Riley, Kenneth

Ken Riley was born in Missouri in 1919. He loved both music and art, played the drums and painted. But art sunk its hooks deep, and he soon found himself studying, first in Kansas City with Thomas Hart Benton, then in New York with George Bridgman and Harvey Dunn. After serving as a combat artist during the Second World War, Riley made a name in illustration, producing work for Bantam Books, The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, and Life magazine and traveling through Europe, North Africa, and the Far East. But the American West kindled Riley’s passion for fine art and he began to paint the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Grand Teton National Park, the Black Hills, the Badlands and in the Southwest. In 1982, Riley became a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, receiving gold medals in 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, and winning the Prix de West in 1995. Riley never looked back, and we have never looked away. His paintings can be found in important public and private collections, including the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the Booth Western Art Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum.