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Erwin (Bud) Helbig (1919 - 2002 )

Bud Helbig was born in Butte, Montana, and lived in Kalispell from 1969 until his death. He wanted to be both a working cowboy and an artist from the time he was a child, and experienced the former role by growing up on a horse ranch in western Montana. Since there were no art schools in Montana when he was young, he enrolled in a Federal Art School correspondence course, which stimulated his interest in art. He worked as a bridge builder for the Milwaukee Railroad to earn money for further study, and went to school in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Schooling was interrupted by several years in the military during World War II. After his discharge he studied with Bill Mosby in Chicago, where he attended the American Academy of Art and worked as a commercial illustrator. He stayed in contact with his friends in the west through frequent return trips and finally moved back to Montana. Bud became a full-time artist after he moved home. As a traditional painter of contemporary scenes of the American West, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America in 1972.

 

Boy on Horse, by Bud Helbig
Boy on Horse, by Bud Helbig 
Gift of Joan Baucus