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The biography of Henry Howard Bagg

John Stephen Clabaugh, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


At a time when his contemporaries have biographies written about their life and retrospectives dealing with their art, Henry Howard Bagg (1853-1928) has no more than two paragraphs written about his accomplishments. Knowledge of his work exists only in the form of two or three works in several museums and collections. Yet, Bagg is considered the most prominent "pioneer" artist painting in Nebraska between the "explorer" artists of the early 1800s and the "college artist/educators" of the 1920s. Bagg is considered the earliest of the "pioneers" who came to Nebraska because of a need for new opportunities or a settled livelihood and, in some instances, out of a missionary zeal to bring culture and enlightenment to the prairie. By studying the life and work of Henry Howard Bagg, the researcher hopes to provide an informed impression of the overall character of Bagg and his art works that may lead to a reevaluation of the significance of Bagg among scholars of American art. The purpose of this study was to develop a biography of Henry Howard Bagg that illustrates the life of the artist at the turn of the century. The goal was to determine certain turning points in his life that may have impacted his works of art, illustrations, and teaching methods. The study was conducted to encourage the public to consider his combined roles as artist, illustrator, and educator. His popularity as a teacher, as well as a highly collected artist, prompted inquiry into the artist's stature in the community in early Nebraska and the place of the artist in the community today. The results of this study may prove of interest to art historians, scholars, and collectors of art for the purposes compiling material for archives, individuals, and collections; supplying more reliable resource material and an expanded listing of works; and providing research records about other artists of the same era.

Subject Area

Art History|Education history|Art education|Biographies

Recommended Citation

Clabaugh, John Stephen, "The biography of Henry Howard Bagg" (1997). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9734611.