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Information
Name
William H. D. Koerner
Alternate Names
William Henry Dethlef Koerner
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From website:

William Henry Dethlef Koerner was born in Lunden, Germany. William Koerner was a noted magazine and book illustrator whose work was characterized by strong draftsmanship and an eye for detail. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1880, and they settled in Clinton, Iowa. At age 20, he became a rapid-hand illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. By 1901, he was attending classes at the Art Institute in Chicago, and four years later enrolled in the Art Students League in New York. When illustrator Howard Pyle accepted him for formal instruction, it was a major career boost. In 1924, Koerner first went West, traveling in a seven passenger Buick. He camped extensively and continued to travel to California via the Santa Fe Railroad. Zane Grey, popular novelist, used his illustrations in his novels. Koerner worked primarily from New York but kept a summer studio near the Crow reservation in Montana. He settled in Interlachen, New Jersey and built a studio there, which is replicated at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Koerner has summed up his own work and his life by saying, “Never could write, never could talk, not good at having my picture taken. Look over the bunch of illustrations I’ve done you’ll see my life, feel the struggles I’ve felt, know my joys and sorrows.” “In 1922, Koerner was commissioned to paint the illustrations for Hal G. Evarts’ Tumbleweeds which told the change of Oklahoma from open range to quarter section with the homesteaders’ dash to stake their claims when the Cherokee Strip was opened. This story renewed Koerner’s desire to research the history of that territory and to learn more about the Indian tribes. He spent long and laborious hours in the New York Public Library’s rare-book room; he searched the files in the Museum of Natural History for photographs of wagons, Indians, trails, homesteaders. He looked through his own collection of clippings which he had accumulated since 1900. His Tumbleweeds paintings were free and powerful, for he had caught the terrific impact of the opening of the Cherokee Strip. After the story appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and in book form, Tumbleweeds was made into a movie with William S. Hart playing the lead.”

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