Cowboy Canyon

  • Biography

    Fred Darge (1900-1978)

    Friedrich Ernst Darge Born: March 1 1900 Rendsburg, Germany Died: April 10 1978 Dallas, Texas Entered the U.S. ; Jan. 14 1923 at Port Arthur, Texas. By 1924 he was in Chicago painting under the W.P.A. Artists policy and attending the Art Institute of Chicago from where he graduated. While in Chicago he painted and made model sail boats, an interest he acquired in the German Merchant Marine at the age of 16. He also married, became a father, and managed a painting trip throughout Minnesota and the Dakota's with his wife and son. By July of 1933 he had separated from his wife and son in Chicago and had settled in San Antonio, Texas as a starving artist. In September, 1935 he moved to Dallas where he finished his paintings during the winter months and spent the summers painting on the ranches in West Texas and New Mexico. He entered the Army on Nov. 11 1942, served in the south Pacific and was honorably discharged on March 22 1944. He went to work in the defense industry for North American Aviation as a technical illustrator until the wars end. Back in Dallas, Fred bought a WWII ambulance and converted it to an artist's studio-van and spent the years from 1946 to 1978 traveling and painting throughout Texas and New Mexico, returning to Dallas to finish his paintings, carve, build and sail his model boats. His later years were spent at his studio adjacent to the Dallas Art Association where he also acted as an Instructor. His paintings have been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, Taos, and Sante Fe . A photo of Mae West looking at Fred's Self-portrait was published in the "Dallas News" 5-6-'39. She was concluding an engagement at the Majestic Theater in Dallas and between shows previewed his exhibition. An extensive biographical article is in the "Dallas News" of 2-23-47 and also on 3-16-41