Yellowstone Art by Carl Tolpo

Mural 8 feet 8 inches x 15 feet

Carl Tolpo (1901-1976) began painting the Yellowstone Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park in 1934. He continued his painting on location until 1974 when he completed an 8-foot by 15-foot sectional mural. He began the mural project with a model painting in 1967. All of his paintings were done on site in oil, and the collection is intact held by his estate. Nearly every summer for forty-two years he could be found near Artist Point at the Canyon. Painting. He sold his prints at the Haynes Picture shops where he enjoyed a close relationship with Jack Haynes.

Now the family LLC, Art by Tolpo Artist LLC, Shawnee, Colorado, is losing the storage space for the Yellowstone Art by Carl Tolpo. We must find new owners for the art or the art will face destruction. Contact Vincent Tolpo at VTolpo@gmail.com or 303-838-6106.

A list of the available Yellowstone Art by Carl Tolpo:

1971 “Yellowstone Grand Canyon Mural”, oil on 16 panels, 8 feet 8 inches by 15 feet was painted by Carl Tolpo (1901-1976) from 1970 to 1974 on location. For the last three years it has been on exhibit at the National Museum of Wild life Art. Says Chief Curator of Art Adam Harris, "The mural was an integral part of our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the US Park Service in 2016". The mural has been restored since the last photo taken and is exhibition ready in excellent condition.

1968 "Yellowstone Gand Canyon Mural:the sketch" , oil on 4 panels, 40 inches x 60 inches,

1934 “Artist Point. Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 inches x 48 inches

1947 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 x 48 inches

1967 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on Masonite, 20 x 36 inches

1949 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches

1940 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 32 x 40 inches

1953 “Lower Falls, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 24 x 30 inches

1948 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 18 x 24 inches

1948-51 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20x 25 inches

1953 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches

1955 “Lower Falls at Red Rock” oil on linen canvas 20 x 25 inches

For more information go to: www.artbytolpoartist.com


1971 “Yellowstone Grand Canyon Mural”, oil on 16 panels, 8 feet 8 inches by 15 feet last photo taken 2010. Each panel painted on location. The panels are mounted on a wood framework and hung two at a time with french clips.

1934 “Artist Point. Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 inches x 48 inches close in.

1934 “Artist Point. Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 inches x 48 inches

1948-51 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20x 25 inches

1953 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches

1953 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches close up.

1955 “Lower Falls at Red Rock” oil on linen canvas 20 x 25 inches

1955 “Lower Falls at Red Rock” oil on linen canvas 20 x 25 inches close up.

1600 prints of “Lower Falls at the Yellowstone Grand Canyon” 20 inches high by 16 inches wide Full Color Photogravure Lithograph printed in 1955 from an original oil painting by Carl Tolpo all rights reserved.

2300 prints “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” Artist Point 12 inches high by 18 inches wide Full Color Photogravure Lithograph printed in 1951 from an original oil painting by Carl Tolpo all rights reserved.


2000 prints of “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” Tolpo Point 20 inches high by 30 inches wide Full Color Photogravure Lithograph printed in 1953 from an original oil painting by Carl Tolpo all rights reserved.

Carl Tolpo and Yellowstone National Park.

Carl Tolpo (1901-1976) began painting the Yellowstone Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park in 1934. He continued his studies on location until 1971 when he completed an 8-foot by 15-foot sectional mural. He began the mural project with a model painting in 1967. All of his paintings were done on site in oil, and the collection is intact held by his estate. Nearly every summer for forty-two years he could be found near Artist Point at the Canyon painting.

In the late 1940's Jack Haynes Picture Shops began to sell Tolpo lithographs at various locations throughout Yellowstone National Park. The prints, still available from the estate, were sold by the Hayne’s Picture shops through the 1950's - 60"s and later by the Hamilton Store chain. Carl Tolpo became a fixture at the Canyon to an extent that Ranger Wayne F. Replogle, at the time, would refer to his painting location as Tolpo Point. Other rangers picked up the name and continued the references. Approximately 150' closer to the falls from Artist Point on the same side of the canyon was Carl Tolpo's preferred spot to paint. From this point, all of the elements of the canyon seemed to share equal importance. The falls, the river, and the canyon walls provided balanced interests with in a specific frame of reference. The sectional mural was painted from this site.

Carl Tolpo always camped in a tent whenever he summered in Yellowstone. He traveled first alone, beginning in 1934, then with wife Lily and three children in the 1940's and 1950's. In the 1960's it was with a variety of family members who could make it. Finally, in the 1970's, he was alone again except occasionally with son Vincent. Carl Tolpo baptized his children at the foot of the lower falls in the Yellowstone Grand Canyon and son Vincent placed his ashes over the falls after his death in 1976. Carl Tolpo's very strong connection to the natural influences of Yellowstone led him to develop an art and life philosophy that he espoused throughout his life.

Born on December 22nd, 1901, in Ludington, Michigan, to sailor and farmer Carl August Tolpo and Anna Shilander Tolpo. Carl grew up on the edge of poor and poverty. Learning the barbering trade, he could pay for an education at Augustana College, University of Chicago and the Chicago Art Institute. Carl left the Art Institute in 1929 without a degree to begin work as a professional fine artist. Throughout his career he was an outsider. Carl Tolpo was never shown nor represented by retail galleries and as a result is currently only in the Smithsonian Museum collection. Carl Tolpo relied on direct public contact and site specific projects to build his career. Besides the extensive work in Yellowstone, Tolpo created Lincoln Sculptures featuring a heroic sized bust of President Abraham Lincoln located on the Mezzanine of Ford’s Theater. He also painted 13 Illinois Statehouse Official Portraits. Carl Tolpo’s final sculptural project was the heroic standing figure of Senator Everett M. Dirksen for the Illinois Capitol grounds in 1976. There were numerous other private art projects in a career lasting from 1929 to 1976. During the last decades of his career he was known for his art theory and aesthetic philosophy called the Fine use of the Creative Principles. These concepts are in the legislative records for the state of Illinois when he addressed the Illinois Senate in 1972.

Carl Tolpo found inspiration in the west and by 1934 was painting extensively on location in Wyoming and the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Park Rangers soon named his favorite spot to paint in the canyon “Tolpo Point”. Finally, by 1972, the Yellowstone painter was there at the easel on a final trip to complete a colossal work. It became an 8.5-foot by 15-foot mural of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The mural is made of 16 individually painted panels. As an artist, he presaged digital images that form, by grids of colored squares, an integrated image. Tolpo painted these panels on site, en plein air, enraptured by nature and wildlife at Yellowstone National Park. Carl was a fisherman and admired the Osprey often seen in his Canyon paintings. Carl Tolpo painted, from 1934 to 1972, en plein air, many original oil paintings of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Some paintings were reproduced as prints in the 1950’s. Tolpo Yellowstone prints were made with the vintage photogravure method of multi-color separations formatted in tiny florets instead of the dots used today. 1950’s photo-off-set lithography became the process of choice for high-quality tonal subtleties. Jack Haynes, historically Yellowstone’s first concessionaire, sold the Tolpo Yellowstone prints and pioneered a western art souvenir to the post WWII automobile traveler. After WWII, Americans traveled to American destinations, following the National Parks, to the nation's first National Park - Yellowstone National Park. After 25 years, Isabelle Haynes, Jack Haynes’ widow, wrote, “I remember you very well...for such beautiful paintings.”

Words from the artist about his painting (1934-1972) in Yellowstone National Park: “The eternal forces that have formed the rugged and snow-capped peaks, dense forests and the sparkling waters, display, in repose, their indubitable supremacy over all things material. They have retired to a grand disposition of noble serenity - the serenity of the Master Mind of the ages!” -Carl Tolpo

Yellowstone Art archives located at the Art by Tolpo Artist LLC, Shawnee Colorado

Hundreds of black and white photographs, color slides are part of the collection. Hours of 16 mm film movies of Yellowstone are in the collection. These movies include fascinating progression films of paintings. There are many dozens of oil sketches, drawings, and preparatory works within the collection. Other ephemera includes old maps and promotional materials, drawings and diaries.

Major works include the following:

1974-76 The Yellowstone Grand Canyon from Tolpo Point titled “The fine use of the creative order” is oil on 16 Masonite panels forming a mural 8 feet 6 inches high by 15 feet wide. All panels were painted en plein aire on site.

1934 “Artist Point. Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 inches x 48 inches

1947 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas, 36 x 48 inches

1967 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on Masonite, 20 x 36 inches

1949 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches

1940 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 32 x 40 inches

1953 “Lower Falls, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 24 x 30 inches

1948 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 18 x 24 inches

1948-51 “Artist Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20x 25 inches

1953 “Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon” oil on linen canvas 20 x 30 inches

1955 “Lower Falls at Red Rock” oil on linen canvas 20 x 25 inches

Lithographs available:

1600 Lower Falls at Red Rock(1955) lithograph on paper 16 x20 image on 20 x 26 paper

2000 Tolpo Point, Yellowstone Grand Canyon (1953) lithograph 20x30 image on 25 x 35 paper

2300 Artist Point in the afternoon (1948-51) lithograph 12 x 18 image on 18 x 24 paper

150 Artist Point (1947) lithograph 15 x 20 image on 20 x 24 paper

200 Artist Point (1935) lithograph 20 x 26 image on 24 x 30 paper The original painting is in Sweden