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2013-03-21

CB Artists of America, Harman & Eggenhofer, exhibit at Museum of Western Art

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The Museum of Western Art is hosting a special exhibit through April 19. Part of the exhibit will have paintings and book illustrations by Fred Harman, and the other half of the exhibit will be the studio of the famed Cowboy Artist of America Nick Eggenhofer.
Harman was best known for his popular Red Ryder comic strip, which he drew for 25 years, reaching 40 million readers through 750 newspapers. Harman worked as a pressman's helper, an animator for Walt Disney, and created promotional art, book illustrations and film costume designs for the Pony Express before he finally found success. In 1938 he met merchandising entrepreneur Stephen Slesinger and worked with Slesinger to turn the comic strip Bronc Peeler into Red Ryder.
After he retired from the strip in 1964, Harman turned to painting. Harman was one of the original 1965 members of the Cowboy Artists of America. Harman died in Phoenix in 1982.
Eggenhofer, born in Germany, became a traditional western painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He worked in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and the National Academy of Western Art.
He grew up in Germany but was familiar with horses and "Cowboys and Indians" due to a European cowboy craze inspired by Buffalo Bill's continental tours with his Wild West Show.
In 1913 Eggenhofer moved to New York City and worked as a lithographer in the American Lithographic Printing Company, while he studied art in night classes at Cooper Union for several years. Eggenhofer decided to become a western artist and began preparing by making scale models of wagons, stagecoaches and other props for his paintings, some of which can be seen at The Museum of Western Art.
Eggenhofer was considered one of the most prolific artists of the western scene. He was noted for his historical accuracy through his careful research and was considered an authority on early western transportation. Eggenhofer died at age 87 in March 1985.
The Museum of Western Art is located at 1550 Bandera Highway in Kerrville. For additional information call 830 896-2553.