Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Leo James Beaulaurier (1912-1984)

Leo James Beaulaurier was born in Great Falls, Montana, in 1912 and died on February 13, 1984. He was a traditional Westem painter, illustrator, and muralist. His murals are in several post offices. Beaulaurier studied for three years at the University of Notre Dame, then worked at odd jobs until 1936 when he studied at the Los Angeles Art Center until World War II. After the war he entered his family's construction business. In 1963 he began painting full time. Occasionally he modeled figures in clay or wax to work out the action for a painting of Westem history. His specialty was the painting of portraits of famous Indians, particularly on black velvet. The velvet absorbs paint so Beaulaurier believes his pictures will be longer lasting because they are practically solid paint. He felt that interpretations of history should be made now because, "A hundred years from now you won't be. able to look at this country as we see it now. Someday there won't be a full-blooded Indian left." His work can be seen at the Borries Family Restaurant, 1800 Smelter Avenue, in Black Eagle, Montana.

View high resolution images of works by Leo James Beaulaurier when available.