Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Austin Deuel

Austin Deuel: August 28, 1939-December 17, 2021

Series: Veterans In The News | Story 32

This Remarkable Man Has Left An Incredible Legacy For Us All

Editor's Note: It is difficult to encapsulate the details of the life of this richly talented man who has captured both the horror of war and the beauty of military heroes' service along with the remarkable portraits of the American West. How one man could capture so much history in his works and create so much meaningful beauty is hard to fathom, but Austin Deuel did just that, and we honor him today. We offer a sketch here that only scratches the surface of all we could and would like to convey. Suffice to say, Austin Deuel will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

The Many Sides Of Austin Deuel

Painter, sculptor, muralist, teacher and author, Austin Deuel, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1939. He served in the United States Marine Corps twice: from 1959-1965 and rejoined in 1967 to serve in the Vietnam combat art program.

After His Military Service

Following his military service, he relocated to Scottsdale, Ariz., and pursued his career as a professional fine artist. Deuel has completed numerous monument commissions such as the Vietnam War Memorial in San Antonio, Texas, the General Patton Memorial in Summit, Calif., Women's Veterans Memorial in Phoenix, Ariz., Dream Chaser in Skagway, Alaska, and the Marine Corps Chaplain in Scottsdale, Ariz.. His work has appeared in numerous publications such as Western Horseman May 1985;), Southwest Art (January 1980, April, 1992, December 1977), Wildlife Art (August 1979)and Artist of the Rockies (Spring 1985;), Pioneer West (March 1974)and can be found in multiple museums and private collections worldwide.

Books Published

Austin Deuel has also published important books such as Canon De Los Artistas (1982) subject: Baja; Even God Is Against Us (1986) subject: Vietnam; Swan Lake, Nature's Amazing Grace (2006) subject: Alaska. His books are mentioned in Lehrman, Lewis. Being An Artist; Chenoweth, Col. H. Avery (USMCR) Act of War; Murphy, and Edward F. The Hill Fights. His work is also in the U.S. Airforce Combat Art Collection at Andrews Airforce Base, Washington, D.C.

A note about one of his works follows:

"Cañon de los Artistas is a book by artist Austin Deuel, whose love for the natural and man made scene in remote Baja California comes through on every page. Indeed, implicit throughout the book is a plea for the preservation of that scene from the destruction of modern "development". The book is a collection of excellent reproductions of Deuel paintings, drawings, photographs of sculpture, and photographs of the region, all supplemented by a first person narrative of his experiences in the Sierra de San Francisco area villages and Native American cave paintings.

Deuel also describes the cave paintings of the area, especially those of Gardener, El Cacariso and Flechas caves. Although the title might lead you to think the cave paintings are the focus of the book, the fact is that most of the narrative and pictures relate to the contemporary people and landscape of that part of Baja California. Thus this is not a book for the scholar who wants to study the cave paintings of Baja; it is more of a description/travel account for the nature lover, the Baja buff, or one who simply loves beautiful books."

From Calendars To Greeting Cards

The artist's work has been published in Yearly Western Art Calendars by Shedd Brown, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1972, 1973, 1974;Western Christmas Cards for the Leaning Tree Card Company, Boulder, Colorado since 1973; Scottsdale, Arizona Parada Del Sol Poster 1978. He has also painted, printed and installed his images in Las Vegas, Nev. resorts. He has printed and installed his works in over 5,000 rooms, taking over 20,000 images along with original works for special rooms.

Deuel Has Traveled Widely

This incredible Marine and artist has traveled extensively. He has visited and painted in Russia, France, Holland, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, England, Scotland, Australia, Mexico, Baja California, Canada, The Yuka and the Arctic Circle.


One commission that Deuel accepted was the San Antonio's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was dedicated on November 9, 1986. The memorial, titled Hill 881 South, depicts a radio operation comforting a wounded comrade while anxiously searching the sky for a medivac helicopter. The bronze sculpture stands about 10 feet tall at its highest point and is 23 feet long and 12 feet wide. With a weight of more than 10 tons, it is the largest sculpture of its kind in the country.

So Many Callings

Deuel taught art at the junior college level, ran an art gallery, wrote a San Diego newspaper column on artifacts, traveled abroad, collected Old Master works and contemporary art. As noted above, he was a sculptor, painter, and muralist as well as publishing the gamut of reproductions from lithogdraphs to greeting cards to calendars and plates, winning many awards in the process since the early 1960s.

From D.C. To Arizona

Austin Deuel was a member of the American Indian and Cowboy Artists Association.His paintings hang in the United States Marine Corps Museum in Washington, D.C. and in many other collections, such as the Maddox Library at Trinity University, where many bronze sculptures of his are on display as well. In Arizona, one well-known and extensive collection is the Eddie Basha Collection.

An Incredible Legacy

Although his earthly life has ended, Austin Deuel's works and friendships will live on for many, many years.

From A Friend

The feelings of many who knew Austin Deuel are mirrored in this quotation from his dear friend and president of the VFW Post 3513 Auxiliary, Dorothy Callaway:

"I lost a very dear friend, Austin Deuel, this weekend. He was my husband's best friend so I know they are together now and hopefully enjoying a beer together. Austin was a world-known artist, sculptor and author. He had traveled the world and loved to talk to you about those trips. He was a Marine ( as you know, once a Marine always a Marine). It was Austin, my husband Jim and three other Marines who started the original Scottsdale Marine Ball. That was in the old VFW post. He was also Commander of the Scottsdale VFW 3513 for several years. RIP Austin. You will be so missed by many."


(Contributing to this article have been Dorothy Callaway, Greg Newman, VFW Post 3513, the Archives of askART, and the Eddie Basha collection among others. More information can be found at http://www.artnet.com/artists/austin-deuel/.)


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