Announcing the Walter Baumhofer Collection

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.


MGHL Curator Skye Lacerte and Doug B. Dowd sorting through the shipment.


Some of the original art pieces on board.


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


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


Original work for American Magazine.


Reference sketches of different objects.


Another small sketch of a horse.


Apparently Baumhofer had an affinity for bears. A series of his bear illustrations were published in an art calendar.


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


Original work on canvas dated 1980.


American Art Archives

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.