Staff Report

Famed Western artist Joe DeYong, who worked during the golden age of Western art in the last century, will be the subject of a talk at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

Presenting the program will be publisher and author William Reynolds, who has worked in the Western Industry for more than 35 years.

DeYong (1894-1975) was born near St. Louis in the small town of Webster Groves. His parents picked up and move to “Indian territory” near Dewey, Okla., where his father Adrian opened a mercantile store and young Joe attended school and worked on ranches, where he developed a deep love of cowboy ways.

He had the opportunity to work on a few Western films with the star actor Tom Mix but in early 1913 he got sick. Mix himself notified DeYong’s parents with a short telegram – “Joe has cerebro-meningitis. Doctor says serious. Tom Mix.”

DeYong would recover but was left completely deaf.

In 1916, he corresponded with and ultimately met the great Western artist of the day, Charles M. Russell. It would be one of many introductions that would change DeYong’s life. He worked with Russell in his studio for 10 years until Russell’s death in 1926.

Russell and his wife Nancy introduced DeYong to Howard Eaton, owner of one of the first guest ranches in the West. DeYong worked there until moving to Santa Barbara to work with other artist friends of Russell including Edward Borein and Maynard Dixon.

DeYong worked in Hollywood on numerous classic Westerns as was a huge influence on other Western artists. His writings, art and sculptures would create a picture of a region’s culture that would change dramatically at the end of the 1930s with the start of World War II. He died in Los Angeles in 1975.

To get more information or register for the event, call 805-966-1601. Tickets are $15 for museum members and $20 for others.