Ernest Chiriacka

The most popular western artists today started as illustrators and moved on to becoming full-time artists later in their careers. Top artists such as Howard Terpning, Frank McCarthy, Olaf Wieghorst, Til Goodan, and Melvin Warren all started as illustrators producing work for magazines, pulp fiction book covers and  movie posters. Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth also did their fair share of work for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping. Some of the most endearing advertisements were created by the top artists in American in the early part of the last century known as “The Golden Era of Illustrators.”

Ernest Chiriacka was one such artist. Having attending many prestigious art schools he, like many other famous artists had to make a living. Chiriacka made his by painting pulp fiction covers and pin-ups under assumed names in the 50‘s getting great recognition for his Esquire calendar pinups. This was the best time to be an illustrator and one could make a very good living if one did not mind working under demanding deadlines.

Chiriacka was born in 1913 to Greek immigrants. During World War II, he was one of a handful of illustrators who were not fighting in the European or Pacific theaters. He could not join because of preexisting health conditions. Therefore, he was in much demand.  He received his earliest training at the Grand Central School of Design under western illustrator Harvey Dunn. He illustrated many paperback covers and pin-ups up until 1965. He retired from commercial illustration after reading the account of "Wounded Knee" and began to concentrate on painting landscapes of the Old West. It's these paintings which have continued to attract appreciative collectors at fine art galleries around the world.

Chiriacka’s pieces do not come up for sale very often and are quickly acquired by collectors and museums.

Come by Adobe Western Art Gallery and see these two unique pieces.

Original Art

Original art is available in person or by calling 817-624-4242


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20X24 Untitled Oil on Board

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12X16 "Scouting Party" Oil on Board


10X12 "Indian #9" Oil on Board

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12X16 "Mountain Man White Horse" Oil on Board



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20X24 "Wagon Train" Oil on Board

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24X36 "Longhorns" Oil on Board




11X14 "First Look: Oil on Board

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