Gallery Artists > Eustace Ziegler Biography :

Eustace Ziegler (1881 - 1969)  Artworks >>

Known for capturing in his painting the spirit of the early twentieth-century Alaskan frontier, Eustace Ziegler became one of the most celebrated painters of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest from its gold-rush period to statehood in 1959. He was one of the first artists from the United States to arrive in Alaska and "was able to depict the 'Old Alaska' and the men who had pioneered the opening of the territory." (Zellman 777). Ziegler was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was the son of an Episcopal rector and became a minister himself although he had early determination to be an artist. His father encouraged his art talent but insisted that he make a living at it, which made him a very practical artist determined to sell his art work. At first, he painted on the second floor of his father's church and spent his summers working in logging camps in upper Michigan. He also took lessons from the Detroit Museum of Art studying with Francis Paulus, Ida Perrault and Joseph Gies. He made his first trip to Alaska as a result of his family's friendship with Peter Trimble Rowe, the first Bishop of the Alaska Episcopal Diocese in Sitka from 1895. Ziegler offered his services as a missionary there in 1908, and he went to Valdez and became both a missionary and established artist whose many working people friends called him "Zieg." He traveled extensively in his missionary duties and found time for his art, capturing the character of people in their various walks of life, many of them in laboring tasks. In 1911, he married Mary Neville Boyle, and that year was ordained as a deacon. His work began selling well, but he and his wife remained committed missionaries, and lived in Cordova while he studied formally for the priesthood, which he achieved in 1916. But Ziegler was a frustrated artist, and in 1920, the family moved to New Haven, Connecticut and supported themselves with church work while "Zieg" also studied art with William Sergeant Kimball. Then he and his family returned to Cordova, Alaska, where he edited and illustrated a church magazine, but he was a frustrated artist and happily accepted an offer from the Alaska Steamship Company to do a number of large paintings for their offices in Seattle. In 1924, the Zieglers moved from Alaska to Seattle where he had forty-year long career of working in his studio. He founded and served as president of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters. Source

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