Duane Bryers is one of America’s most gifted artists and has been for the better part of his ninety-four years on this planet. He earned a living as a commercial illustrator until his early fifties and gradually found himself garnering a nice amount of attention as a fine artists who specialized in western theme paintings.
He was born in the upper peninsula of Michigan in 1911 on a farm with his three brothers and two sisters. At the age of twelve his family moved to a village in Northern Minnesota called Virginia (five miles north of Duluc according to Duane) where he lived until he left in 1939.
There is a lot of bunkhouse and cowlot character in the paintings of Duane Bryers. The cowboys in Bryer’s painting are not the Zane Grey variety; they’re the hard-bitten, bow-legged kind that can be found in ranch country throughout the West. Bryers lives on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona. He has had plenty of opportunity to get next to what he paints. His work proves that he has paid close attention to his subjects.
He has a knack for getting the crease just right in an old sweat-stained Stetson, and other little details like that which cowboys and ranch people appreciate in good art. It’s one thing for a picture lobe painted well, but it sure adds plenty to it when the artist has paid attention to the authenticity of his subject matter. People who have spent any time around horses and cattle will find something they like in the paintings of Duane Bryers.
Duane Bryers is America’s top western calendar artist-his calendars are published by Brown & Bigelow, number one in the calendar field.
He has been artist in residence on the huge Empirita Ranch in southern Arizona for the past five years. The magnificent beauty of this environment has provided him with unlimited inspiration for his highly successful paintings-which are purchased immediately by eager collectors.
He exhibits yearly at the prestigious National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and is included in their permanent collection. He also exhibits with the annual Western Heritage Show in Houston -an invitational affair which includes the West’s finest painters.
During his successful career, Mr. Bryers has had art studios in Chicago and New York. Because of the demand for his work, he never has enough paintings available for one man shows. He and his wife, Dee, are currently building a new home in the beautiful rolling country of southern Arizona. This spectacular background will no doubt show up in Mr. Bryer’s future paintings.
Duane Bryers passed away on May 30th, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona.