Henry Ziegler

Henry Ziegler
1889 – 1968

The internet provides little biographical information on Henry Ziegler, an artist well known by collectors of western art for his paintings and etchings.

Research came up with differing dates for Henry Ziegler. One site said he was born in New York in 1889 and died in that state in 1969. All others gave the same birth year but said he was born in Sherman, Texas and died in New York in 1968. Texas roots are easy to believe because it would have given him an early opportunity to observe first hand the ranch life that became prime subject matter of his art. His formal art education, however, took place in New York City where he was a member of the Art Students League and studied etching with Joseph Pennell and painting with illustrator William R. Leigh whose specialties were western and wildlife subjects.

Horses, be they western cowponies or horses engaged in the sports of racing and polo in the eastern United States, were depicted with a firm knowledge of equine anatomy as well as an intimate understanding of the equipment and uses to which they were being put and the situations in which a rider might find himself.

Ziegler worked on his own subjects but also accepted commissions for book illustrations. One of his more famous and rare illustration projects required him to do 50 etchings for a book entitled Cowboy Stuff, an edition limited to only 12 copies! The author was F.W LaFrentz who wrote poetry to go with Ziegler’s etchings. LaFrentz was also the manager for the Swan Cattle Company, one of the major British ranching operations in the United States. The book was published in 1927 with each copy autographed by the author. All the etchings were hand signed by Ziegler. In the 1950’s, one of his etched images, a cowboy on a bucking horse, was reproduced by the Jackson China Company for a line of restaurant china. His etchings and monoprints were included in the 1985 book, The Cowboy in American Prints, published by the Ohio University Press. His etchings are in the collections of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Great Plains Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, and Georgetown University.

“Meadowbrook Polo Ponies”
# 23 of an edition of 50
signedImage size 4” x 5 ½” including signature in margin
Sheet size 8 x 10”
light toning from a previous matting.

Ink drawing on bristol board
signed and dated 1923
Image size 4 7/8” x 6”
Sheet size 7 ¼” x 10”
On the reverse side is another drawing of running horses, but this side is unsigned.
light toning from a previous matting.