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 Reinhold H. Palenske  (1884 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/California      Known for: genre-history, illustration, etchings

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Ad Code: 3
Reinhold H Palenske
from Auction House Records.
Indian Chief
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography was sent to from Thomas Botke:

Reinhold H. or R. H. Palenske was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was graphic artist and painter. His work is in the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Royal Gallery of London, England. During his career his work was reproduced in The Spur, the Washington Star, and the Chicago Daily News.

He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was a student of Wellington Reynolds. For many years, Brown and Bigelow had Palenske's work on an exclusive basis in the advertising specialty market, and they also offered a number of his original etchings.

Palenske's love of animals and nature was almost inborn, for both his father and grandfather were cavalry officers whose love of horses is traditional. In addition to being a master etcher, he was a sportsman and hunter of prominence.

Among other activities he, with J. M. Biggon of Montreal and Carl Rungius, founded the "Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies," originated on Wolverine Pass, British Columbia.
The following is from Ferris Peterson, quoting from a Brown and Bigelow folder dated 1956:

When he was only a lad of 10, R. H. Palenske knew he was going to be an artist. Fascinated by the graceful lines and movements of his fathers horses, the boy spent long hours trying to capture their beauty with his pencil and sketch pad. By the time he was 17 he had mastered his trade and was launched on a career as a newspaper illustrator. Twenty years later he found his second career- as one of the worlds fine etchers.

Throughout his whole life the great outdoors held a strong appeal for Palenske, and he spent every spare moment exploring the woods, streams, lakes and mountains of America`s great wilderness. As co-founder of the group known as the "Trail Riders Of the Rockies" he was a well-known figure to the trappers, guides, traders and Canadian Mounties of the Pacific Northwest. The Blackfeet Indians so admired his riding skill and woods ability they adopted him into their tribe as "White-Calf-Running-Like- Hell-Do- Everything".

One day, using one of his wife's darning needles, Palenske idly scratched a design in a scrap of copper plate. His idle curiosity soon turned to fascination, and he began to explore this new medium in his spare time. He finally abandoned his newspaper career in order to devote full time to perfecting his etching technique. Within a short time he had earned international recognition and an invitation to exhibit at a one man show in the Smithsonian Institution. In 1944 the Chicago Society of Etchers awarded him the most coveted prize in etching arts "for the outstanding work of the year among the nation`s top etchers".

Etchings by Palenske are now included in the collections of the world`s finest galleries, including the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library and the Royal Gallery of London.

For all of us, Palenske's etchings tell their own story of his great love for the outdoors, the wide variety of his interests, and his amazing ability to portray vividly what he saw and felt in the great outdoors he loved so well. The prints in this special collection were chosen from the many subjects that Palenske created for Brown and Bigelow during the years he was one of our exclusive artists. We believe they represent him at his best and offer them as a true and fitting remembrance of a great artist, a fine gentleman, sportsman and friend.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Chicago, IL on Oct. 4, 1884. Palenske studied at the AIC under W. Reynolds. While a living in Illinois, he made sketching trips to California in the 1930s. The subjects of his etchings include horses and the Monterey Peninsula. He died on Dec. 29, 1953. Exh: Oakland Art Gallery, 1940; Chicago Society of Etchers, 1945 (prize). In: Royal Gallery (London); Library of Congress; NY Public Library.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Who's Who in American Art 1947.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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