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 Buck (Harold Buck) Weaver  (1889 - 1961)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: southwest landscape painting

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Ad Code: 3
Harold Buck Weaver
from Auction House Records.
Open Range - Arizona
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in England on March 16, 1889. Weaver was a jockey in his native land and made his way to America to become a cowboy. Upon coming to San Francisco, he studied painting with Maynard Dixon with whom he shared a lifelong friendship. About 1917 he drifted to Laguna Beach where Edgar Payne involved him in making carved and gold leaf frames. He later settled in Los Angeles and, while working as a picture framer, painted southwestern landscapes in a decorative style. Weaver died in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 1961. Exh: LACMA, 1921; San Diego FA Gallery, 1927; Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1928; Laguna Beach AA, 1930; Cowle Gallery (LA), 1950. In: Sports Palace, Phoenix, AZ (mural, originally done in LA's Santa Fe Railway ticket office with Edith Hamlin and Ray Strong under Dixon's guidance).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; California State Library (Sacramento); Death record.
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.

Biography from Blue Coyote Gallery:
Harold “Buck” Weaver was the eldest of ten sons and two daughters born to Alfred Edward and Rosetta Hannah Weaver.  His early childhood was spent in Clapham, England.  In his early teens he ran away to France to become a jockey.  However Weaver didn’t care for the work, and he quickly turned to seafaring.  During his travels he served on Windjammers and eventually ended up in California. 

Early in life Weaver worked as a Cowboy: a lost photograph depicts him wearing a pair of low slung six-guns with the holsters tied down.  This apparently is the hallmark of a gun slinger.  Weaver was also employed at various times as a teamster and a Deputy Sheriff.  He eventually ended up as a champion steer and bronco-buster.  Sometime around 1920 Buck broke his pelvis after failing to break an animal in a competition and was in hospital for an extended period.  As occupational therapy he started to paint. Having come from a long line of artists (painter Weavers recorded way back to the end of the 17th century) he revealed a very considerable natural talent which matured under the tutorage of Maynard-Dixon, who became a life-long friend.

Buck Weaver quickly established himself as a West Coast artist who worked for extended periods in the High Sierras of the Arizona deserts and the area now known as the Painted Desert.  During this time he also lived with the Hopi and the Navajo Indians, learning their lore and their languages.  His studio was based in San Francisco, but was often unattended: More often than not, his studio was mobile. 

In addition to painting, his contact with Edgar Payne at Laguna Beach provided him with the tools to make carved and gold leaf frames. Weaver possessed what has been described as a phenomenal technique which was renowned for spare, carefully chosen use of color.  Normally using only four or five different tubes of color, Weaver seldom used one color without small quantities of all the others mixed with it.  His canvases are recorded as being simple, truthful statements of his knowledge and vision of the Western landscape.  His keen appreciation and portrayal of light, atmosphere and weather were said to be second to none while his sense of space and its reflection in composition and balance was almost uncanny - he worked painstakingly slowly and after weeks, even months, he completed "harmonies of design and color in complete accord with the laws of nature".  Buck worked on the Santa Fe Railroad murals in the ticket office along with Edith Hamlin and Ray Strong under Maynard Dixon's guidance, the Golden Gates Exposition murals and the New York State World's Fair murals - some, even if not all, with Maynard Dixon.  Harry James and his wife, Betty Grable were reputed to have bought a great many of his paintings, the collection being broken up on their deaths. (the fate of the paintings is not known to this author).
Source: Philip Jones-Great Nephew of Buck Weaver

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