Joe De Yong Papers (Care of Richard J. Flood)
Scope and Contents
The De Yong Papers reflect the art and friendships of an artist, cowboy, and westerner of the 20th century. The bulk of the Papers date between 1910 and 1940. The Papers are comprised of biographical information, correspondence, manuscripts, sketches, notes from conversations, Christmas cards, and photographs. Due to his long careers in western art and western film, De Yong had many well-known friends such as, Charles M. Russell, Will James, Tom Mix, and Maynard Dixon. Records of their interactions over the course of De Yong’s life are found within the Papers who he interacted with frequently. These materials are found within the Papers.
The Papers are primarily organized by Flood numbers (see Arrangement for more information). Because this organization makes it impossible to arrange the materials thematically, the folder titles in the container list have been written with additional descriptive information that explains the person the material is related to and/or the type of material it is. Highlights of the collection are: the Charles Russell folders which include numerous handwritten “conversation notes” with drawings between Russell and De Yong. These are designated as “text with drawings.” Catalogs and manuscripts about Russell by De Yong are also included; correspondence from artists such as Edward Borein (1872-1945), Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), William “Bill” Gollings (1878-1932), Will James (1892-1942), Pete Martinez (1894-1971), Ross Santee (1889-1965), and Jack Van Ryder (1898-1968); and 1,031 photographs of De Yong’s family, friends, and experiences.
- Creation: 1860 - 1975
Conditions Governing Access
The Joe De Yong Papers 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 Joe De Yong Papers 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
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.
6.50 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Joe De Yong Papers reflect the art and friendships of an artist, cowboy, and westerner of the 20th century. The Papers are comprised of biographical information, correspondence, manuscripts, sketches, notes from conversations, and photographs. Due to his long careers in western art and film, De Yong had many well-known friends who are reflected in his Papers: Charles M. Russell, Will James, Tom Mix, Maynard Dixon, Joe Beeler, and Will Rogers.
The De Yong Papers were purchased by the Museum from Richard J. “Dick” Flood in 1980. De Yong and Flood had a long standing personal and business relationship. When De Yong’s mother’s health was failing and he needed financial assistance, he sold personal art and papers to Flood. Flood created a collection catalog and assigned items “Flood numbers.” That published catalog was used as a finding aid for the collection until 2003 when it was processed to archival standards. The Flood numbering system was maintained in the new finding aid because patrons had become accustomed to using the catalog numbers to locate relevant materials. The Papers were rehoused in 2013, and the Flood numbers were maintained.
During the processing in 2003, all photographic material was separated from the sequential Flood numbers and placed at the end of the collection. Due to time and staff constraints, this order has been maintained.
Artwork and artifacts were also a part of the original accession, and those materials were separated from the papers and photographs into appropriate curatorial storage. In this finding aid, the box “V3” reflects some of this material.
Considering the length of De Yong’s movie career, one might expect to find substantial records to reflect it. Other than photos, the evidence for this career throughout the Papers is sparse. The bulk of his letters and memorabilia during this time (1935-1967), might possibly be found at the Paramount Pictures archives.
The Joe De Yong Collection was purchased by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1980 from Richard “Dick” Flood. The Joe De Yong Papers are part of the original accession, and the completed art works and material culture that make up the rest of the full Collection are housed in the Museum’s curatorial storage.
- De Yong, Joe (Joseph Franklin de Yong), 1894-1975 (Person)
- Borein, Edward, 1872-1945 (Person)
- DeMille, Cecil B. (Cecil Blount DeMille), 1881-1959 (Person)
- Eaton, Howard (Person)
- Gollings, Elling William, 1878-1932 (Person)
- Grinnell, George Bird, 1849-1938 (Person)
- Hart, William S. (William Surrey Hart), 1864-1946 (Person)
- James, Will, 1892-1942 (Person)
- Linderman, Frank Bird, 1869-1938 (Person)
- Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958 (Person)
- Rogers, Will, 1879-1935 (Person)
- Russell, Charlie (Charles Marion), 1864-1926 (Person)
- Main Trail Galleries (Organization)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description