Western Heritage Awards Wrangler Winner, Art & Photography Book, 2022
Edward Borein’s life as a cowboy and artist began just as the American frontier was disappearing. Remnants of the Old West could still be found by the time he came on the scene, but were the exception rather than the rule; most of the open ranges were no longer open, the vast herds of buffalos had disappeared, and the Indians had been forced to settle on reservations. One of the last artists to capture the Old West from personal observation, Borein’s years as a vaquero in California and Mexico gave him a unique understanding of the region’s way of life.
Borein’s accurate portrayals of the West document in stunning detail the people, animals and surroundings of the West, from the Canadian Rockies to the Mexican deserts. Horses and cattle, saddles and bridles, clothing and weapons were all appropriate to the time and place he depicted. This was true whether his subject was an American cowboy, Mexican vaquero or soldado, Plains Indian or Southwestern pueblo dweller.
Best known for his more than four hundred etchings, Borein’s New York years coincided with a renewed international interest in the medium and his work was exhibited in galleries and museums along with many notable artists. His circle of friends included such artistic luminaries as Charles M. Russell, Maynard Dixon, Frank Tenney Johnson and Childe Hassam.
In this book Byron Price, one of the foremost scholars of the art of the American West, traces Borein’s extraordinary career from a self-taught recorder of the life of an itinerant ranch hand to a highly successful commercial artist in New York to his many years in Santa Barbara as a revered member of the city’s artist community. Richly illustrated with more than four hundred images¾ drawings, watercolors and oil paintings as well as etchings¾this book complements the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s permanent Edward Borein Gallery, and affirms the Historical Museum as the premier location to absorb the artistry and historical contributions of one of the most important portrayers of the American West.
About the Author:
Until his recent retirement B. Byron Price held the Charles Marion Russell Memorial Chair and was Director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. He is the former director of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas; the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City; and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming and is the author of numerous books and articles on western American history and art.