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Charles Hargens
"Chisholm Trail"

1939

$45,625

About

Jim’s of Lambertville is proud to offer this artwork by: Charles Hargens (1893 - 1997) Carversville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania artist and illustrator Charles was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota. As a young boy he loved to draw cowboys, Indians and ranch buildings. By age ten, he was “a commercial success” selling drawings of neighbors’ barns and houses for $25. When he grew older, his parents consented to enroll him at the Pennsylvania Academy (1913-20) where he studied with Daniel Garber, Hugh Breckenridge, Henry McCarter, and William Merritt Chase. At Garber’s invitation, Hargens occasionally came to visit his Lumberville studio to paint with him. A lifelong friendship resulted. In 1915, the Pennsylvania Academy awarded Hargens its Cresson Traveling Scholarship and he went to Paris to study at the Academie Julian and the Academie Colarossi. Hargens was a fellow of the Pennsylvania Academy and a member of the Society of Illustrators, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sketch Club. He exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago (1923 awards) and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1915 prize, 1917 prize, 1918 award). By the early 1920s, he began to produce illustrations for book jackets, books, magazines and advertisements. His career took off and soon his illustrations of cowboys, Indians, Western life, Revolutionary War action and boy scout themes appeared in, or adorned the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Liberty, McCall’s, Boy’s Life and Gentlemen’s Quarterly. His work also appeared on billboards and advertisements for Stetson hats and Coca-cola. It was conditioned by Hargens that all of his original art was returned to him after being published. His entire body work remained in his studio until his death in 1997; this is largely the reason his paintings have not yet commanded the high prices of his contemporary Saturday Evening Post illustrators (i.e. Rockwell, Leyendecker and N.C. Wyeth). At first he and his wife worked from their studio in Philadelphia. In 1940, they purchased a property at the intersection of Aquetong and Sawmill roads in Carversville. They commuted to Philadelphia regularly and stayed in South Dakota every summer. Eventually, he set up a studio next to his Carversville home. After moving to Carversville, Hargens began a lifelong friendship with George Sotter. Hargens’ Carversville home was the subject of many of George Sotter’s paintings long before and during the time Hargens lived there. Hargens also studied with Henry Rand who had a studio next to Sotter’s. Upon the death of George Sotter, Hargens was appointed the executor of his estate. Hargens continued to sketch nearby scenes as well as stack firewood well past his 101st birthday. He passed away at the age of 104. Sources: New Hope for American Art by James M. Alterman Michener Museum, Artist Database project Philadelphia Inquirer, February 4, 1997 Charles Hargens, Lahaska, PA: Upstairs Gallery, 1991 (press release) Ted Nichols, Editor, Charles Hargens, Carversville, PA: Boy Scout Troop 64, 1995

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