Joe De Yong, A Life in the West
By William Reynolds. Hardcover, 336 pages.
Joe De Yong, born in 1894, had one dream, to be a cowboy. Stricken with “cerebro meningitis” at the age of 19, leaving him totally deaf; this is a grand and important story about the life of a little-known illustrator and artist that would forever change the way the country and the world perceives the power and romance of pre-1900 American West. His works are perhaps the most widely seen of all Western American artists but very few know who he was. This is a compelling journey through the life of a diminutive man who overcame overwhelming physical adversities to create and ensure the authenticity of who the American cowboy and American West was would live on forever.
De Yong’s life as the influential artist and illustrator he would become, started in earnest in 1912 when he met silent screen star Tom Mix and, more significantly, in 1914, corresponding with Montana artist Charles M. Russell during De Yong’s recuperation from cerebral meningitis. Russell was moved by De Yong’s passion and talent and in 1916 would become the only protégé Russell ever had. This powerful relationship would change his life and the way the world still sees the American West today. Russell and De Yong shared the same goal – to ensure the cultural fabric and authenticity of the “West” would never be forgotten.
Hardcover, 336 pages.