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.
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.
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 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.