• Eustace Ziegler

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Eustace Ziegler American Artist: b. 1881-1969. Better than any other painter, Eustace Paul Ziegler captured the spirit of the early twentieth century Alaskan frontier. While he, like his contemporary Sydney Laurence, loved the Alaska landscape, he was even more enamored with the life of the people who lived in that challenging environment. In contrast to the largely symbolic figures that appear in the work of other Alaskan artists of his day, Ziegler's Native Alaskans, miners, priests, trappers, and fishermen are individuals, at work and at play on the frontier. Born in Detroit in 1881, Ziegler was one of four sons of an Episcopal minister. Though he would, like his brothers, eventually be ordained to that ministry as well, he was attracted to art from an early age. He studied at the Detroit Museum of Art before coming to Alaska, and at Yale University for a year in 1920-21. But it was not primarily as a painter that he came North. One of his early Cordova sales was to E.T. Stannard, President of the Alaska Steamship Company. In 1924, shortly after completing a series of murals which Stannard commissioned for the Alaska Steamship company offices in Seattle, the artist and his family left Cordova to move to that city. He continued to make annual summer trips to Alaska, however, and for the rest of his long career produced paintings of the North, often working in the vicinity of Mt. McKinley. With his friend and best-known student Theodore Lambert, in 1936 he took an ambitious trip from Fairbanks down the Chena, Tanana, Yukon, and Kuskokwim rivers to Bethel, painting people and places along the way. The two spent the summer of 1939 painting out of Talkeetna. In Seattle, Ziegler became a well-known, influential figure in the art community. He was a founder and first president of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, and he won numerous awards in Northwest art exhibitions. He completed important commissions for institutions ranging from the Washington State Press Club, Seattle Post-Intelligencer , and St. James Cathedral in Seattle to the Miami Clinic in Dayton, Ohio and the Baranof Hotel in Juneau. Eustace Ziegler’s paintings are as lively in their painterly quality as they are in their subject matter. Though highly realistic and faithfully observant of narrative and ethnographic details, his paintings declare the artist’s obvious delight in the character of the paint for its own sake. Whether applied with a palette knife or brush, his paint strokes are confident, energetic, and expressive, reinforcing the bold character of the people and activities they bring to life.

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