Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Ralph Earll DeCamp (1858-1936)

Ralph Earll DeCamp was born in Attica, New York in 1858 and died in Chicago, Illinois in 1936. He was a Montana landscape painter, muralist, illustrator, and photographer. His work is in the Montana Historical Society, the Montana Club, and the law library of the Montana State Capitol Building, all being in Helena, Montana. Ralph DeCamp spent his childhood near Milwaukee where he studied art with W. A. Sydaten. In 1871, the family moved to Moorhead, Minnesota, in the Red River Valley. There he operated a threshing business while painting and teaching. When his wife died in 1881, he went to the Pennsylvania School of Art. In 1885, he was commissioned by the Northern Pacific Railroad to paint in Yellowstone Park. The next fifty years, he lived in Helena, working as a draftsman and painting in his spare time. With Charles Russell, he founded the Helena Sketch Club about 1890. In 1912 and 1927, he was commissioned to paint landscape murals for the Montana Capitol Building in Helena, Montana. Charles M. Russell was quoted on DeCamp's landscape in the Montana Club as "that old boy can sure paint the wettest water. You can hear his rivers ripple." Russell then painted out DeCamp's doe in the painting and added his own. After Charles Russell died, Ralph DeCamp worked on Russell's painting, "Finding The Trail."

Ralph Earll DeCamp and Charles M. Russell

View high resolution images of works by Ralph Earll DeCamp when available.