William Moyers

Member Info
CAA Member from 1968
Born: December 11, 1916
Adams State College, Otis Art Institute

William Moyers learned about cowboy life from direct experience. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but at age fourteen moved to Alamosa, Colorado, with his father. He was raised on a ranch and worked his way through school breaking horses and working rodeos and stock auctions. Young Moyers also sold his pictures of bucking horses for twenty-five cents apiece.

In 1939, he graduated from Adams State College in Alamosa with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. He then studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, with E. Roscoe Shraeder, a pupil of the illustrator Howard Pyle. While there, he also worked on the film Fantasia at Walt Disney Studios. During his seventeen years on the West Coast, Moyers illustrated more than 200 books. By 1962, he was ready to try his hand as a full-time Western artist. That year, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in 1968 joined the Cowboy Artists of America.

Moyers was proficient in a wide variety of media, from watercolor to bronze, and he won gold and silver CAA medals for both his painting and sculpting. His work often melded the historic and contemporary West. Even while depicting the modern cowboy, he focused on those aspects of Western life that have remained largely unchanged over the course of the last century. “Life on the range is pretty much as it was in the eighteen hundreds for rider, horse, and livestock,” he said.

In 1994, Moyers donated one of his most impressive sculptures, Wind and Rain, to what was then known as the CAA Museum in Kerrville, Texas. The life-size piece, which stands at the museum's entrance, depicts a dismounted cowboy warily pondering an approaching storm. “I find the working cowboy, past and present, such a harmonious outgrowth of his whole environment,” Moyers said. “He accepts the rough action, the wild weather, the periodic loneliness, and the hard responsibilities of his job as a normal existence. Put this direct man in the vast settings in which he lives, and he is a subject to try an artist's skill.”


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