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 Harold von Schmidt  (1893 - 1982)

About: Harold von Schmidt
 

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Lived/Active: New York/California/Connecticut      Known for: western painting, illustration

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Harold Von Schmidt
from Auction House Records.
Untitled (Roundup)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
For more than half a century, the illustrations and paintings of Harold Von Schmidt were familiar to the American public.  His work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Sunset, Cosmopolitan, American and other magazines for 20 years, beginning in 1925.

He also illustrated Willa Cather's novel, Death Comes to the Archbishop, and was commissioned in 1960 to design the Pony Express commemorative stamp for the United States postal service.

Born in 1893 in Alameda, California, Von Schmidt was orphaned at five.  He was raised by his grandfather and an aunt who encouraged his interest in art.  As a young man, he spent his summers working as a lumberjack, cowpuncher and construction worker.

After two years' study with F.H. Meyers at the California College of Arts and Crafts*, Von Schmidt did his first cover design in 1913 for Sunset magazine.  While attending the San Francisco Art Institute* from 1915 to 1918, he became art director at the Foster and Klein advertising agency.  He also made paintings for the Navy in World War I.

Von Schmidt was a member of the United States rugby team in the 1920 Olympics. That year, he and artists Maynard Dixon, Roi Partridge, Judson Starr and Fred Ludekens set up their own agency.  He came East in 1924 to study at the Grand Central School of Art* in New York City with Harvey Dunn, a former student of Howard Pyle.

During World War II, Von Schmidt was an artist-correspondent for King Features Syndicate and the air force.

He continued to produce non-commercial work, as well as illustrations.  He did twelve paintings of the Gold Rush for the California governor's offices, and 5 Civil War paintings for the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Harold Von Schmidt was a founder of the Famous Artists School* in Westport, Connecticut.

He died in 1982.

Von Schmidt was a member of the Artists Guild, Artists Guild of the Author's League of America, and Society of Illustrators*.  His work may be seen at the California State Capitol, Sacramento; Montana Historical Society, Helena; National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City; United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs; and the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Source:
Michael David Zellman, Three Hundred Years of American Art

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx




This biography from the Archives of AskART:
For more than half a century, the illustrations and paintings of Harold Von Schmidt were familiar to the American public.  His work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Sunset, Cosmopolitan, American and other magazines for 20 years, beginning in 1925.  He also illustrated Willa Cather's novel Death Comes to the Archbishop and was commissioned in 1960 to design the Pony Express commemorative stamp for the United States Postal Service.

Born in 1893 in Alameda, California, Von Schmidt was orphaned at five.  He was raised by his grandfather and an aunt, who encouraged his interest in art.  As a young man, he spent his summers working as a lumberjack, cowpuncher and construction worker.

After two years' study with F.H. Meyers at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Von Schmidt did his first cover design in 1913 for Sunset Magazine.  While attending the San Francisco Art Institute from 1915 to 1918 he became art director at the Foster and Klein advertising agency.  He also made paintings for the U.S. Navy in World War I.

Von Schmidt was a member of the United States rugby team in the 1920 Olympics.  That year, he and artists Maynard Dixon, Roi Partridge, Judson Starr and Fred Ludekens set up their own agency.  He went east in 1924 to study at the Grand Central Art School in New York City with Harvey Dunn, a former student of Howard Pyle.  He continued to produce noncommercial work, as well as illustrations.  He did 12 Gold Rush paintings for the California governor's offices, and five Civil War paintings for the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Von Schmidt was a founder of the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut.

He died in 1982.

Source:
Glacier Gallery


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Harold Von Schmidt was born on May 19, 1893 in Alameda, California. The son of a clipper ship captain and an Australian dancer, Von Schmidt was orphaned at five years of age. His grandfather who had been a Forty-Niner raised him.

He began his art studies at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, primarily inspired by the works of Remington and Russell. He then spent three years at the San Francisco Art Institute while studying privately with Maynard Dixon and Worth Ryder. During his teenage years, Von Schmidt worked as a cowboy and lumberjack. He possessed athletic talents as he competed in the 1920 Olympics as a member of the American rugby team.

In 1924, he moved to New York City where he studied with Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central Art School. He became a well-known illustrator for western subjects for such magazines a Saturday Evening Post and Colliers. After 1930, he co-founded and taught at the Famous Artists School in his resident town of Westport, Connecticut. In 1960 he was commissioned to design the postage stamp commemorating the Pony Express.

His works are shown at the West Point Naval Academy, as well as the Governor's office in Sacramento, California (twelve paintings of the California Rush, 1849), the Montana Historical Society, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Harold Von Schmidt died in 1982, in Westport.

Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"


Biography from Spanierman Gallery:
A specialist in western subjects, Harold von Schmidt was an illustrator and painter, known for rendering gripping stories in his art. His work was represented in many noted publications, including the Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Liberty, and Sunset magazines. Born in Alameda, California, he was orphaned at age five and went to live with his grandfather, who had been a forty-niner, and his aunt, who encouraged his interest in art. As a young man, he spent his summers working as a cowhand and construction worker.

Inspired by the work of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, von Schmidt studied with F. H. Meyers at the California School of Arts and Crafts in Berkeley, during his last year in high school. On learning that Maynard Dixon had a studio close to the school, von Schmidt went to meet him and eventually modeled for Dixon in exchange for receiving some tips on his own art. In 1913, von Schmidt designed his first cover, for Sunset Magazine. From 1915 to 1918, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, while also serving as art director at the Foster and Klein advertising agency. He made a number of paintings for the Navy during World War I. In 1920, he became a member of the United States rugby team, participating with the team in the 1920 Olympics. That same year, he set up an agency for artists, along with Dixon, Roi Partridge, Judson Starr, and Fred Ludekens.

In 1924, von Schmidt moved to New York City, where he studied with Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central Art School. Shortly thereafter he became a prominent illustrator of western subjects. In 1929, he produced sixty illustrations for a deluxe edition of Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop. In addition to his work for magazines, he went on to illustrate a number of other books, including December Night (1930), Indian Gold (1933), and Homespun (1937). Von Schmidt created his images in oils, working usually on large canvases as they afforded him more freedom than smaller formats. He tended to bold, energetic strokes rather than tight detail.

At the end of 1944, von Schmidt became a correspondent for the United States Air Force. He flew B-24s and B-25s on bombing runs during the early days of occupation in Japan in World War II. He sketched scenes of action as well as everyday life in Japan.

In addition to his experience as a cowboy and a lumberjack, von Schmidt was a sailor, hunter, and rodeo rider.

Von Schmidt received many awards. He was a life trustee of the Artists Guild, New York, and president of the Society of Illustrators, from 1938 to 1941. He was elected into the Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1959. In 1968, he was given a gold medal by the trustees of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Von Schmidt was president of the Westport Artists, from 1950 to 1951 and a member of the American Indian Defense Association. He gave generously of his time to many local organizations in Westport, Connecticut, where he settled.

Von Schmidt showed his works at the West Point Naval Academy, the Governor’s office, Sacramento, California, the Montana Historical Society, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. His work may be found in the collections of the A. R. Mitchell Museum, Trinidad, Colorado; the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis; the Montana Historical Society, Helena; the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York; the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas; the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York; the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, Colorado; the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas; the National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, Rhode Island; the Navy Museum—U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.; and the United States Air Force Museum, Dayton, Ohio.


LNP


© The essay herein is the property of Spanierman Gallery, LLC and is copyrighted by Spanierman Gallery, LLC, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from Spanierman Gallery, LLC, nor shown or communicated to anyone without due credit being given to Spanierman Gallery, LLC.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, VII:
Harold von Schmidt (1893-1982) was an American illustrator who specialized in magazine interior illustrations.  Born in Alameda, California in 1893, he was orphaned at the age of five.  After a year in an orphanage, he went to live with his grandfather, who had been a forty-niner.

As a youth von Schmidt worked as a cowhand and a construction worker.  In 1920 and 1924 he was on the United States Olympic Rugby team.  Although the United States team won the gold medal both years, von Schmidt did not play in the only game in 1920, and was sidelined by an injury in the final practice in 1924.

Von Schmidt began his art studies at the California School of Arts and Crafts while he was still in high school.  In 1924 he moved to New York City and entered the Grand Central School of Art.  In 1927 he married and moved to Westport, Connecticut.

Harold von Schmidt's work appeared primarily in Collier's Weekly, Cosmopolitan (magazine), Liberty (magazine), The Saturday Evening Post and Sunset (magazine).

Although he preferred magazine work and illustrated few books, he spent two years preparing sixty illustrations for a deluxe edition of Willa Cather's novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop.  In 1948 he was recruited by Albert Dorne to be one of the founding faculty for the Famous Artists School.  He was awarded the first gold medal by the trustees of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1968.

Source: www.wikipedia.com

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Harold von Schmidt is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
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California Painters
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