HENRY HOWARD BAGG
Born in Wauconda, Illinois, Henry Howard Bagg painted numerous scenes of western life in Colorado and Nebraska and became one of Nebraska's early prominent art professionals. He often worked from photographs, and his style was basically realistic with tonalism and luminism.
Little is known about his early childhood except that he referred to having lived on a large estate in Northern Illinois and credited his mother for his early art education and encouragement in that endeavor. His father was a country doctor and his mother a teacher in a girls' seminary. He took formal art study from a Professor Woodruff in Aurora, Illinois. In the late 1870s, he married Ida Pettibone of Lanesborough, Massachusetts, the community in which his parents had been born. He became an art instructor at the Jennings Seminary in Aurora, and began exhibiting landscape paintings in 1885.
In 1885, he and his wife and son moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and he opened a studio at 12th and N streets where he gave private lessons and classes. In 1895, he moved his family to Peru, Nebraska, where he taught until 1900. Returning to Lincoln, he taught at Cotner College in Bethany, now a part of Lincoln. During this time, he did many paintings for churches.
In 1903, he became an instructor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in 1907, director of the newly-formed Department of Art, and reportedly was a very popular instructor.
During the summer months, he traveled and painted extensively in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Wyoming, and on one of his trips stayed at the Buffalo Bill Cody ranch in Wyoming, and Cody became a collector of several of his paintings. Another collector was William Jennings Bryan. Bagg did many studies of bison, and a buffalo painting, "Reminiscences of the Plains" hung in the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
In 1918, Bagg retired from Wesleyan, and he and his wife moved to Boulder, Colorado to be near their daughter and the mountains, which he loved to paint. He also contracted with the Thomas D Murphy Calendar Company of Red Oak, Iowa, to create paintings for their calendars, and 45 paintings were completed for this project.