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ERNEST MARTIN HENNINGS (1886-1956)

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ERNEST MARTIN HENNINGS (1886-1956)

Lot 0030 Details

Description
Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956)
Indian Horsemen
signed 'E. Martin Hennings' (lower right), signed again and titled on an artist's label (affixed to the board backing), inscribed in another hand 'Merchants Nat Bank' (on the stretcher bars)
oil on canvas
36 x 40in
framed 45 x 49in
Painted circa 1925.
Footnotes:
Provenance
Merchants National Bank.
Private collection, Arizona, from the collection of George R. Boyles, Oak Park, Illinois; by descent in the family.
Sale, Butterfields, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California and Western Paintings and Sculpture, December 10, 2003, lot 6096.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.

Exhibited
Provo, Brigham Young University, Visions of the Southwest from the Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection, February 11, 2009 - July 3, 2009.
Salt Lake City, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Bierstadt to Warhol: American Indians in the West, February 15 – August 11, 2013.
Provo, Utah; Norfolk, Virginia; Orange, Texas; Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950, traveling exhibition, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, February 19 – August 13, 2016, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 29, 2016 – February 5, 2017; Stark Museum of Art, March 11 - September 9, 2017.

Literature
Utah Museum of Fine Arts Quarterly, January – March 2013, n.p., illustrated.
M. Wardle, S.E. Boehme, Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2016, pp. 147, 220, illustrated.

Ernest Martin Hennings first studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with honors. After working as a commercial artist for six years he enrolled at the Munich Academy in 1912 where he learned to paint in an academic, realist style. Franz von Stuck, one of his teachers, was a proponent of classical compositions of beauty, patterning, craftsmanship and drafting.

At that time pre-war Munich was one of the most exciting cultural centers in Europe, and the battles between classical academic art and Jugendstil, a new German Art Nouveau movement, were in full swing. Hennings remained somewhat open to the latter theories, thinking it best to be open to a variety of influences before ultimately settling on one's own style. In Munich, he also became friends with artists Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins.

In 1915, at the beginning of World War I, Hennings returned to Chicago as a commercial artist. He painted with thick, broad brush strokes and the dark palette of the Munich School, while also developing a style of wavy, sinuous lines reminiscent of Jugendstil painters.

In 1917, Carter Harrison, a wealthy patron and former Mayor of Chicago, and Oscar Mayer, Harrison's partner in art-buying ventures, sponsored Hennings on a trip to Taos, New Mexico. Three years earlier Harrison had done the same for several other artists including Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins. In 1921, Hennings became a full time resident of Taos, having had a successful one-man exhibition in Chicago at Marshall Field and Company. In 1924, Hennings joined his friends Ufer and Higgins as a member of The Taos Society of Artists.

For the remainder of his career, Hennings was devoted to painting the West, including commissioned portraits of Navajo Indians for the Santa Fe Railroad. However, his primary subjects were the New Mexico Indians, which he portrayed as dignified heroic people. Like Walter Ufer, he was aware of the profound outside forces changing Indian culture and he strove to respect and document the Indian way of life, as he saw it, as much as possible. The influence of the Jugenstil years earlier, namely his use of a distinctly 'wavy' style in his brushwork, became Hennings' signature style unique from his contemporaries. His use of bold color and bright light brings his sitters to life on the canvas. In Indian Horsemen, Hennings chooses a soft yellow lighting through the aspens. The figures on horseback silently pass through the trees in the evening hours with the only witness the painting's viewer. The colors are saturated and bright, the shadows grow long. These colors have remained intact because, fortunately, Hennings applied his oil paints thinly and allowed long periods of drying before applying varnish. This method has prevented yellowing and cracking of his paintings over time.

Those who knew Ernest Martin Hennings recalled that his works were a reflection of his life and personality - calm, peaceful, and well ordered. His paintings are a visual presentation of the mystique of Northern New Mexico, its diversity of peoples and the fascinating history of the early days of the Taos art colony. In many of his paintings, such as Indian Horsemen, Hennings has made time stand still and enabled us to see and understand what inspired and motivated him.
Buyer's Premium
  • 27.5% up to $12,500.00
  • 25% up to $600,000.00
  • 20% above $600,000.00

ERNEST MARTIN HENNINGS (1886-1956)

Estimate $600,000 - $800,000
Aug 04
Starting Price $500,000
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Ships fromLos Angeles, CA, United States
Bonhams

Bonhams

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0030: ERNEST MARTIN HENNINGS (1886-1956)

Sold for $740,000
9 Bids
Est. $600,000 - $800,000Starting Price $500,000
Portrait of the West
Wed, Aug 04, 2021 1:00 PM EDT
Buyer's Premium 20%

Lot 0030 Details

Description
...
Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956)
Indian Horsemen
signed 'E. Martin Hennings' (lower right), signed again and titled on an artist's label (affixed to the board backing), inscribed in another hand 'Merchants Nat Bank' (on the stretcher bars)
oil on canvas
36 x 40in
framed 45 x 49in
Painted circa 1925.
Footnotes:
Provenance
Merchants National Bank.
Private collection, Arizona, from the collection of George R. Boyles, Oak Park, Illinois; by descent in the family.
Sale, Butterfields, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California and Western Paintings and Sculpture, December 10, 2003, lot 6096.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.

Exhibited
Provo, Brigham Young University, Visions of the Southwest from the Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection, February 11, 2009 - July 3, 2009.
Salt Lake City, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Bierstadt to Warhol: American Indians in the West, February 15 – August 11, 2013.
Provo, Utah; Norfolk, Virginia; Orange, Texas; Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950, traveling exhibition, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, February 19 – August 13, 2016, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 29, 2016 – February 5, 2017; Stark Museum of Art, March 11 - September 9, 2017.

Literature
Utah Museum of Fine Arts Quarterly, January – March 2013, n.p., illustrated.
M. Wardle, S.E. Boehme, Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2016, pp. 147, 220, illustrated.

Ernest Martin Hennings first studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with honors. After working as a commercial artist for six years he enrolled at the Munich Academy in 1912 where he learned to paint in an academic, realist style. Franz von Stuck, one of his teachers, was a proponent of classical compositions of beauty, patterning, craftsmanship and drafting.

At that time pre-war Munich was one of the most exciting cultural centers in Europe, and the battles between classical academic art and Jugendstil, a new German Art Nouveau movement, were in full swing. Hennings remained somewhat open to the latter theories, thinking it best to be open to a variety of influences before ultimately settling on one's own style. In Munich, he also became friends with artists Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins.

In 1915, at the beginning of World War I, Hennings returned to Chicago as a commercial artist. He painted with thick, broad brush strokes and the dark palette of the Munich School, while also developing a style of wavy, sinuous lines reminiscent of Jugendstil painters.

In 1917, Carter Harrison, a wealthy patron and former Mayor of Chicago, and Oscar Mayer, Harrison's partner in art-buying ventures, sponsored Hennings on a trip to Taos, New Mexico. Three years earlier Harrison had done the same for several other artists including Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins. In 1921, Hennings became a full time resident of Taos, having had a successful one-man exhibition in Chicago at Marshall Field and Company. In 1924, Hennings joined his friends Ufer and Higgins as a member of The Taos Society of Artists.

For the remainder of his career, Hennings was devoted to painting the West, including commissioned portraits of Navajo Indians for the Santa Fe Railroad. However, his primary subjects were the New Mexico Indians, which he portrayed as dignified heroic people. Like Walter Ufer, he was aware of the profound outside forces changing Indian culture and he strove to respect and document the Indian way of life, as he saw it, as much as possible. The influence of the Jugenstil years earlier, namely his use of a distinctly 'wavy' style in his brushwork, became Hennings' signature style unique from his contemporaries. His use of bold color and bright light brings his sitters to life on the canvas. In Indian Horsemen, Hennings chooses a soft yellow lighting through the aspens. The figures on horseback silently pass through the trees in the evening hours with the only witness the painting's viewer. The colors are saturated and bright, the shadows grow long. These colors have remained intact because, fortunately, Hennings applied his oil paints thinly and allowed long periods of drying before applying varnish. This method has prevented yellowing and cracking of his paintings over time.

Those who knew Ernest Martin Hennings recalled that his works were a reflection of his life and personality - calm, peaceful, and well ordered. His paintings are a visual presentation of the mystique of Northern New Mexico, its diversity of peoples and the fascinating history of the early days of the Taos art colony. In many of his paintings, such as Indian Horsemen, Hennings has made time stand still and enabled us to see and understand what inspired and motivated him.

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