Margorie Jane Reed, Western Painter

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Signature of Margorie Jane Reed, Western ArtistMarjorie Jane Reed was born in Illinois and raised in Los Angeles. She became famous for painting the western scenes, the Butterfield Overland Stagecoaches, and the cowboys and horses that rode them. She also created the New Mexico-Texas Beautiful Trail Series, capturing the scenic beauty and historical significance of trails in those regions. This series further cemented her reputation as a prominent painter of western American landscapes. Sometimes she signed her work with pseudonyms like Harvey Day and Fred Day.

Marjorie Jane Reed's (1915 - 1996) journey began early, learning from her father, a commercial artist, when she was only three. At fourteen, they moved to Southern California. Her talent took her to Walt Disney Studios, but she didn't like the regimented work there.

In the mid-1930s, she studied under Jack Wilkinson Smith. He was a great artist who helped start the Biltmore Salon in Los Angeles. He saw her love for the outdoors and horses and told her to explore the countryside.

She met Captain William Banning, who had driven stagecoaches for his father, Phineas Banning. From him, she learned the romance of the Butterfield Overland Mail Stage, which ran from 1857 to 1858, from San Francisco to the Yuma crossing on the Colorado River.

With her Alaskan Husky and her Model-T Ford, she traveled the route, sketching as she went. She finished her Butterfield Stage series in 1957. She published a book called "The Colorful Overland Stage," with twenty of her color reproductions.

Later, she lived with her second husband, Cecil Creese, in Tombstone, Arizona. Marjorie Reed died in 1997, in the desert near the Butterfield Stage Station in California.

TAG: Western Art