Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh’

Lone Star Dietz at Lehigh Exhibition

March 1, 2020

I just learned something new about Lone Star Dietz I didn’t know before. Andrew Jay maintains a blog about the artwork of Francis Quirk, someone I had never heard of before. In 1955, the Lehigh University Art Galleries held an exhibition of works done by Quirk, head of the department of fine arts at Lehigh, Joseph Brown, boxing instructor and associate professor of sculpture at Princeton University, Jose deRivera, formerly of Yale University and working on a Texas hotel project, and Lone Star Dietz, formerly of Reading, PA’s Albright College.

Here is a link to the Francis Quirk blog:

Dietz’s contributions to the exhibit included his prize-winning landscape, “My Pittsburgh,” as well as several other famous portraits and landscapes not listed. All of these paintings were done in oil.

Because the descriptions of all but one of Dietz’s paintings are vague, I can speculate on only that one: his Pittsburgh painting. I have seen a cityscape of Pittsburgh done by Dietz, probably painted during the time he operated Liberty Academy of Advertising Art on Liberty Street in that city. The painting I saw is titled “Pittsburgh Just Grew.” However, on the back of the frame above that title is “My Pittsburgh.”

The painting is now owned by Joel Platt, owner of the Sports Immortals museum in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’re ever in South Florida, a visit to the museum is worth your time. Rather than telling you about the museum, I’m providing a link to its web page. Platt has an extraordinary collection of sports memorabilia, including items from Carlisle Indian School and Jim Thorpe.

Below are photos of “Pittsburgh Just Grew” being held by Joel Platt and the back side of the painting with an inscription written by Lone Star Dietz. This painting is surely the one he showed at the Lehigh exhibit.


Photos of Paintings on Deerskin

December 1, 2011

One of my earliest blogs, posted on April 4, 2008, was titled “Deerskin Paintings.” The post included a discussion of a pair of paintings done by Lone Star Dietz on deerskin but included no photos probably because I didn’t know how to post them at the time. Today, Barr Shriver, the son of the people for whom Dietz made the paintings, emailed me photos of the paintings to be posted on my blog. He does not want to sell the paintings, so don’t bother him with offers. If I owned them, I wouldn’t sell them, either. Photos of the two paintings can be found at the bottom of this post.

The original post can be found here:

Deerskin paintings

April 4, 2008

Every so often I am blessed by an email that comes out of the blue from a person I don’t know or have ever heard of before that brightens my day (or several days) considerably. One such message came from Barr Shriver. Mr. Shriver’s grandparents, Barr and Marie Cox “Nana” Crawford, lived in the same apartment building in Pittsburgh as the Dietzes for several years in the early 1950s. Barr’s grandparents and the Dietzes became good friends during this period.

Barr Crawford worked in the truck parts department at Hoover Dam during its construction and made friends with many Indians. When he worked as a salesman with International Harvester (IH) during the Great Depression, the Indians didn’t have enough money to pay for the repair parts they needed. So, Mr. Crawford allowed them to trade beautiful blankets and art for the parts needed to keep their trucks running.

Having grown up in Montana, the Crawfords appreciated Indian art and understood the hardships Indians had undergone. Seeing Lone Star’s artwork, they struck a deal with him. Their son-in-law, Barr Shriver’s father, was a hunter and supplied two deer hides that he had had tanned and Lone Star had them mounted as if they were canvases and trimmed to about 14 by 16 inches. On one he painted a bust of an Indian woman and on the other a self-portrait in his war shirt and headdress. He signed the colorful paintings with the distinctive signature he used on his artwork at Carlisle.

After the Crawfords died, the paintings passed to Barr Shriver’s mother, their daughter. One of the things I mourn is that much of Lone Star’s art has been lost over the years. That, fortunately, is not the case this time. The Shrivers are proud to have and appreciate what are two-of-a-kind paintings and family heirlooms.