Posts Tagged ‘railway’

Artist of the moment…..Olympian Walter Winans….

The artist was born in 1852. An artist who was excellent in many different aspects of life. He was a horse breeder, sculptor of horses, painter, and auther of ten books. He had a passion for expressing his love of guns and firearms. In fact the artist considered the shooting of a firearm to be a form of art as well.

He was born in Russia, but to wealthy Americans. His father worked in the construction industry and was working with Nikolaevsky Railway in St. Petersburg, Russia. The artist lived in Russia until the age of eighteen. He took an oath as an American citizen and headed off to Kent, England.

As a horse breeder the artist was very successful. He sent some horses to the National Horse Show taking place in 1910 in New York City.

The artist worked in a variety of mediums from watercolor and graphite but mainly he was a sculptor working in bronze. He won a gold medal for his country in an International Art competition in 1912 at Stockholm, Sweden.

Winans competed in both the 1908 and 1912 summer Olympics. The artist won a gold in 1908 and a silver in 1912 in shooting events. He won for both the double shot running deer  in 1908 and the Team 100 m running deer event in 1912.

Although an American by birth the artist didn’t visit the United States for the first time until 1910, at the age of fifty eight years old.

His family was able to become wealthy from a variety of patented inventions and building of railroads. His grandfather ran a company building railroad cars for thirty years. The company was based out of Mount Claire, New Jersey and grew dramatically due to increase in usage and transportation of coal.

In 1840 the Czar of Russian gave control to the railway expansion to Winan’s family company and this is how the artist ended up being born and growing up in Russia.

George Washington Whistler, who was the father to the artist James Whistler, was an engineer working in the railroad industry. The Winans and the Whistlers got to know each other via the railway industry.  A sister to Thomas Winans (the artist’s father), married a brother of the artist James McNeil Whistler.

An interesting fact while I was browsing the New York Times shortly after the artist’s death in 1920. He died while taking place in a trotting race in London. He was widely followed and known about town as a resident American living in London.  The artist died just as his horse crossed the finish line.

In 1866 the railway expansion project was bought out by the Russian government and the Winan family became very rich. The family returned to the United States and lived in Baltimore. Thomas Winans passed away in 1878, Walter Winans inherited between twenty and forty million dollars.

The artist was indeed a hunting enthusiast owning estates and hunting lands in Belgium and in Scotland where he controlled nearly 250,000 acres of land to hunt and fish.


This artist though born lucky and rich but worked long and hard to become successful and nearly every endeavor he tried.  The fact that he was best in the WORLD for a shooting event in 1908 and second best in 1912 should leave little doubt and the wonderful work ethic of this artist.

Other wealthy artists to research would be Edgar Degas and the descendant to the Romanoff family who makes great art out of shrinky dinks. I have written about Andrew Romanoff and his very interesting life previously.

Nice to read about an Olympian that also takes art seriously.

low price range: $5,000

high price rage: $70,000