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Arts and Crafts

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

About Leroy Neiman

Most of us probably know Leroy Neiman as an expressionist/impressionist painter of many athletes and sporting events, but he also created wonderful, colored paintings and screen prints of musicians, sceneries and animals.

He was born on June 8, 1921, in Braham, Minnesota as the son of Charles Julius Runquist, an unskilled laborer who was of Swedish descent, and Lydia Sophia Serline. Leroy's father abandoned his family while Leroy was still very young and in 1926 his mother marries John L. Neiman, whose name Leroy adopts.

The couple divorces in 1935 and Leroy's mother marries Ernst G. Hoelscher in 1940. She lives to be 87 years old and dies on November 14th, 1985, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Leroy spends the longest time of his life.

At the Roman Catholic primary school, which he attended as a child, he constantly drew pictures and would 'tattoo' his fellow students' arms with pen and ink during recess periods. In the 6th grade, he made a painting of a fish that won a prize in a national art competition.

As he grew older, he made some cash by painting local grocers and/or items on sale on the store windows. During high school he created posters for school dances and athletic events.

From 1942 through 1946, Leroy served as a cook in the U.S. Army during WW II after quitting school and being drafted. He spent three years of his time in Europe and painted murals in the military kitchens and stage sets for the Red Cross shows. Upon his return in 1946, he enrolled as a student at the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art.

See also:
About Leroy Neiman Part 2
Leroy Neiman's Work
Leroy Neiman's Work Part 2
Leroy Neiman's Economical Impact
Leroy Neiman's Economical Impact Part 2

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