Born in 1868 (Harvard, Illinois) Alexander J. Van LeShout left his home state
and drew himself into the world he loved; art. He journeyed into Indian Country
to expand his vision, traveled to New York & Paris to study and expand his
skills, then made a home in Louisville, Kentucky where he expanded his career
by becoming the head of Louisville School of Art. His career ended with his
passing in 1930 (Louisville, Kentucky)
In the early 1900's Van LeShout, working for the newspaper, found his way to
South Dakota and lived among the prairie settlers on the Lower Brulé Indian
Reservation (Lakota Sioux). There he spent his time broadening his horizons as
he drew the world he saw around him. His presence there was notably shared in
Edith Ammon Khol's autobiography "Land Of The Burnt Thigh", along with mention
of his skilled drawings of the Sioux tribesmen who lived alongside them. It is
believed that this etch comes from this same time period of Van LeShout's
timeline, his later works being characterized with looser lines and wider
Alexander's art work caught the attention of many and, beyond the work he
created for his own enjoyment and for his early job with newspapers as a
political cartoonist, he also illustrated books. Titles include the 1908 "Fetch
Over The Canoe" by Willam Lightfoot Visscher, 1910 "Andros of Ephesus : A Tale
of Early Christianity" by the Rev. J.E. Copus, and 1897 "Home On the Mountain"
by Mattie Doherty Feldsmith.
Listed in the 1923 "American Art Directory : Who's Who In Art", his short bio
states proudly "Pupil of Carroll Beckwith, Frederick Freer, John H Vanderpoel;
studied in Holland and Paris". He was well know in these later years for almost
single-handedly starting the printmaking revolution in the Louisville Ohio
Valley Region. The Carnegie Center for Art and History's 2013 "The Artists of
the Wonderland Way" discusses his influence on the revival, which flourished in
the area until the 1940's.
This etch is a strong display of Alexander's mid-era style. The Smithsonian
currently holds his 1923 piece "Dinnertime", which displays many of the same
qualities as this Sioux portrait. Strong detailing, crisp lines, self-imposed
border and shaded background.
Posed in a side facing position, Alexander's delicate lines capture the detail
of this proud Lakota. His eagle feathered war bonnet, tipped with tassels,
perpetually captures the movement of the warm prairie wind as they dance in the
breeze. Strong contrast, and play with light, accentuates his facial features
as sunlight stretches across his brow and illuminates the feathers along his
There are condition issues with this piece, which will be mostly out of sight
once matted and framed. Issues all relate to discoloration from improper
storage by previous owner in humid environment. Mildew and foxing. No rips,
tears, or creases. Has darkened slightly in area exposed by mat. (Will ship in
current mat so that replacement can be sized to match). Piece has been taped
along top backside. We will not remove this for fear of damaging this stunning
piece with inexperience.
Piece measures approximately 10" x 13" with visible area measuring
approximately 6.5" x 9.75". Current mat measures approximately 13" x 17.75".
Original ink print.
Artist signed lower right corner. Pencil.
WILL SHIP AND INSURE PROPERLY FOR SAFE ARRIVAL TO YOUR HOME OR GALLERY***
Stress free shipping! We are experienced shippers and will take care to
package your items carefully for their journey to you!
All of our items come from private collections and estate buyouts. We
generally have no information on the background of provenance of items. Items
are shipped with a quick dusting and may need a wash or further wipe down upon
We understand that condition is subjective and encourage you to use the
provided images to aide you in making your own decisions. Have questions? We
are happy to answer them, but please ask prior to purchase. Thanks for looking!