Ernest Norling Drawings

The Baseball Game vs. Friday Harbor, Orcas Island, WA Road Construction, Orcas Island Barber Shop, Recreation Hall, Lake Cushman, WA Road Construction, Unidentified Bridge

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Reference code

3.5.7

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Title

Ernest Norling Drawings

Date(s)

  • 1933 - 1934 (Creation)

Extent

1 oversize box
.5 cubic feet

Name of creator

(1892-1974)

Biographical history

Ernest Norling was born in Pasco, WA on September 26, 1892. In 1895 his family moved to Ellensburg, Washington. Norling attended Whitman College where he majored in math and physics. After college he worked as a draftsman for the city engineer's office before moving to Chicago. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then moved to Seattle, where he began teaching art at the Cornish School. While teaching, Norling wrote "Perspectives Made Easy" (1939), a book on the use of perspective in art. He was one of fifty artists in Washington to take part in the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) during the Great Depression, creating documentary paintings of the Civilian Conservation Corps at work. Norling worked as an artist for the Seattle Times and as the art director for the Boeing Aircraft Company Preliminary Design Unit. He worked as an illustrator for a number of children’s books, including the Kenneth Gilbert books Bird Dog Bargain (1947), Triple Threat Patrol (1953), and Cruise of the Dipsy Do (1954). Norling and his wife, Josephine Stearns, also worked together on a series of "Pogo" books that featured a dog inspired by their daughter's pet. The novels explored underrepresented topics in children's literature such as lumberjacking and train mechanics. Over 12 years, Norling and his wife produced 20 childrens books set in the Pacific Northwest, including Pogo's Train Ride which is part of this collection. He also created commissioned works for the University of Washington, which included a mural for the student union building, now known as the HUB, in 1949. The mural depicted individuals and events from the University of Washington's history from 1861 to 1925. Ernest Norling died in Seattle, Washington in March 1974 at the age of 81.

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Scope and content

9 pencil drawings by Ernest Norling depicting work on Civilian Conservation Corps projects in 1933 and 1934. The drawings were created as part of the Public Work of Art (PWAP) Project during the Great Depression.

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General note

4 drawings loaned to Tacoma Art Museum in May of 2019 for exhibit. Returned September 2020.

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