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Announcing the Walter Baumhofer Collection

Two staff members sorting through the Baumhofer Collection shipment.
MGHL curator Skye Lacerte and Doug Dowd sort through the shipment.

This week, the Modern Graphic History Library received a shipment of items from the late illustrator Walter Baumhofer. Walter Baumhofer was known as the King of Pulps. He enjoyed a long and studious career. He started creating illustrations for Adventure Magazine and would go on to create over 500 pulp covers for publications like Western Story and Dime Detective.

Baumhofer later tried to make a name for himself and created illustrations for the main slicks of the time, which included American Weekly, Liberty and Cosmopolitan. When the market for illustrators began to fade in the 1950s, Baumhofer returned to illustrating the more arduous scenes that earned him recognition in his early days. The latter half of his career would be spent creating illustrations for art calendars and publications like Outdoor Life.

The Walter Baumhofer Collection is not yet processed, but we couldn’t wait to give you a peek at the contents.

Framed images from the collection laid out on a table.

Original art by Walter Baumhofer included works on board, framed pieces and sketches on glassine paper.

A charcoal sketch of a man's face done on glassine paper. This is possibly a self-portrait of the artist circa the 1920s.

We believe this is a self portrait of Baumhofer from when he was a student in the 1920s.

Full-page, full-color artwork for the cover of American Magazine. The image displayed is of a woman with an elaborate hat and gloves with the American Magazine logo top left.

Original work for American Magazine.

A typed letter from the personal papers received along with the Baumhofer Collection.

We also received a box of Baumhofer’s personal papers.

Original artwork on canvas from 1980 depicting a cowboy on a bucking bronco (painted horse) in the middle of a thunderstorm with other cowboys and spooked horses in the background.

Original work on canvas dated 1980.