Olaf Wieghorst

Olaf Wieghorst (April 30, 1899 in Viborg, Denmark – April 27, 1988 in California, United States) was a painter of the American West in the vein of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell and is known for his Indian, cowboy and horse paintings.

Early years

Wieghorst was a stunt rider (horse) for a Danish circus (Tivoli Theater in Copenhagen) before migrating to the United States at the age of 19. He also worked on a farm where he often rode horses.

Later years

Wieghorst emigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1918 and lived the rest of his life there.

He spent his working career on mounted patrol with the U.S. Cavalry, with occasional interludes as a wrangler on ranches in the western states. Wherever he went, he sketched and painted the Western culture he loved, often selling his work as calendar and magazine illustrations (such as Zane Grey's Western Magazine and Hoofs and Horns, an honor he shared with other cowboy artists such as Dan Muller).

In 1924, Olaf Wieghorst married a Brooklyn girl named Mabel Walters and they had a son. In the same year, he joined the New York City Police Department (1924-1944) where he became a Mounted Police Officer with the Department. Due to his knowledge of horses, he was quickly sent to the Remount Section of the Mounted Unit where he broke and trained horses for the Unit. In 1945, Wieghorst eventually settled in El Cajon, California, San Diego County, California and spent the rest of his life there working on his art. He was a self-trained artist and learned to work with oil painting and water colors himself. Over time he became a proficient painter and as a result, Grand Central Art Galleries of the Biltmore Hotel chose to display his paintings. He also painted horses and studied their nature. The most famous of his models were Gene Autry’s Champion, Tom Morgan’s stallion and Roy Rogers’ Trigger. [1]

He appeared in two John Wayne movies in the 60's, McLintock! and El Dorado. Some of his art work was used in the open titles sequence in the film El Dorado.

In 1985 two of his works, The Navajo Madonna and The Navajo Man were sold for over $1 million. He died on April 28, 1988 in La Mesa, CA. [2]


  1. ^ Olaf Wieghorst (1899-1988) Retrieved on 19 Mar 2018
  2. ^ Olaf Wieghorst (American/Danish, 1899–1988) Retrieved on 19 Mar 2018
  • Reed, William (1969). Olaf Wieghorst. Northland Press. ISBN 0-87358-045-1
  • Kelly, Tim (1962) Arizona Highways, November 1962 (Southwest Artists) (Vol. 38, No. 11)

External links

Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is an art museum located in St. Joseph, Missouri. The museum is in the former home of Mr. and Mrs. William Albrecht at 2818 Frederick Avenue. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art has an extensive collection of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century American art. Through special exhibitions, educational programs, performance events and publications, the Albrecht-Kemper serves as a cultural arts center for Northwest Missouri.

Alma, New Mexico

Alma is an unincorporated community in Catron County, New Mexico, United States, north of Glenwood and south of Reserve.

California Art Club

The California Art Club (CAC) is one of the oldest and most active arts organizations in California. Founded in December 1909, it celebrated its centennial in 2009 and into the spring of 2010. The California Art Club originally evolved out of The Painters Club of Los Angeles, a short-lived group that lasted from 1906–09. The new organization was more inclusive, as it accepted women, sculptors and out of state artists. Most of the major early California painters belonged to the CAC, including Franz Bischoff (1864–1929), Carl Oscar Borg (1879–1947), Edgar Payne (1883–1947), Julia Bracken Wendt (1868–1942), and William Wendt (1865–1946). As the members of the first generation of California Plein-Air Painters aged and died, the membership was filled by younger professional painters, including Millard Sheets (1907–1989), Mabel Alvarez (1891–1985), Emil Kosa, Jr. (1903–1968), and watercolorist Rex Brandt (1914–2000), along with amateur painters and commercial artists. Other notable members include Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965), Dean Cornwell (1892–1960), Nicolai Fechin (1881–1955), Sam Hyde Harris (1889–1977), Alfredo Ramos Martinez (1872–1946), and Richard Neutra (1892–1970).Today its membership consists of representational artists and sculptors, but it is broadly inclusive and includes many women painters as well as painters and sculptors who emigrated to the United States from Europe and Asia. The CAC hosts an annual Gold Medal Exhibition each year along with a number of other smaller public and special museum exhibitions. Headquartered in one of the large bungalows that was part of the historic Vista del Arroyo Hotel in Pasadena, the California Art Club has a number of chapters throughout California.

Dan Muller

Dan Muller aka Daniel Cody Muller (1889–1976), artist, illustrator and writer of the American West; Muller was born in Choteau, Montana, October 11, 1889 to Carl and Augusta Muller.

Muller's early years are known only from the artist's own recollections of them. In one of his five published books, "My Life with Buffalo Bill" the artist alleges that his father, who was allegedly one quarter Piegan Blackfoot, was killed by a horse when Muller was nine years old, and he (the artist) was adopted by Buffalo Bill Cody. Muller then reportedly was raised and spent 18 years working with Cody in his Wild West shows and on Cody's ranches. (see Footnote 1 below)

Muller wrote that he met C.M. Russell about 1900 in Choteau MT (about 50 miles from Russell's home town of Great Falls) and was influenced in his art by Russell. In a 1964 Milwaukee newspaper article Muller was described by a Taos NM art gallery owner as "...the Russell or Remington of our day".

Muller wrote that he sold his early paintings to tourists in Yellowstone Park; he spent the years of World War I breaking horses for the army, sold his first painting professionally in New York City in January 1917 and subsequently worked as a ranch hand while traveling by horseback from Mexico to Canada and back to the American West. He was in New York City again around 1929, then worked in Chicago from 1930 until about 1933.

Danish Americans

Danish Americans (Danish: Dansk-amerikanere) are Americans who have ancestral roots originated fully or partially from Denmark. There are approximately 1,500,000 Americans of Danish origin or descent.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District is the artistic manifestation and architecture constructed by Ettore DeGrazia. The property is a series of buildings scattered throughout a natural desert setting. Built in Tucson near the intersection of Swan Road and Skyline the property is now a museum open to the public. Construction began in 1951 with the open air Mission in the Sun followed by a series of other expressionistic adobe buildings. The gallery/museum was constructed in 1965 with details including cactus flooring, exposed wood beams, rafters and unique artistic finishes.

The gallery replaced the first DeGrazia Building constructed in 1944 on the corner of Prince and Campbell Road. Artists and friends who spent time at the new gallery included Thomas Hart Benton, Olaf Wieghorst, Jack Van Ryder, Pete Martinez and Ross Santee. In 2006, the 10-acre (40,000 m2) property, now a museum of DeGrazia's work, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2017, Mission in the Sun, a chapel, was heavily damaged in a fire. Conservators began work to salvage and restore some of the artifacts.

El Dorado (1966 film)

El Dorado is a 1966 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Written by Leigh Brackett and loosely based on the novel The Stars in Their Courses by Harry Brown, the film is about a gunfighter who comes to the aid of an old friend—a drunken sheriff struggling to defend a rancher and his family against another rancher trying to steal their water. The gunfighter and drunken sheriff are helped by an aging Indian fighter and a young gambler. The supporting cast features James Caan as the young gambler, Charlene Holt, Ed Asner, Paul Fix, Arthur Hunnicutt, Michele Carey, and Christopher George.

El Dorado was filmed on location in Tucson, Arizona and Kanab, Utah, and was shot in Technicolor. The paintings in the credits are by artist Olaf Wieghorst, who makes a brief appearance as Swede Larsen in the film. The musical score was composed by Nelson Riddle. Paramount Pictures delayed the release of the film in the United States to avoid competing against another Paramount film, Nevada Smith with Steve McQueen. The film was first released in Japan on December 17, 1966, and was finally released in the United States on June 7, 1967. The film received critical praise and was successful at the box office, generating North American rentals of $5,950,000 on box-office receipts of $12 million.El Dorado is the second of three films directed by Hawks about a sheriff defending his office against belligerent outlaw elements in the town, after Rio Bravo (1959) and before Rio Lobo (1970), both also starring Wayne in approximately the same role. The plotlines of all three films are almost similar enough to qualify El Dorado and Rio Lobo as remakes. Dean Martin had portrayed the drunken deputy in Rio Bravo, preceding Mitchum in the part as a drunken sheriff, while Walter Brennan played the wild old man role later rendered by Arthur Hunnicutt, and Ricky Nelson appeared as a gunslinging newcomer similar to Caan in El Dorado.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose the film's theme as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Ettore DeGrazia

Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia (June 14, 1909 – September 17, 1982) was an American impressionist, painter, sculptor, composer, actor, director, designer, architect, jeweler, and lithographer. Described as "the world's most reproduced artist", DeGrazia is known for his colorful images of Native American children of the American Southwest and other Western scenes. DeGrazia also painted several series of exhibitions like the Papago Legends, Padre Kino, Cabeza de Vaca.

Great Plains Art Museum

The Great Plains Art Museum is a fine arts museum located in Lincoln, Nebraska that is dedicated to the arts of the Great Plains in the United States.

The Museum, which opened in 1981 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was founded with the Christlieb Collection (sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs and library), donated by John and Elizabeth Christlieb of Bellevue, Nebraska.

The Christlieb Collection includes works by Albert Bierstadt, William de la Montagne Cary, Robert Fletcher Gilder, William Henry Jackson, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Olaf Wieghorst.Subsequent acquisitions and donations have expanded the museum's collections with works by Lyman Byxbe, Ray Ellis, John Philip Falter, Michael Forsberg, Veryl Goodnight, Chuck Guildner, Cliff Hollestelle, Laurie Houseman-Whitehawk, Keith Jacobshagen, Ted Long, Herb Mignery, Andrew Peters, Del Pettigrew, Martha Pettigrew, Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell, Grant Wood and others.

The Great Plains Art Museum is part of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Exhibits are typically rotated several times per year and include artwork from the permanent collection, guest-curated exhibitions, and traveling exhibits.

The Center and the Museum are located at Hewit Place, 1155 Q Street, in Lincoln, Nebraska. The museum is free and open to the public.

John Wayne filmography

A complete filmography of John Wayne from 1926 to 1977, which also includes those films that Wayne only produced, and results pertaining to his long-running box office popularity between 1949 and 1973, during the height of his career after a decade of starring in a succession of low-budget B-movies.

Lloyd Donald Brinkman

Lloyd Donald Brinkman (1929 - July 4, 2015) was an American businessman, cattle breeder, civic leader and art collector. He was the owner of "the largest floor covering distributor in the US," and 350 pizza parlors with Gatti's Pizza. He bred Brangus cattle, and he was a significant collector of Western art.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU, is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. It is the state's oldest university, and the largest in the University of Nebraska system.

The state legislature chartered the university in 1869 as a land-grant university under the 1862 Morrill Act, two years after Nebraska's statehood into the United States. Around the turn of the 20th century, the university began to expand significantly, hiring professors from eastern schools to teach in the newly organized professional colleges while also producing groundbreaking research in agricultural sciences. The "Nebraska method" of ecological study developed here during this time pioneered grassland ecology and laid the foundation for research in theoretical ecology for the rest of the 20th century. The university is organized into eight colleges on two campuses in Lincoln with over 100 classroom buildings and research facilities.Its athletic program, called the Cornhuskers, is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Nebraska football team has won 46 conference championships since 1970 and five national championships. The women's volleyball team has won five national championships along with nine other appearances in the Final Four. The Husker football team plays its home games at Memorial Stadium, selling out every game since 1962. The stadium's capacity is about 92,000 people, larger than the population of Nebraska's third-largest city.

Viborg, Denmark

Viborg (Danish pronunciation: [ˈvibɒːˀ]), a city in central Jutland, Denmark, is the capital of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula. Viborg Municipality is the second-largest Danish municipality, covering 3.3% of that country's total land area.


Wieghorst is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Morten Wieghorst (born 1971), Danish football player and manager

Olaf Wieghorst (1899–1988), Danish-born American painter

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