Eustace Paul Ziegler (1881-1969) painted the essence of Alaska. His works captured the Great Land's natural majesty and the grace and dignity of its inhabitants—native or transplanted. Ziegler and the other artist famous for Alaskan scenes, Sydney Laurence, shared the ability to transfer the heart and soul of Alaska to canvas, yet their focus and their styles diverged, with little overlap in their collective oeuvre. Ziegler's place in the world, as the son of an Episcopalian minister from Detroit, seemed defined from birth: all 4 Ziegler brothers followed their father's vocation. Yet “Zieg” knew from childhood that he wanted to be an artist. Early 20th-century missionary zeal landed Ziegler in the rough-edged railroad and mining town of Cordova, Alaska. Zieg understood the need for alternative entertainment to steal the sourdoughs (men and women who came to Alaska for work and adventure) out of Cordova's saloons and brothels; the Red Dragon Clubhouse became Ziegler's pet pastoral project. During the time he lived in Cordova, Ziegler wrote articles, sketched, and painted, setting the stage for some momentous decisions: he married, had his first child, left for Connecticut to attend divinity school, and then returned to Alaska, where he—in Juneau—was ordained as an Episcopal priest.
Torpy JM. Tanana Squaw (Woman) and Dog. JAMA. 2011;305(9):863. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.166
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