This biography was written by a researcher at the Ashworth Collection of Native
American and Western Art in Fort Smith, AR, and Linda Pierson of Pierson
Gallery, Tulsa, OK and submitted in April of 2006:
Jacques Hans Gallrein has been painting the distinctive landscape of Oklahoma since 1911. The character of the state's environment inspired him to paint hundreds of Oklahoma scenes.
He also taught on both high school and college levels. He became an art teacher in Tishomingo High School in 1912. He was an art instructor at Oklahoma A. and M. College, 1913-14; he taught four college classes in Williams Hall and sub-freshman classes in Old Central.
Mr. Gallrein was born in Magdeburg, Germany, on June 29, 1888, where at the age of fourteen he studied art at the Kunstgewerbe and Handwerker Schule, a technical art school. At an early age he was influenced by Franz Van Stuck for color and correct drawing and by Arnold Böecklin for allegorical misty compositions. His father taught him the importance of ecology, which influenced his choice of subject matter in the out-of-doors.
At the young age of eighteen, he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Art in Munich, where he studied under the artist-lecturer Wilhelm Trübner.
On arrival in New York City in 1908, he was employed by the Fischer Art Studio, which did art work for the art dealers Reinthal and Newman and for the House of Art, 39 West 19th St. At this time he met the western artist Charles Schreyvogel in Hoboken, New Jersey, who advised the young artist to go westward to paint the wonders of the West.
Seriously considering this advice, he consulted a friend who worked for the Clark Teacher's Agency in New York, who further advised him to go to Oklahoma. Consequently, he arrived in Russett, Oklahoma, in early spring, 1911, traveling by way of McAlester.
Although Mr. Gallrein never moved his residence from Oklahoma after arriving in 1911, he traveled extensively across other western states such as New Mexico and Arizona where he captured on canvas the Native American lifestyles and vast western landscapes.
During his early years in southern Oklahoma, Mr. Gallrein became a part of the young state's history; he came to know personally the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, Douglas Johnson, and two state Governors: Henry S. Johnston and William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray.
Awards and Honors
May 7, 1969. Recognition Tea, Oklahoma State University. Mr. Gallrein honored as former art instructor, as requested in a letter by Dr. Josephine Hoffer, Assoc. Prof. and Acting Head, Dept. of Family Rel. and Child Devel., and co-signed by Dr. and Mrs. Marvin Edmison; Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Hurst; Dr. and Mrs. Maurice Morrissette; Prof. Darrel Woodward; Miss Zelma Patchin; Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Glover; Lt. Raymond F. Morrissettee, U.S.A.F.; Dr. and Mrs. William Leivo; and Dr. and Mrs. Leon Schroeder.
Dr. Robert Kamm, Pres. of the University, welcomed the occasion. Mr. Gallrein endowed the University with his painting Morning, which was accepted by Dr. Bryan Glass, Director of the University Museum.
Oct. 1-Dec. 15, 1969. Six-part series on life of Mr. Gallrein by Robert Cunningham, Oklahoma historical writer, publ. in Stillwater News-Press.
April 22, 1970. "Earth Day" Exhibit, East Central State University. Mr. Gallrein honored at the celebration of the anniversary of "Earth Day." The occasion was supervised by Dr. Robert V. Garner, Dean of the School of Environmental and Health Sciences. Charles Stacey conducted an interview with Mr. Gallrein on the East Central Campus for Channel 10, Ada, on the significance of "Earth Day" and its relation to Mr. Gallrein's paintings.
June, 1970-71. Travertine Center, Platt National Park, Sulphur. Mr. Gallrein's paintings exhibited at request of Park Superintendent Jack Stark.
1971. Recognition in the National Parks Service Newsletter, U. S. Dept. of Interior. Mr. Gallrein was commended for his contribution to the Environmental Studies program, supported by Platt National Park, Sulphur. Included a photograph of the artist painting near the Travertine Nature Center.
Sept. 12, 1972. Environmental Painter of the Year Award, East Central State University. Presented to Mr. Gallrein by Dr. Robert V. Garner, Dean, School of Environmental Sciences during the Governor's Conference on campus.
October, 1972. Article on Mr. Gallrein entitled, "I Should Leave This World Better Than I Found It," publ. in Ecosystems; written by Jeanette Cook and illustrated by photographs of the artist's paintings by J. Don Cook. This issue also contained a poem by Mr. Gallrein entitled "Royalty of the Woods."
June, 1973. Channel 4, WKY-TV, Oklahoma City. Interview conducted by Bill Beebe in the Studio Gallery, Stillwater, for the program "On the Oklahoma Road." Mr. Gallrein displayed and discussed some of his paintings.
1969-74. Annual Environmental Exhibits, First National Bank, Stillwater. Mr. Gallrein's paintings exhibited under supervision of Mr. Richard Barber and other bank officials.
May 14, 1974. Recognition by the 34th Session of the Oklahoma Legislature. Resolution 1164 was passed, declaring June 29, 1974, "Jacques Hans Gallrein Day," noting and commending the many contributions of the artist for the preservation of the natural environmental of Oklahoma. The Resolution, introduced by Rep. Lonnie L. Abbott of Ada, had the full sponsorship of the House of Representatives, including speaker W. P. Willis of Tahlequah.
1974. Interview on Channel 4, WKY-TV conducted by Linda Scott on "Danny's Day." Mr. Gallrein discussed the environment and displayed four of his paintings.
June 25, 1974. Proclamation by Gov. David Hall recognizing Mr. Gallrein. In honor of the artist's uniquely blended talents, intellectual qualities, and accomplishments contributed to the state, this proclamation declared June 29, 1974, Mr. Gallrein's 86th birthday, as "Jacques Hans Gallrein Day."
June 29, 1974. "Jacques Hans Gallrein Day" Tea, First National Bank Mezzanine, Stillwater. Hosted by students of the artist. He was presented Gov. Hall's Proclamation by Dr. Robert Garner of East Central State Univ. Paintings of Mr. Gallrein on exhibit at the tea and in the House of Representatives were Ordeal of Change, State Tree, Oklahoma Road, and Cookson Hills.
June, 1974. Interview on Scene 7, Channel 3, Stillwater, conducted by Mickey Van Deventer. The subject discussed with Mr. Gallrein and his assistant, Lucille Ritthaler Graham, was the occasion of "Jacques Hans Gallrein Day." Paintings were displayed.
Summer, 1975. Article on Mr. Gallrein in Oklahoma Today, written by Bill Burchardt, director of that publication. The article was a resume of the life and achievements of the artist, including colored reproductions of four paintings: Oklahoma Dogwood, Lake Carl Blackwell, Oklahoma Pastoral, and Oklahoma Redbud.
August 24-October 12, 1975. One-man show at Oklahoma Historical Society Museum. The paintings exhibited depicted state and national heritage in celebration of America's Bicentennial. Mistletoe Leaves, newsletter of the Society, in noting the exhibit, stated that Mr. Gallrein at the age of 86 was the oldest active artist in Oklahoma. Historic Trails, in a comment by Pendleton Woods, recognized Mr. Gallrein as an "international artist best known for his Oklahoma Redbud painting."
July 4, 1976. Endowment of the painting Oklahoma Road to the Oklahoma Historical Society. Museum Director R. W. Jones accepted it, and Dr. Le Roy Fischer presented a letter of acceptance and appreciation to Mr. Gallrein. Later that day Mr. Gallrein was featured in a televised interview on OETA.
Dec. 31, 1976. Received the National Parks and Conservation Awards Certificate. Mr. Gallrein was recognized for participating in America's Bicentennial through his support of the National Parks and Conservation Association and its efforts to reserve and protect national parks, monuments, and historic sites. A. W. Smith President of the Association, sign the certificate.
1977. A statement of Mr. Gallrein's philosophy was prepared by request of Dr. Nick Stinnett, formerly of the College of Education, O.S.U., and was published in the text Relationships in Marriage and Family, co-authored by Dr. Stinnett.
September, 1979. Awarded the National Wildlife Federation Life Membership Certificate. Mr. Gallrein's name is inscribed in a permanent registry maintained at the national headquarters of the National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C., for his lifetime support of the goals of the Federation.
1975 (circa). By Mrs. Lee Hicks of Ponca City to the Ponca City Art Center the painting Last Load by Mr. Gallrein.
1978. By Mr. and Mrs. Eugene A. Pfeffer of Bella Vista, Ark., to the Twentieth Century Club for the Marland Mansion the painting Winter by Mr. Gallrein.
"I take this means of expressing my thanks to you for exhibiting your paintings at our institution. The show was well attended and highly appreciated by the faculty, student body, and the people of the community. I am expressing the sentiments of the administration staff when I say your show was a definite contribution to the cultural experience of our students." G. I. Harrison, President, Langston University (1951)
"Gallrein has left behind the thick palette of the Munich style; glowing colors are his one concession to the 20th Century. Otherwise, in his techniques and adherence to the romantic view of nature, especially trees, he continues to be a member of that school." Aline Jean Treanor in Daily Oklahoman (1951)
"Deeply religious is this artist. His pictures reflect the Master Artist who makes the originals. Trained in the Royal Academy of Art, Munich, Germany, before the turn of the century, he is at once a romanticist, a realist, and naturalist. An avid believer in the efficacy of 'the good, the true and the beautiful,' Gallrein believes that the painter is obliged to paint what he sees, and whether he sees with the soul or the eye, he must paint from the heart.
"Far from his native Magdeburg in Saxony, Germany, this transplanted artist is to all appearance, an extremely happy man, with a healthy respect for the training of his youth. It is real; he is conservative, as was his training, but has marched with time, carrying with him that which is basic and sound in both philosophy and art." Elsie Shoemaker in Stillwater News-Press (1969)
"Many Oklahoma State University friends and admirers of your work have felt for sometime that it would be most fitting if a piece of your work were displayed in an appropriate setting on our campus.
"We like and admire your work and would like it preserved for the following reasons: (1) your style is unique and should be preserved, (2) you are a former Oklahoma State University Professor of Art, (3) your work reflects the beauty in Oklahoma, and (4) we feel others who may not have seen your work will enjoy it as we have but may not have an opportunity to see unless it is displayed in a university setting." Josephine Hoffer, Assoc. Prof. and Acting Head, Dept. of Family Relations and Child Development, O.S.U. (1969)
"The Ponca City Art Association is very proud and grateful of your fine contribution to our permanent art collection. Bird Island is the quality of painting and subject matter that retains the interest and appreciation of all true art patrons." E. L. Mount, President, Ponca Art Association (1969).