Golden Age Old West Illustration Gallery

Cowboy in hiding, old west illustration by Howard Brown, 1909

Old west illustration was an important part of the ninteenth-century American art. The Golden Age of Illustration (1880-1920) coincided with the closing of the western frontier, the romantic, colorful era featured in vintage western art.

Fine artists and illustrators produced thousands of paintings and drawings beginning in the 1880s depicting scenes and characters from the American West: cowboys, Indians, outlaws, and cattle towns.

Fictional and factual accounts of frontier life filled countless pages in books and magazines, profusely illustrated by the likes of Frederic Remington, Maynard Dixon, Edward Borein, W. Herbert Dunton, and Charles Russell.

Their artwork defined western life for Americans living in the East and Europeans who were fascinated by America's wild west.

Artists and western writers produced the stereotypes for later movie and television western characters. Pulp western magazines of the early 1900s generated colorful cowboy outfits and exaggerated Native American costumes.

This gallery is a work in progress. Check back from time to time to see more examples.

And be sure to browse through other Illustration Art Solutions Image Galleries for old west illustration.

Hiawatha, by Mary Wyman Wallace, 1882

Above: "Hiawatha,"
by Mary Wyman Wallace, 1882.

cowboy art by Lawrence Hernden, 1909 The Thrill Book cover illustration, James Reynolds, 1919

Above left: "Bronco Busting," by Lawrence Hernden,
Pacific Monthly Magazine, 1909.

Above right: "Old Mexico," from The Thrill Book, James Reynolds, 1919.

Magazine cover illustration, Indian chief with headress Navajo

Above left: Plains Indian, by Randall, c.1908.

Above right: "A Pueblo Councillor," by Maynard Dixon, 1903.

palamino horse pulling car

Above left: "Johnnie Bell of Los Ojos," by Frederic Remington, Harper's Weekly, c.1908.

Above right: Sunset Magazine cover art by J. L. Starr, 1922.

cowboy portrait Indian father and son

Above left: "Rancher," magazine illustration by H. L. V. Parkhurst, 1906.

Above right: "The Evening Meal," magazine story art featuring Native Americans by E. Irving Couse, 1920.

Mountaineer, by Alexander O. Levy, 1921 Cowboy on horseback

Above left: "The Mountaineer," story illustration by Alexander O. Levy, 1921.

Above right: Cowboy on horseback, Old West illustration, c.1911.

Story illustration from The Five Gold Bars, by W. Herbert Dunton, 1910 Billy the Kid

Above left: "The Five Gold Bars," story illustration by W. Herbert Dunton, 1910.

Above right: "Billy the Kid," Maynard Dixon, c.1902.

General George Armstrong Custer, drawing from a photo by Mathew Brady, 1970 Navajo painting

Above left: "General George Armstrong Custer," color engraving from a photo by Mathew Brady, 1870.

Above right: Navajo, from Sunset Magazine cover.

Story illustration by R. F. Thomson, 1911

Above: "Say whatcha mean, stranger, an' say it quick!" Story illustration by R. F. Thomson, Harper's Weekly, 1911.

Shootout, aftermath of a poker game by H. L. V. Parkhurst, 1906.

Above: "Shootout," aftermath of a poker game by H. L. V. Parkhurst, 1906.

Cowboy cartoon, calf roping by B. Crawford, 1902

Above: "The Dangers of Aviation Can't Be Overstated," cartoon by B. Crawford, Scribners' Magazine, 1902.

Back to Top of Page

Back to Image Galleries