Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Nick Eggenhofer (1897-1985)
Nick Eggenhofer was born in Gauting, southern Bavaria, Germany in 1897 and died in 1985. He was a traditional western painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He has work in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and the National Academy of Western Art. He grew up in Germany and was familiar with horses and playing "Cowboys and Indians" at the same age as children in America. This was due to a European craze inspired by Buffalo Bill's continental tours with his Wild West Show. He also saw western movies, Remington, and Russell works reproduced in German pulp magazines. He came to New York City in 1913, and started in 1916 four years of study at night at the Cooper Union. He subordinated to a variety of jobs including apprenticeship at the American Lithography Company. Nick decided to become a western artist and began preparing by making scale models of wagons, stagecoaches, and other props for his paintings. His first illustration was sold in 1920 to WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE of Street and Smith, the pulp publishers. In 1925, he got married and visited Santa Fe in a model T. Even then, he saw a ten-horse trader, and mail delivered from a buckboard. From the log cabin home he built in West Milford, New Jersey, Eggenhofer illustrated many western books and magazines. In 1961, he wrote and illustrated his own book, "Wagons, Mules, and Men." In the early 1960's, he moved to Cody, Wyoming, saying, "The West got hold of me at a very early age and hasn't turned loose yet." In 1971, it was said that Nick Eggenhofer had done over thirty thousand illustrations. Nick Eggenhofer was considered one of the most prolific artists of the western scene. He was noted for his historical accuracy through his careful research and was considered an authority on early western transportation.
View high resolution images of works by Nick Eggenhofer when available.