Earle E. Heikka
(1910 - 1941)
A sculptor and painter of western genre in realistic style, Earle Heikka became a sculptor whose primary subjects were pack trains, stagecoaches, and cowboys and Indians.
He was born in Belt, Montana to Finnish parents in 1910 and was raised in Great Falls, Montana, where he was directly exposed to the painting and sculpture of C.M. Russell. He is thought to have been self taught although he received advice from the staff of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and from sculptors Gutzon Borglom, Lorado Taft, and Frederick Hibbard. He also worked as a taxidermist and painter of dioramas.
By 1928, Heikka was considered a major sculptor with some of his subjects being the cowboys at the Gary Cooper ranch. He had a successful exhibition in Los Angeles and exhibited at the 1932 World’s Fair in Chicago.