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Olaf Wieghorst

cowboy on horse
watercolor and ink
12'' X 10''
Signed Lower Left
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Born in Viborg, Denmark, Olaf Wieghorst was a child acrobatic performer from the age of nine when he began appearances at Tivoli Theater in Copenhagen and later toured Europe. He also learned horseback riding working on a stock farm, and horses became a major focus of his admiration and later his painting. In 1918, he arrived in the United States, having worked as a cabin boy on a steamer. He served in the 5th U.S. Cavalry on the Mexican border in the days of Pancho Villa. He later recalled a favorite horse from that period and said that riding through El Paso in 1921, the horse fell on his ankle and broke it. The outfit was heading to Douglas, Arizona, and not wanting to be left behind with his injury, he stayed on the horse which carried him all the way through the New Mexico desert on one of the hottest days of the year. The horse died during the night, having expended all his energy on saving Wieghorst. He later wrote that when the Cavalry discarded the use of horses, "they took the soul out of that great branch of the service. Source: SAMUELS' Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST, Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985.

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