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Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RC2022-017

Scope and Contents

The Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong contains eighteen letters from Peake to de Yong, plus an additional two letters from other parties to de Yong concerning Peake and his travels in Mexico. Additionally, there are two artworks and and twenty-two photos from Peake's Mexico trip. The letters are arranged in chronological order.


  • 1932 - 1935


Conditions Governing Access

The Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

Channing Peake (1910-1989)

Channing Peake was born October 24, 1910 in Colorado, but soon moved out west to California. He attended both the California College of Arts and Craft and the Santa Barbara School of the Arts under scholarships. He studied under notable artists Colin Campbell Cooper, Douglass Parshall, and Edward Borein during his school years. Borein supervised Peake, Joe de Yong, and Will James on a mural project at the El Paseo Restaurant in Santa Barbara. Peake then went on to work under silversmith George Steedman at his estate Casa del Herrero.

After school, Peake traveled through Arizona and New Mexico. Encouraged by the inspiration he found in the Southwest, he traveled further to Mexico. During his time in Mexico, Peake worked briefly as an assistant to Diego Rivera, and also observed Dr. Alfonso Caso at several archeological digs. Many of the letters in this collection are written during this trip through Mexico and after his return to the United States.

Upon returning to the states, Peake joined the Art Students League and studied under muralist Rico LeBrun. LeBrun supervised Peake on another mural project, this one government-sponsored. Peake also traveled to Old Lyme, Connecticut during his time on the east coast and studied at the art colony there.

After his marriage to Catherine Schott in 1938, Peake returned to Santa Barbara. He and his wife purchased a ranch there, which they called Rancho Jabali, and they become involved in ranching operations and Quarter Horse breeding. Rancho Jabali also served as artistic inspiration for much of Peake's art. His works are often Cubist-inspired abstractions of western objects and motifs. After two other marriages and a lifetime spent creating art, Peake died May 31, 1989.

Joe De Yong (1894-1975)

Joseph Franklin De Yong was born on March 12, 1894, in Western Grove, Missouri, but he spent the majority of his life in Montana and California. He is best known for being a painter and illustrator, but he also worked as a scenario research consultant for western movies. After a childhood illness left him deaf, De Yong spent much of his time sketching. He was enamored with Charles M. Russell’s paintings, and eventually met and befriended the acclaimed western artist. Russell and his wife Nancy spent time with the young De Yong, and Russell taught and mentored him until Russell’s death in 1926. De Yong then moved to California. He survived by selling illustrations in magazines and books by authors such as Will James, and designing and illustrating Christmas cards. He began his consulting career in 1936 and retired in 1967. His filmography includes Wells Fargo (1937), Union Pacific (1939), Tall in the Saddle (1944), Buffalo Bill (1944),The Virginian (1946), Shane (1953), and El Dorado (1967). De Yong died April 1975.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong contains letters from artist Channing Peake, sent primarily during his travels through Mexico from 1934 to 1935. Additionally, the collection contains photographs, sketches, and other materials that most likely accompanied the letters.

Processing Information

The Channing Peake Letters to Joe De Yong was purchased by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2022 from Old West Events. It was Lot #34 from the Dick Flood Sr. and Daro Flood Collection.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States