The Brinton Museum presents Gollings & Kleiber: In the Classroom, featuring outstanding paintings and fine intaglios by two of Wyoming’s celebrated artists who lived and worked in Sheridan County. This show opens in the S. K. Johnston, Jr. Family Gallery on March 15 and includes artwork from The Brinton’s Museum’s Bradford Brinton Memorial Collection and the John and Virginia Patton Collection of Hans Kleiber prints and watercolors. Paintings by Elling William “Bill” Gollings from The Brinton Museum’s permanent collection of art as well as six paintings on loan by Whitney Benefits, Inc. are included in the exhibit. Gollings & Kleiber: In the Classroom is available to visitors through April 30th.
Known as a cowboy artist, Elling William “Bill” Gollings was born in 1878 in Pierce City, Idaho and was educated in Chicago. As a young man, he worked as a wrangler on his brother De Witt’s ranch in Rosebud, Montana. Fascinated by the works of the American artist, Frederic Remington, Gollings pursued a career in art becoming an accomplished painter. His work reflects a deep admiration for the hard-working cowboy and a love of ranch life. The beauty of the land, the open range, wildlife, cowboys, ranches and the American Indian peoples are all subjects that he painted. His art studio once stood near the site of what is today the Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School in Sheridan.
The artist Hans Kleiber was born in 1887 in Germany to Austrian parents. He missed the beautiful mountains in Jaegerndorf, Silesia, when the family moved to Massachusetts, he was then 13 years old. Following his dream to pursue a career in forestry, Kleiber moved West in 1906 and was employed by the U.S. Forest Service for work in a Wyoming lumber camp in Woodrock, located at the head of the Tongue River in Bighorn Mountain Country. It was the mountains and the forests that would offer endless sources of inspiration for his hundreds of intaglios and beautiful watercolors. Amazingly, Kleiber was self-taught as a printmaker but achieved national and international acclaim for his work receiving the prestigious Society of California Silver Medal Award for his intaglio, Leaving The High Country, that depicts a family of elk leaving the snow-covered mountains in winter. His work was featured in a one-man show at the Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum in November 1943 to January 1944. Kleiber’s studio in Dayton exists today and is open to the public. Both Gollings and Kleiber were friends of Bradford Brinton who was a patron of their art.