Hans Windgassen, Pigeon Impressionist

The late Hans Windgassen,  Pennsylvania artist and lifetime pigeon fancier, was one of the most interesting thinkers–no, scratch that, we were all interesting thinkers!– in our pigeon rearing art and genetics group. He visited once, but we kept up a constant correspondence, and the genes of pigeons he sent– our tastes were similar– live on in my loft.

Recently I had a note from his widow, Barbara Polny,  and I asked if she had any of his pigeon portraits. She had one, and sent it, refusing any money. What she may not have known was that it was of one of my favorite breeds, the (German) Beauty homer, an ornamental descendant of flyers, with a distinctive profile and a long graceful neck.

(They really have that profile. Here is one from Patrick in Massachusetts, who crossed back to flying homer to get both ability and showiness– this bird has returned swiftly from a race distance of 300 miles, same day, no sweat! I want some young ones to fly…)

Here is a small Hans portfolio– me, the girls in their prime…

And a few international pigons, including flyers in Jerusalem and a breed we tried to cross back to but  couldn’t revive in our own lofts…

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