About the Book
“Joe De Yong: A Life in the West” is the story of a passionate cowboy's life in the America West during the first part of the last century. Over ten years of research has revealed the life of a relatively unknown artist/illustrator who started out to be “just a cowboy." Turns out, Joe De Yong was quite a "mover and shaker" who touched the lives of so many in the western art world of the 1920s through the late 1960s. His was a life of challenges, including overcoming cerebral meningitis in 1913 that left him totally deaf. Never one for self-pity, De Yong went on to become the only protégé of his artistic hero - the legendary Montana artist, Charles M. Russell. He would take the skills he learned and make a life in the movie business working with Cecil B. DeMille and many others.
This is a grand, untold story and the goal here is to raise the funding to get the book to print and into your hands. All the research, photography has been done and paid for; the money raised on Kickstarter will go to printing books and shipping them to readers.
How You Can Help.
Joe DeYong’s story is an important one in the history of the art and culture of the American West. Your funding of $50.00 or more assures you a signed copy of this effort. Together we can bring Joe’s story to life.
About Joe DeYong (1894 – 1975)
Joseph Franklin De Yong was born in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. He had an immediate attraction to the cowboy way of life and when he was not at school he would help out a local ranches. If he wasn’t riding he was sketching the subjects he loved the most – cowboys and horses. At 13 years of age, he started working a local ranch when he heard a movie was being made in the area and they need cowboys. He jumped at the chance and met the silent-screen's ultimate cowboy of the day, Tom Mix. Joe was hit with the idea of acting in moving pictures and followed the film company to Arizona in 1913. Somehow he came down with what was called at the time “cerebral meningitis” which would leave him totally deaf.
Undeterred and further focused on his love of the cowboy ways, De Yong recuperated by traveling the West - including seeing in an exhibit in Wyoming of the works of the renowned artist, Charles M. Russell. The exhibit stopped young Joe in his tracks and he started writing to Russell resulting in Joe’s opportunity to move to Great Falls, Montana in late 1914 to work with Russell in his studio. De Yong would be the first and only protégé of Russell’s staying with him - and his wife Nancy Russell - until CM Russell’s death in 1926. De Yong moved to Santa Barbara, CA at the urging of Russell and his mutual friend, artist Edward Borein. Borein would introduce De Yong to people in his circle that led to a meeting with film producer Cecil B. DeMille. De Yong would go on to a diverse career in the movie business, writing and creating artwork until his death in 1975. Joe De Yong contributed much to the fabric of the cultural West and most importantly brought people together to understand and appreciate the need for authenticity and detail in the representation of the pre-1900, American West. A West that both he and Russell knew was rapidly disappearing. After Russell’s death, De Yong dedicated his life to making sure the West he and Russell loved would not be forgotten.
About the book
◊ case bound with dust jacket
◊ Hundreds of full color rare and many, never seen photographs, artworks, sketches by Joe De Yong. Many letters, articles and notes – most in Joe’s own hand will be included.
◊ Page count – over 300 pages
◊ The book will be published and marketed by the author’s imprint, Alamar Media.
Thank You. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has stopped by and supported this important project about a significant American and Western artist. Thank you.
Risks and challenges
There are few challenges in the publishing of this book as all the hard and truly expensive parts are finished. The book is researched, photos and artwork collected, all usage fees paid along with all the travel and interviews done along the way. We are raising the funds in order to get the presses started and ship books. The only real risk is we don't raise the needed funds. I have indicated $15,000 as the amount to be raised which is the major part of the printings costs - and I will pay the balance - already put aside. I feel it's a must for me to have skin in the game beyond just the writing and the research. You can contact me at anytime as I will be giving updates on the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)