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William "Bill" Gollings  1878-1932


Some cowboys have the gift of yarn-spinning, some have a way with a lonesome tune, some have a way with horses. Bill Gollings’s way was the way of the brush and palette. Using mail order paints, young Bill won a scholarship to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. From there, he journeyed to the Dakotas, where he worked as a cowhand and became known as “Paint Bill” because of his interest in art. Golling settled in Wyoming, quietly absorbing criticism and tucking away techniques gleaned from teachers and friends such as Charles Russell, Edward Borein, W. H. D. Koerner, Frank Stick, Hans Kleiber and Joseph Sharp (it was Sharp who, more than anyone, encouraged him). Gollings dipped his brush in birdsong and the whinny of horses and the sound of the wind in the Wyoming hills and seemed to be able to set down in paint on canvas the “high lonesome” space of the American West, the silences that span horizons and scale peaks.

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