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 Ross Santee  (1889 - 1965)

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Delaware/Iowa      Known for: book illustrator, graphic artist and writer

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Ad Code: 3
Ross Santee
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Thornburg, Iowa, Ross Santee lived between the East Coast and Arizona and did much illustration and writing of books and for publications including Arizona Highways.  He retired to Arizona, becoming a student of Tucson artist Ted De Grazia.

Santee studied cartooning for four years at the Art Institute of Chicago, and moved to New York City where in the 1920s, he wrote and illustrated for magazines such as Collier's, Red Book, and Country Home.  However, he did not feel particularly successful in New York City as a commercial artist, and in 1915, visited his mother in Globe, Arizona, and took a job as a ranch hand.

His sketches of ranch life were accepted by editors of The St. Louis Post Dispatch, and encouraged, he re-entered the Art Institute of Chicago.  In New York again, he wrote and illustrated popular western stories and lived between Wilmington, Delaware, and Arizona, editing a state guide for the WPA.  During this time, he did illustration for Arizona Highways.

His last book titled The Rummy Kid Goes Home and illustrated by him was a compilation of magazine stories he had written in the 1920s.  Many of the stories were about Southwestern ranch people.

He died in Arizona in June, 1965.

Peggy and Harold Samuels, Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West

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