Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Ernest Tonk (1889-1968)
Ernest Tonk was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1889 and he died on November 20, 1968. He was a traditional western painter, commercial artist, illustrator, muralist, and writer. When Buffalo Bill saw Tonk's drawings in Chicago in 1908, the advice was to go West while an artist could still emulate Remington and Russell. Tonk was employed in the West as a cowhand, wrangler, and logger. He later operated a fruit ranch in Cashmere, Washington and painted in the winter months. In the early 1920's, he moved to Glendale, California to work as a commercial artist for the movies. As the demand for his paintings increased, he was able to paint all the time, working both in California and Washington. Tonk wrote and illustrated a "how to draw" book on horse and cattle subjects.
View high resolution images of works by Ernest Tonk when available.