Ghost Riders

  • Biography

    George Phippen (1915 - 1966)

    George Phippen was born July 11, 1915 in Iowa. His family moved from Iowa to Emmett (near St. Mary’s, Kansas) in 1919. In 1933, at the age of 18, Phippen joined the Civilian Conservation Corps working first in Minnesota and then in Washington. Left the Corps in 1939 to return to Kansas for a year and then went back to Washington and California before settling in Tucson, AZ in 1940. During World War II, he wanted to be a combat artists for the Army, but was stationed at Fort Warden in Washington where he worked in photography and drafting. After the war, Phippen and his family moved to the Southwest, where he received informal tutoring in oil painting from Henry Balink of Santa Fe, NM and Hurlstone Fairchild of Tucson, AZ. Successful as a commercial artist and illustrator, he illustrated many books and magazines such as True West, Frontier Times, Quarter Horse Journal, Appaloosa News, and Western Horseman. Phippen began oil painting in 1948 while selling works for Christmas cards and calendars. He was co-founder and first president of the Cowboy Artists of America and he established a ranch, studio, and foundry in Skull Valley, AZ. The Phippen Museum in Prescott, AZ opened in 1984. He died in Skull Valley, Arizona on April 13, 1966. Exhibitions: Cowboy Artists of America; Phippen Museum, 2004. Collections: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Desert Caballeros Western Museum; Gilcrease Institute; National Center for American Western Art; National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; Phippen Museum of Western Art; Phoenix Art Museum. Source: SOURCES: Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)" AskART,, accessed Oct. 22, 2007; Phippen, Louise. George Phippen: the man, the artist. (Prescott, AZ: Ralph Tanner Assocs. Inc., 1983); Pamphlet file at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library in Washington, DC.; Topeka Capital (Aug. 11, 1957, Apr. 14, 1966).