(American, b. 1921)
David Hagerbaumer was born in Quincy, Illinois, on January 31, 1921. His father, George, owned a 40-acre farm from which he managed to eke out a living for his family. Although his father wasn't much of a sport hunter, he did hunt to put food on the table. When Dave was eight years old, George took him duck hunting on Turtle Lake, and Dave shot his first duck, a mallard drake. Instantly, a bond formed between young Dave and waterfowl that has not diminished over the years.
One Sunday morning in December of 1941 the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor crackled over the radio. Dave saw his duty clearly and he enlisted in the U.S. Marines just after Christmas Day. He spent four years on active duty; over half of it on Midway Island where one of the most concentrated and decisive battles was fought.
After the war Dave enrolled in San Diego State College while simultaneously working as staff artist and assistant ornithologist at the Carson City Museum. At the same time he and his cousin started a small duck decoy business. Dave carved the heads by hand and his cousin turned the bodies out on a lathe. It was more a labor of love than money and ultimately they just went out of business. But they did make good decoys.
The year 1951 was famous for the Korean "Police Action," and Sgt. Hagerbaumer was recalled to active duty. Lady Luck smiled on him this time, and he did his tour as an artist in G-2 creating propaganda posters and making maps.
A civilian again, Dave traveled the outdoor art mart circuit in the San Diego and La Jolla area. He'd paint during the week and sell at the marts on weekends. He made a fair living at it, but his reputation was very local.
Enter Ralph Terrell of Crossroads of Sports. Ralph recognized talent when he saw it, and he was a good promoter. Through the Crossroads catalogs and their Manhattan gallery, Dave's paintings were presented to most of the sporting art collectors of the day. His career skyrocketed and demand for his paintings became nationwide.
The rest is history. Dave's paintings remain high on the list for inclusion in major collections. Two books have been published on his art, THE BOTTOMS.., in its third printing, and
Canadian Geese in Flight
21 1/2" x 29 1/2"
Late Season Grouse, New England
18 1/2" x 26 1/2"
21" x 29"