­tions would lead De Yong to a meet­ing with Hol­ly­wood di­rec­tor

Ce­cil B. Demille. Through this as­so­ci­a­tion, De Yong would go on to be a sig­nif­i­cant set il­lus­tra­tor, cos­tume de­signer and historic con­sul­tant on land­mark films in­clud­ing Buf­falo Bill, The Plains­man, Union Pa­cific, Red River and the Academy Award­win­ning film Shane. Joe De Yong — A Life in the West is told with more than 500 images, as well as hun­dreds of pages of De Yong’s orig­i­nal per­sonal cor­re­spon­dences. For more in­for­ma­tion about the book, visit www.ala­mar­me­dia.com.

Clock­wise from far left:

Stu­dio pub­lic­ity shot of Joe De Yong at Paramount Stu­dios, 1937.Joe De Yong sketch­ing at Eas­tons’ Ranch.

Joe De Yong, The Bronco, oil on board

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